Although cross-training is a very helpful way to excel, and individual need to be careful choosing cross-training plan, in order to ensure that they are helpful and not hindering. Working out could make one more prone to injury instead of preventing it, if the extra training puts stress on the bones, muscles , and tendons that are already being used frequently. For dancers, it is important to not put extra stress of the feet, hips and lower back. Strengthening the core would have the best results with helping a dancer make improvements.
Pilates and Yoga
Both Pilates and yoga help to strengthen muscles, while keeping them elongated. They will give you a strong core and stability. A strong core will not only improve technique, it will reduce stress on the lower back and improve spinal alignment. Pilates and yoga will help a dancer find the weaker muscles of their body and help strengthen those parts.
Swimming is great because it allows the joints to move without the effects of gravity. Because there are many strokes to chose from, dancers with any body type can benefit from swimming. Dancers with tight upper bodies for example should do backstroke, which stretches out the shoulders.
Skiing is a good cardiovascular workout and is especially good for ballet dancers because skiing uses the parallel position.
Biking is good to build up strength in the thighs and glutes. Dancers should use a lower resistance while riding so their muscles do not become bulky.
Running is not good for dancers because of the constant pounding on the joints. Two better alternatives would be a brisk walk or using the elliptical.
Weight lifting is a great way to build up strength. Dancers do not want bulky muscles, so it is suggested to complete less reps with a heavier weights to see great results.