5 Things DWTS Pro Dancer Jenna Johnson Does to Maintain Her Fit Physique

A pro dancer on Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, Jenna Johnson is at the top of her game at just 23 years old. You'd think all she has to do is go to dance practice every day to maintain her incredibly fit physique (have you seen her abs?), but Johnson relies on a strict diet and gym regimen, too, which doesn't come easy. Here, the dancer gets candid with us about her daily routine, her personal struggles and what motivates her to push harder.

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Maintain your routine.
"I know that if I don’t work out in the mornings before my day gets started, I won’t get to the gym at all that day. For me, I have to do it right after I wake up! It gets my day started and helps me to stay motivated for the rest of the day. I typically work out six days a week and give myself Sundays off to rest and recover. I incline walk/run on the treadmill for 40 minutes and then walk the stair master on level 10 for another 10 minutes. My body needs cardio, so I try to sweat as much as possible. After my cardio, I do three sets of 20 push-ups and then 100 crunches on a medicine ball. I don’t like to use weights (I use my own body weight instead) because I don’t want to bulk! But that’s my own body's routine and mentality. Find out what works for you and stick to it so it eventually becomes habit!"

Know your weaknesses.
"I had a hard time admitting to myself that I was addicted to sweets. Once I finally realized that was my vice, I completely cut it out for 30 days to try and clean myself of all processed sugar. After that I slowly incorporated moderate amounts of sugar into my everyday lifestyle. I will definitely treat myself to a sweet treat or dessert, but I am aware that excessive amounts of it are not good for my body. I don’t drink coffee or mounds of caffeine. I’ve learned that my body needs to sip on something throughout the day and I’ve found kombucha is my life saver—it's insanely loaded with probiotics and benefits for my body. Obviously everything in moderation, but try substituting your caffeine intake so you don’t find yourself shutting down during your day."

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Compliment yourself!
"If you’ve been working really hard to stay strict with your nutrition and been hitting the gym often, reward yourself with positivity. It’s hard not to judge yourself if you don’t see results immediately. It’s a process, but a process that is worth the wait."

Be conscious of what you eat.
"I am very conscious of my diet. I am definitely NOT perfect with my nutrition, but I strive to be aware of what I put in my body. For a long time, I would avoiding eating all day and then end up binge eating treats and sugar at night, which is basically the worst thing you can do to your body. This is a period where I ended up gaining a lot of weight. I was completely punishing my body throughout the day by not giving it enough nutrients and substance, and it backfired. This also affected my mental health and made me super depressed and upset with myself. When I hit my most unhealthy point, I reached out to some nutritionists and they helped me balance out a more realistic and healthy diet. 

I try to stick to REAL food. What I mean by REAL food is anything that has been grown and not majorly processed. Meats, vegetables (lots of greens), less sugary fruits, good starches and nuts. Believe me, any time chocolate is in a 50-foot radius, I am the first one to grab a piece and eat it! But now I eat everything in moderation, and when I deserve a sweet treat, I allow myself to have it. It’s amazing how when you feel healthy from the inside out, you show it! Once I started getting back on track with my eating routine, everything else started to fall into place! I went from a size 8 to a 4."

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Soooo.... I was just cleaning out my closet and I came across these jeans. A year and a half ago these were the only jeans I could comfortably fit into and I wore them almost everyday. Recently I've been a bit down on myself and constantly comparing myself to others thinking "ugh I wish I looked like that" but it's moments like just barely that reinforce my appreciation for how far I've come. This isn't meant to brag or boast but a reminder that YOU are your worst enemy.... but you should also be your own biggest cheerleader. So when we do have days of discouragement we are able to remind ourselves how truly awesome we are... and how far we've come! I'm also working on being more confident in my own skin so I'm trying to use little to no make up and no filters..... we shall see how long that lasts 😉 Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

A post shared by Jenna Johnson (@dance10jenna) on

Know and understand your body. 
"Everyone is a different shape and size. I will never be a supermodel. I’m 5’ 4” and have curves...and I love it!! Do NOT compare yourself to others because you are your own person with a unique way of being your best self!"

  • Maggie
    Posted on

    Jenna is totally my inspiration and I am looking forward to getting fit in the new year!

  • Kay
    Posted on

    I wouldn't agree with everything everyone else has said. At least, not completely. I do agree that the most important thing is having a balance and finding what is best for you. To me her regular workout routine doesn't sound so heavy; of course she is also dancing on top of that but it doesn't sound like she is overstraining her body and it seems like her eating habits balance with her workout routine (for the most part). I myself wouldn't use the term "sexual characteristics" (even though she is more of straight figure and the only thing that really seems to stop her from being a "conventional" model is probably her height) because I don't think there is a specific body type for either gender. She is obviously athletic. I wouldn't say she is a bad role model either; some people do look to her for advice. I do think that the worst thing she was doing to her body was over-exercising and not eating throughout the day just to get away with eating a bunch of sweets in the night. That's obviously not a healthy habit. The one thing that gets to me when she writes and talks about nutrition/health(because she does it A LOT)is that she attributes it to the way she looks or how she doesn't look like the average model(which technically she kind of does) or how she has slimmed down a couple sizes. I think that is the least important part of all her journey; maybe to her it but that's just physical attributes that don't stand for "healthy". Most people probably never knew she had an issue until she mentioned it (or the industry she is in) but outside that there was less people judging. There isn't a before and after (for the most part) that really captures our mental state or a healthy regimen. I wish more people got that it's more for our health than it is for our physical appearance. It only sends us farther back if we are doing the latter.

  • Kelly
    Posted on


  • Kim
    Posted on

    Mia Couldn't of written any better!!! She was on point with everything. Skinny, basically looking invisible from the side when she poses isn't curvy! Her loving her body physically now has nothing to do with being healthy. People can be healthy in any size. I just think she's probably thinks she's looks her best because she super skinny now. That defeats the purpose of what being healthy means. I hope what people take away from this article is to love your body no matter what an not feel like the only way to feel healthy and beautiful is to be skinny!

  • Mia
    Posted on

    Hello, Sorry in advance for my bluntness but how can we talk about realness and provide such ambiguous examples? Miss Johnson's body is not curvy, it hasn't been in a lonnnnng while. I am not saying she's unhealthy, I am no doctor (and not hers anyway) but her body reflects an extreme of care that is not for everyone. That she feels better and happy this way than how she looked before is great, good for her, but you can't recommend that type of overall diet (both nutrition + fitness) to just anyone and make that the picture of healthy. Paradoxically enough, how she looked before fitted her current discourse much better. I have heard her explain she was unhealthy then but I think it’s very wrong to associate health with a specific look. How she looked before could have been perfectly healthy. Her transformation was not that of a super obese going back to a decent BMI, it’s a personal choice, a preference of hers. I don’t think she brags about her current body, but she somehow disses her former body which, despite the reality of it, exhibited no sign of not being unhealthy (which is why it’s wrong to attach that healthy looking body to all the emotional states she describes, I’m afraid it can be tragically misread by many girls and women) Also, having confidence issues about your body when it looks like this is a psychological issue and I don't think offering yourself as an inspiration is good in that case. Neither for Miss Johnson or the people she inspires. Miss Johnson's body is almost entirely devoid of secondary sexual characteristics, that is literally the opposite of curvy. That it nonetheless is very attractive and healthy is not something I discuss but it is the very specific body of someone who a) is an athlete b) makes a living from it c) admits issues of representation about it. As healthy as I'm sure Miss Johnson is and as beautiful as I can see she is. She is not a good role model for girls and women out there. Her "case" is too specific. The image that she projects conflicts with the actual sound advice she gives, she simply isn't a good example of the very thing she preaches.

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