Dancers are known for their incredible flexibility, balance, and grace. The artistry of dance requires stamina for long performances, stability for balancing during an adagio or mastering pirouettes and fouettes, as well as muscular strength for partnering and explosive movements. Dancers can seemingly do it all and make it look effortless. But their craft takes a serious toll on the body. Like any other athlete, optimal performance requires cross-training for a long and healthy career. A specific training program can offer improved strength, endurance, and anaerobic power without interfering with the artistic and physical performance requirements of ballet.
Strength & Joint Health
Dance requires extreme flexibility. While flexibility is important, hyper-flexibility can lead to increased risk of injury. Strengthening muscles helps to build stable joints and prevent injury and allows dancers to sustain positions during adagio.
Dancers are prone to foot and ankle injury in part because of the plyometric movements, or jumping involved in dance. Training for these powerful movements increases muscular strength and decreases the risk of ankle and foot injury. Specific training for power can also reduce fatigue during performances.
Strong abdominals, low back and pelvic floor are crucial for single leg balances, pirouettes, and power rotational jumps. Training your core outside of the studio will only improve balances, turns and add power to leaps.
There has been a stigma around strength training for dancers for fear of bulking up, but the truth is that strength training will lead to more longevity in a career that is already brief. Just dance training is not enough to prepare for the demands of performing and rehearsing. Strength training is a key element in any athlete’s overall training and dancers are no different.
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