What Type Of Strength & Flexibility Training Does A Dancer Need?

The activities that we engage in each day such as walking, sitting, or even running don't exercise the same muscle groups that you need as a dancer. For dancers to perform effectively and safely, it is important for them to receive as much training as they can get. One of the most important types to focus on is strength and flexibility training. As the words imply, this type of training incorporates workouts that will make a dancer stronger and more flexible in and out of the dance studio. 

Regardless of the form of dance, it may be necessary to focus more on particular groups of muscles depending on which of them is weak and on your dance requirements during dance lessons. For example, if as a dancer you are required to lift people or other heavy objects, the training should focus on strengthening the whole body while paying special attention to your arms, chest and back. 

How Strength and Flexibility Training Can Help A Dancer:
Muscle strengthening will help a dancer perform steps and moves in the dance studio both flawlessly and without discomfort. They reduce the risk of falls and injury as they also help build stamina and endurance.

Flexibility training improves a dancer's posture not only during dance lessons but in life as a whole. It helps a dancer attempt more intricate twists and turns and prevents the occurrence of injury. This group of activities improve the ability of a joint to move easily and attain a wider range of movements. Activities that improve flexibility include yoga, stretching and pilates.

How Often Should A Dancer Go Through This Training?
While there is no specific amount of time recommended, each training session should last about 20 to 30 minutes. For those going through the training for the first time, it is advisable to start with fewer repetitions and work your way up from there. Try to aim at 8-12 repetitions for each activity and build it up over a couple of weeks.  

What Groups Of Muscles Should Be Trained?
Typically dance requires the use of (almost) all groups of muscles. It is always a good idea to target as many muscles as possible, particularly those of the back, legs, thighs, arms, chest, abdomen and shoulders.  

Strength and Flexibility Training Outline

Step #1: Warm Up:
Your training should begin with a dynamic and static warm up. This improves blood flow to muscles, will heighten your performance and will improve your endurance. Start out with stretches of a wide variety and follow this with heel walks, leg swings, toe walks and bottom kicks.

Step #2: High Intensity Interval Training Workouts:
Perform these as hard as you can for 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each workout. Do these 8 times and that's it for the day. The important ingredient isn't the frequency but the intensity of the workout. Remember the key is to exercise as hard as you can without breaking yourself. This type of workout is great for dancers as it helps them prepare for their performances.

Some exercises to try out intensively include push ups, burpees, side lunges, triceps dips, jump lunges and sprints.

You can also incorporate yoga into your strength and flexibility training. It will also provide you with the much needed balance you'll need during and out of dance classes. For those living near Bryan TX, College Station TX, there are excellent dance studios you can enrol into that would help provide you with more information on strength and flexibility training.