More than ever the dance world is acknowledging that cross training is a must. No matter what type of dancer you are, research has proven that there are less injuries when you strengthen your body in many different ways. With the current demands on strength and versatility in the dance world, younger generations need to prepare their bodies for what is ahead of them.
Luckily there are many different methods you can choose from in order to prime your body and gain strength and endurance. Here are a few examples, but the list is extensive. If you have questions about what type of cross training might be best for you please reach out to a certified physical therapist or personal trainer.
YOGA FOR DANCERS
Yoga is known for bringing your attention to your body and finding focus, calming your mind and anxiety, as well as increasing flexibility and gaining strength. There are many different styles of yoga so be sure to try a few different classes to find one that fits with you, your body, and your personality.
GYROTONICS & GYROKENISIS
These are two different methods of training based on circular and spiral movements that let the body move in a natural and expressive way. These methods encourage the body to find a sense of freedom within movements, gain strength and agility, and recover quickly from injuries.
The Pilates method is a very popular way for dancers to find greater strength and control.
Pilates improves alignment, targets certain muscle groups to maintain balance within the body, and offers full body workouts to support a dancers' technique. Dancers also use this method to prevent and rehabilitate injuries.
The myth that weight or resistance training will bulk you up is currently being busted in the dance world. This is simply not true, as long as you work with a trainer to do it correctly. This type of cross training is incredibly beneficial to dancers in order to correct imbalances and build strength and endurance. Other forms of training like Plyometrics can greatly improve jumps and fast footwork!