Sunday, December 4, 2016
There is normally an off season for every sport, including dance. Our off season is during the summer after competitions have ended in May. This blog is to explain things a dance can do to keep their strength and flexibility during the summer to come back fresh and just as good, if not better than the year before.
The first thing dancers think to do is stretch. In my previous blog I explained all three types of stretching, ballistic, static and dynamic. I also explained when and how to use them. Static stretching is the stretch done to improve flexibility, this stretch is needed during the summer, but you only want to stretch when your muscles are warm.1 This is where keeping your strength and cardio during the summer.
“As injury rates increase with fatigue, potentially improving a dancer's endurance may help prevent many of those injuries occurring”.2The way to keep a dancers cardio during the summer would be interval training. At no point have I, as a dancer, danced at a low intensity for a longer amount of time, so why go on a 45 minute jog. A dancer has short 2-3 minute bursts of energy while they are doing their dance and then the dancer stops. Interval training will help bring your heart rate up to its maximum and then train yourself to recover your breath and your heart rate as quickly as possible ready to go again.2
After you are done with your interval training, this is where your static stretching will come into play. Static stretching brings down the heart rate and cools the body down while improving the flexibility of the dancer. If the dancer is aiming to maintain the flexibility they already have they will hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds. If they wish to improve their flexibility they will hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds or longer. In my dance class, we will spend the last 15 minutes stretching to improve our flexibility and we hold each stretch for one minute1.
1Dale, P. (2013, January 16). What Are Three Different Types of Stretches? Retrieved October 03, 2016, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/345846-what-are-three-different-types-of-stretches/
2Howell, L. (n.d.). Cardio Training For Dancers - The Ballet Blog. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from https://www.theballetblog.com/portfolio/cardio-training-for-dancers/