Above: The new Health, Fitness, and Pilates Studio at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 2016
Cross-training for dancers, both student and professional, is becoming more and more popular and for very good reasons. Big companies like the Royal Ballet and Hofesh Shechter have made it a point to include it into their schedule.
As I slowly make my way back into the dance world (I haven’t even touched ‘the boots’ yet) I’m also mentally and physically preparing myself to be ready for a slow, gradual (perhaps even gruelling) process. Here are a few reasons why I decided to use cross-training, in addition to the well-rounded ways of the GYROTONIC® Method, to help prepare my body for optimal training and performance.
Targets weak areas.
Since I’m not dancing 10+ hours a day anymore, there are, of course, areas that have become weaker and tighter than others over time. Therefore, targeting weak areas via strength training help me to feel stronger and have more control during movement.
Improves power and stamina.
With strength, comes power, and with power the body can begin to build stamina and endurance safely and efficiently. Less pain (and injury) equals more gain.
Keeps things interesting.
Sometimes feeling improvement can prove difficult if you’re doing the same thing every day. In addition, choosing workouts and classes that are complimentary to each other have helped me feel more positive about my improvement.
There are free options.
It can be really expensive to get a tailored workout, however there are definitely ways around it. Some of my favorite ways are online videos and apps because it’s portable and fun to maintain. Check out sites such as Lazy Dancer Tips, Yoga with Adriene, and the Nike Training App (that’s dance, yoga, and strength training for free right there).
What’s your favorite way to cross-train?
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