Have you got the stamina to keep your dance going? Are you preparing for a dance competition and want to know some tips to improve your stamina?
Poor stamina leads to fatigue, which is the main cause of injuries in professional dancers. If dancers are not in good cardio shape before a dance competition, they will get exhausted faster, and their tendons and joints are more likely to be overworked and damaged.
So, what can you do to prepare for your upcoming dance competition and performances? Here are some helpful tips and exercises that will improve your strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and confidence. Try these workouts at home and you’ll be in tip-top shape when it’s time for the big performance.
Running may not be for everyone, but there are many types of cardio workouts. To promote endurance and strength you can run, jog, or do aerobic exercises. You can also use a stationary bike or elliptical machine. These activities will help you feel lighter and more limber in the dance studio.
All dancers need to work on their flexibility to avoid injury. Stretching for about 30 minutes daily is a great way to get started. You should hold each position for about 90 seconds. Stretching helps your muscles expand and will make you a better dancer. It helps make each movement more fluid and graceful, and over time, you will be able to twist and move your body in ways that you never could before. Flexibility also helps prevent injuries.
Push Ups #
Push-ups can help you dance better by strengthening your chest, arms, and back, and improving your posture. It also strengthens your core and helps you balance better.
Squats and Lunges #
To strengthen your thighs, legs, and butt, squats and lunges are the ideal exercise. They promote flexibility, strength, and balance, and will help you jump higher and with more power. They also help you dance with ease by increasing mobility and balance.
Sit Ups and Crunches #
Sit-ups and crunches help increase the strength in your hips, arms, abs, and your entire body, making it easier for you to balance and helping your jumps and landings to look flawless.
All Singing, All Dancing #
Musical theater dancers face a next-level stamina challenge: Singing while dancing. You can improve your stamina by singing along during warm-up. Sounding good isn’t what’s important, it’s getting your body used to the demands of doing both. You can also do a little sing-song while doing light cardio like jogging.
Spice Up Studio Time #
During large classes or long rehearsals, dancers can have extended periods of time waiting for their turn to dance, resulting in a lower work-to-rest ratio than what they experience onstage. Staying active during these downtime moments and keeping the heart rate up with light cardio, like jumping jacks. Not only will this help build stamina, but it will reduce injury risk by keeping you warm for when you do have to jump back into dancing.
Good Nutrition Is Key #
Stamina and energy have a lot to do with what we put in our bodies. Unhealthy eating can make us feel lethargic and contribute to weight gain, which makes it more difficult for us to be active. An important area to keep in mind when looking to improve your stamina is to change your diet and fill it with healthy and nutritious foods. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Consume a diet that is rich in protein, healthy fats, and whole-grain starchy carbohydrates. Any diet that restricts carbs and favors fat and protein, prevents dancers from being their number one source of fuel and energy. However, you should choose your carbohydrates carefully. Consider whole grain options and vegetables, rather than processed foods like pasta or cereal.
- Although vegetables do not contain much usable energy, they are still extremely important for feeding the body the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs for overall health. Be sure to include green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables in your diet.
- Make resting a priority. Before a big performance, you should increase your carb intake so that you have adequate fuel.
- If you cannot eat a whole meal or snack before a performance, consider bringing a liquid snack that has a good balance of carbs and protein. Some great options include a smoothie with milk or yogurt mixed with peanut butter and fruit, or on nibble some dried fruit and drinking a lot of water to keep your blood sugar stable.
Stay Hydrated #
All dancers should ensure that they drink plenty of water throughout the day because it will help their bodies cope with fatigue. Water is extremely beneficial to the body, not only to replenishing the water lost from sweat but also to increase stamina and overall health. Dancers should avoid soft drinks, too much caffeine, and alcoholic beverages since these drinks dehydrate the body.