Strength and Stretch Classes

Benefits of Strength and Stretch Classes 

Most dancers start strength and stretch classes to get “better”, it’s an extremely complex topic with many facets that encompass the athlete’s physical capacity and injury resilience, but also their artistic ability and mental grit. (Basically, it’s a little bit of everything.) 

Strength and stretch classes help build muscular strength, flexibility, and endurance. 

Dance is certainly a demanding sport, but it’s not the most efficient means of conditioning or building strength. In order to be a top-tier dancer, you must possess the physical strength and endurance to learn new skills and techniques (and practice them!) without fatiguing.  

Simply put: your progress as a dancer can be limited by either your physical fitness or your skill. 

 

Muscular Strength and Endurance 

 

Plus, as you work on increasing your muscular capabilities, you’re not just improving your endurance; by strengthening your muscles, you’re also reducing your risk of injury. You are building stronger muscles, and as long as you use them correctly it can actually help to protect your joints and give you many years of dancing. 

Prevents Injury  

When practicing a certain dance style, you may train one muscle group more than another. Muscle imbalances and overuse can lead to torn ligaments and fatigue. For example, the repetitive movements of ballroom dancing can cause strain on the knees, feet, legs, and back. However, strengthening the muscles in these key areas may not be enough. Through cross-training and dynamic movements, other support muscles can also be trained to achieve overall body strength. 

Strength and conditioning significantly reduce injuries by improving body alignment and preventing muscle imbalances. Injuries can hold back one’s progress, so injury prevention benefits both novice and professional dancers. 

 

Maintaining Proper Alignment 

When your body’s capable of actively using the right muscles, it can better maintain joint alignment. In order to hit these positions repeatedly and consistently without adding any excessive wear and tear, you must activate and use your muscle and posture correctly. It may sound obvious, but it’s hard — and because it’s hard, the body will look for shortcuts in your movements, often resulting in bones and ligaments absorbing forces they’re not designed to absorb. 

Bodily Awareness 

Enhances Mobility and Flexibility 

Strength and conditioning exercises take joints through their full range of motion and promote mobility and flexibility. These are especially important for dancers who need to incorporate fluid movements in their routines. 

 

Boost Performance 

An effective strength and conditioning program looks at long-term performance on top of immediate results. Certified specialists can measure and adapt to training results and identify critical areas for 

improvement. Because strength and conditioning improve muscle strength, endurance, and efficiency, you will definitely see progress in your performance as a dancer. This type of training will make you feel stronger and more confident as you go through your dance routines. 

Allows for more commanding movements. 

When you’re on the stage, you want your moves to be explosive, not tired and weak. Strength training is one way to get there. With it, you can overcome issues with fatigue and boost your endurance. This is especially important if you have a long or particularly rigorous performance coming up. It can also help you with your lifts and balance too, so you can better execute your moves and deliver a dazzling performance to audiences. 

ballet leotards

The bottom line is that dancers shouldn’t shy away from strength training out of fear they will get bulky or that it will impact flexibility. Whether you want to increase the endurance of your muscles or their strength of them, strength training offers many benefits that can help you to dance better and prevent injuries. 

 

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