Dancers love to dance but your body needs to balance out that work. Not only can cross-training go a long way in injury prevention, but low-impact cross-training, won’t put added stress on your joints. So, with that in mind, here’s a look at a few of the biggest advantages dancers can enjoy from cross-training:
#1: Preventing injuries.
Dance comes with a high risk for injuries. Most are related to overuse – and cross-training is an ideal way to give the muscles used in dancing a break. They can still be worked, just not to the same level of intensity, which helps muscles and tendons recover from all the wear and tear experienced during dancing.
Likewise, cross-training can help to reduce muscle imbalances developed during dancing. When the same muscles or muscle group is worked repeatedly, it’s going to grow tighter, leading to a muscular imbalance. Not only that, but as muscles get tighter, they’re put at a much greater risk for injury because they lack flexibility. Cross-training – and working other muscles and muscle groups – helps to offset this, improving balance and reducing the risk of injury.
#2: Helps during rehabilitation.
If you do have an injury from dance, cross-training can help keep you in shape while you recover. That’s important because in many cases, it can take longer to recover than what you initially think. Your doctor may tell you it takes a six to eight weeks for you to get back into the studio. But you may have to tack on a few more months to that until you are good as new. Cross-training in other areas, such as swimming, biking, and elliptical training can help you to stay in shape while your injury heals.
#3: Better overall health.
Research shows that regular cross-training has some big advantages to your overall physical health. For instance, weight-bearing cross-training helps to improve bone density and resistance training helps with enhancing flexibility and coordination. Likewise, cardio helps to strengthen your heart, while lowering your blood pressure at the same time. Both cardio and resistance workouts help to fight against type 2 diabetes, while also improving your memory and lowering your risk for dementia. On top of impacting your overall physical health, cross-training is good for your mental health, too, acting as a stress reliever and a mood booster.
#4: Keeps you motivated.
You’re passionate about dance. But you still need to shake things up every once in a while if you want to stay on track in the studio. Repetitive dancing routines can often lead to boredom. But with cross-training, you can infuse new life into your routine and maintain your enthusiasm for dancing. And when you’re more motivated, this makes it easier to practice harder and to perform better on the stage.
#5: Boost strength and flexibility.
When you cross-train, you’re forcing your body to move in different ways than it does during dancing. This improves your body’s natural range of motion, which in turn will have a positive impact on your flexibility while you’re dancing. Not only that, but cross-training also helps you gain strength, too, in your core and legs, helping you to perform better in the long run.
Adapted from Dance Talk https://www.justforkix.com