Present Tense Fitness
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Dance and Sports Performance

Strength training and conditioning approaches for dancers

Posts tagged periodization
Good Strength Training is Good Connective Tissue Training

Parents of young dancers should seriously consider a long-term athletic development program that coincides with dance training so that adolescents build the year-over-year connective tissue strength that will pay off into adulthood. According to a recent widely cited study, “physical activity-associated bone loading both during and after skeletal growth is positively associated with adult bone mass.” Those early dance years are important for honing technique and developing passive flexibility, but these things needn’t be prioritized at the expense of strength or long-term health.

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Bone Mineral Density and Dance

Our bodies are a system of pulleys and levers, with muscle acting on bone to execute movement. As our muscles get stronger and increase the mechanical stress on bone, our bodies react by building bone mass and strength in order to handle the increased demands. This increase in bone mineral density is one of the byproducts of well-designed strength training programs.

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Ballet: The Case for Strength Training

Our understanding of this dynamic in the sports world is nearly intuitive. If our best players are able to stay on the field longer and miss fewer games because of injury, our team has a better chance of winning. The dance world is no different, except for it relies on an approach that cares for injuries once they’ve happened (with physical therapists and athletic trainers) rather than an approach that simultaneously enhances performance and prevents injury.

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