Present Tense Fitness
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Dance and Sports Performance

Strength training and conditioning approaches for dancers

Posts tagged strength
Dancer Muscle and Job Security

Dancers are told they need to be skinny. They’re told they need to cross train. They’re told they need to do Pilates. They’re told they need to be in good condition. They’re told they need to be strong. But they’re not told how to do so many of these things in a healthy way. When we first started down this road of helping dancers, we were told that dancers “already had the help they needed.” But we knew this to be a lie—because we had taken the time to do the research and to talk to dancers.

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Strength as Supplemental Skill Set for Dancers

Theoretically every client gets this same level of attention to detail, but in practice I know there is a time and place to hold a busy working mom accountable for every single repetition in the gym. Athletes hiring a strength coach, however, ought to expect exhaustive detail and accountability for every single repetition completed. That’s where the skill of strength comes from, and it could be the difference between a long career and one cut short by avoidable injuries.

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Group Classes for Dancers? Sure. Random? Never.

But think about a dancer’s schedule. Class. Rehearsal. Learning new choreography. Often a side hustle. Time in the physical therapy room. Dancers are often busy from very early in the morning to late into the evening. This means that you can’t afford to waste time with a random group exercise routine that has little to do with your specific needs.

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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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