Present Tense Fitness
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Dance and Sports Performance

Strength training and conditioning approaches for dancers

Posts tagged strength training
The Fight Against Time

The dance world can be close minded and traditionalist—but a lot of other worlds are like that too. Talk to an old school baseball coach some time and see if you don’t walk away asking yourself what year it is. But I know from talking to dancers that they are hungry for a more modern approach to their livelihoods. I also know how much more confident and secure they feel in their bodies when they get stronger. We owe it to them to value their bodies and their time by developing realistic, recoverable, and science-driven strength and conditioning programs that avoid dogma, borrow heavily from any available best practices, and continue to evolve over time.

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Four ways to build in workout efficiency (and four things to avoid)

It’s not difficult to find dancers standing on one leg, pointing their toes, and doing some sort of strength move atop a BOSU ball. Probably strength coaches are too hostile to BOSU balls, but when it comes to efficiency, you’re better off leaving your specific balance training to the dance setting and focusing instead on strength, coordination, conditioning, and mobility when you’re strength training.

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Dancing and Body Composition

My priority as a strength coach is to simplify matters and find efficiencies for my dancers and athletes as much as possible. The good news is, we have data, experience, and research from thousands of athletes around the world—and an increasing amount of this work is being done with women specifically in mind. So if we synthesize Abbie Smith-Ryan’s work with some of this other research and best practices, we begin to see a picture emerge for what healthy body composition strategies look like for dancers.

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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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