Thursday, April 21, 2011

Exercise Outside the Studio

Recently I decided to more for my training than simply take dance class.  It's becoming common now for ballet dancers to supplement their training with cardio and strength building.  I don't have the money to see a personal trainer who can give me expert advice, make sure I'm on the right track, and tell me exactly what I need to do.  I have to be careful and avoid anything that's potential harmful to my abilities in ballet that I've worked so hard to achieve.  But I figure I can still do certain things on my own that I know are safe and could help me in the studio.
It's spring break this week so I don't have as many ballet classes.  I figured this would be the perfect time to start doing some more cardio and strength building, giving my body a chance to get used to using it in a different way without the strain of a ballet class.  As expectd with any new activity I've experience some minor soreness and fatigue in certain areas I'm not used to working.  By the time I go back to my regular routine I'll probably be able to handle both.  That's the plan anyway.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I walk around the block.  In order to reach the ideal thirty minutes of cardio I had to go around a second time on Monday.  It's good for building up endurance. Dancers need stamina to stay at their top level of technique from beginning to end of a show, yet we never get a chance to build up cardiovascular strength.
 I hate running, but luckily for me I have a legit excuse to never participate in this torture they call exercise.  Any kind of hard-impact aerobic activity should be avoided by dancers because it's not good for the joints.  I really do admire runners though.  I have a lot of respect for them because I can't imagine willingly putting myself through what they do.  I think I'll stick to blisters and callouses from dancing on my toes thank you very much.
On Tuesday's and Thursday's I practice push-ups, and planks, which I consider safe enough.  I want to do more, I'm just not quite sure what I should do.  Hopefully I can get some kind of work out plan in the near future that will help to improve my overall strength, leading to better technique.
One benefit to cross training that I know any dancer would consider worthwhile is the decrease in risk of injuries when done right.  That's another reason why I really feel the need to do something besides ballet.  There's always that concern in the back of a dancer's mind that the next injury will be the the career ender.
I may not have a great plan yet but somehow I'll get something together.  Maybe I can take an exercise class at college.  For the time being I'll stick to what I'm doing.  

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