Every body has its issues. It is easy, in a body-conscious sport like dance, to focus on what’s “wrong” with your body. However, every body is capable of amazing things. While flexibility is often prized in dance, too much flexibility can cause an array of issues and lead to injury. On the other hand, if you have the strength and control, flexibility might be something you have to work for.
It’s important to acknowledge what your body is capable of and appreciate it for all that you ask of it. Keep in mind that you aren’t limited to where you are currently. There are many ways to improve flexibility or to gain strength.
Here are my top four ways to show your body some love:
1. Warm-up: A warm-up is the best way to get your body ready for the demands of dance, or any workout. Taking the time to prepare your body for movement helps it move better, with greater range of motion, and helps you tune into your body before class.
2. Stretch: Don’t focus on the same muscles every time you stretch. Dancers love to focus on hamstrings, but all the muscles of your legs are important for good form. It might be your hip flexors that are keeping you from your split; or your tight calves might be limiting your turn out. If you have a specific area you are focusing on improving, you will need to spend more time stretching that area and not the ones that are already loose.
3. Rest: Adequate rest is important in allowing your muscles to recover. Especially if you’re feeling sore, take some time to rest, foam roll, and sleep.
4. Know Your Body: Understanding your body, your weaknesses and strengths, is important to developing skills. If you don’t know these things about yourself, ask for help. Learning how to move correctly for your body will keep you healthy and avoid injury.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for a dancer assessment, call 410.381.1574, or email email@example.com.