Should you be doing extra exercises to help you exercise? It may sound like a strange question, but working the body in a variety of ways can help to improve balance, strengthen the core, and enhance performance.
This is something that dancers tend to take very seriously. Like any sport, we all know that dancing requires a range of commitments in terms of health, exercise, and nutrition. If you’re a fan of the water, then read on: swimming is one of the best ways to boost co-ordination, breathing, balance, and strength.
The Exercise Ratio
Dancing is a fabulous workout. It works muscles throughout the body, and develops flexibility and strength. However, dance practice can sometimes miss the crucial levels of a good cardiovascular workout.
Cardiovascular (CV) fitness is what keeps organs and muscles healthy, and which – in turn – contributes to strength. Therefore, dancers are advised to add regular CV to their routine. Swimming is one of the best sports for dancers to achieve a high CV workout with low muscle and joint impact.
What Should I Do?
When it comes to swimming, it doesn’t really matter which stroke you use. Simply powering your way through the water is enough. A bit like dancers mixing up their figures, most swimmers like to undertake laps with different strokes in order to keep things interesting.
However, it’s also important not to overdo it. The physical build of serious swimmers is different to that of dancers. This type of CV – when done to excess – can result in muscle build-up in the shoulders and back. Swim gently, steadily, and in a way that feels comfortable.
Dance In The Water
Practicing your dance moves in the water is a tried and tested way to strengthen and tone key muscles. Water is naturally resistant, and this makes it an excellent rehearsal space.
Water is also particularly unforgiving, and revealing, when it comes to posture and poise. If you’re bobbing over, then it’s a sign that your core needs a bit of work. Spending some time in the pool can help you to develop a deeper understanding of how your body moves in the air. Lots of dancers use water to test their routines. This is also a form of aqua aerobics, which is great for CV strength.
Choosing The Right Supporting Exercise
Choosing the best exercise regime is about finding something that works for you. Lots of dancers enjoy swimming. It adds the crucial cardiovascular element to their fitness regime, whilst also offering a good full-body workout with little strain or pressure.
At Ray Rose, we’re big fans. All we can add is that it’s not sensible to leave your professional dance shoes anywhere near the pool. Suede soles and water are not a good mix! If you’ve got any ideas about how swimming can help dancers, we’d love to hear them. You can leave a comment below, or get in touch!