02 Aug Cardio Training for Ballet Dancers 101
We often get inquiries about our Ballet and Weight Loss Program because Ballet alone will not necessarily help you lose weight. Although you will benefit immensely from the improvement in posture, increase in your stability, and all the wonderful gains from ballet, dancers of all levels swear by some form of cross-training to complement their dance schedules. Cardio training – one of our favorite choices – is ideal for ballet dancers who wish to increase stamina and reduce their body weight without bulking up. Moreover, cardio training is exceptionally good for dancers who want to shed some weight. If you cut down your food intake drastically, you might start feeling drowsy and your energy levels might go down dangerously (which is the last thing a dancer wants). That’s why our teachers strongly urge our dancers to watch their diet, to progressively increase their stamina, and stay in shape with cardio training.
Developing a Solid Base for Cardio Training
Personal trainers and fitness experts suggest that dancers should opt for interval training. Before getting into any kind of cardio exercise, choose an activity for yourself to develop stamina. In this way, you won’t be exposed to intense workout routines right away. Instead, you will have time to develop enough stamina to withstand the interval training or your ballet practice when it starts. You can pick any activity, like running or swimming. You can train on a stationary bicycle or an elliptical machine, the choices are plenty.
Is Interval Training Suitable for Dancers?
Interval training is very much like dancing. It is a cycle of short intervals of exercise followed by a resting period. Consider this as the preliminary training for your actual dance practice. In interval training, you subject your body to an intense exercise routine: your heartbeat races up, your body is highly active and then you get to rest for a few minutes. You catch your breath, rest, and then repeat the whole regimen. This is very similar to dancing where you start slow, reach the climax of your performance where your body is the most active and then you slow down. Every dance performance is followed by a resting period, similar to the interval training cycle.
Every Dancer is Unique
Each dancer understands her shortcoming as well as strengths. Before you start to train, you must carefully consider which exercise suits you the best. For instance, if you have sustained any injuries in your hip area you must avoid cycling. If you are a weak swimmer then avoid swimming altogether. There are plenty of substitutes for each exercise!
Consult a Fitness Expert
It is very important to consult a physical trainer or fitness expert before you start your training. Every individual is different and so, everyone’s body responds in a different way. In addition to this, don’t push yourself too hard. Start slowly, maybe exercise for 10 to 15 minutes. Go for a short jog or swim for a few minutes. It is important to let your body be accustomed to the exercise before you go full-on. Pushing your body to do a hardcore exercise right away might backfire! Remember, this exercise is to increase your stamina. As dancers, we all know very well that stamina is not something you develop overnight. You slowly work your way towards the top.
Cardio training is just one of the great ways you can incorporate variety into your routine and achieve your movement goals while working cohesively with your dance objectives. One important thing that I would like to add in the end is that take care of your nutrition. It is very important to have a balanced diet, don’t starve yourself at any cost. Take care of your body, mind, and soul ballet dancers!