Over the past few years, ballroom dance has been increasingly recognized as a sport. Not only is it physically and mentally intensive, but it also requires a high level of coordination and effort. Besides having to train regularly, dancers are also thrust into a competitive environment and are often pressured to perform well.
A recent study revealed the numerous physiological and emotional advantages of sports dancing such as improved cardiovascular health and decreased anxiety. Because of the physical benefits of dance, the study recommended that schools incorporate dance into physical education classes.
Dancers of all ages and stages should also consider strength and conditioning training as a key element for success to further boost the benefits of dancing.
The Basics of Strength & Conditioning
When practicing a certain dance style, you may train one muscle group more than another. Muscle imbalances and overuse can lead to torn ligaments and fatigue. For example, the repetitive movements of ballroom dancing can cause strain on the knees, feet, legs, and back.However, strengthening the muscles in these key areas may not be enough. Through cross-training and dynamic movements, other support muscles can also be trained to achieve overall body strength.
Strength and conditioning significantly reduce injuries by improving body alignment and preventing muscle imbalances. Injuries can hold back one’s progress, so injury prevention benefits both novice and professional dancers.
Improves Balance and Posture
Strength and conditioning specialists perform posture analysis as part of their initial assessment of their clients. Posture is crucial for dancers, so there are plenty of benefits to reap from an improved stance. This includes better overall bodily functions such as breathing and circulation, as well as better frame
Exercise physiology professor Michael Rebold emphasizes the positive effects of high-intensity strength training. He notes that it increases blood flow, oxygen, and other nutrients throughout the body, including the brain.
Enhances Mobility and Flexibility