Strength and conditioning for dance
Dance is a tough sport on your body and requires intense body conditioning, as we’re sure you already know. But if you’re stuck on ways to improve your body for dance even more outside of class, we’re here to help! The areas that you wish to work on depends on what type of dance you do, but a valuable asset for a dancer is definitely strong legs. Read this blog post to learn about some great tips and equipment to help you improve your strength and flexibility.
Conditioning your body to become more flexible will in turn improve your dancing performance. A key point to remember when beginning flexibility exercises is that your muscles must be correctly warmed up to give you full range of motion, and more importantly to prevent injury. Legwarmers are perfect to target warmth to the desired part of your body when doing strength and conditioning for your legs. We offer legwarmers for children and adults in popular colours that can aid a warm up or warm down routine.
Remember: Your muscles should feel fluid and pliable before you begin to work on your flexibility.
So you’re all warmed up? Good.
A stretch loop is similar to a resistance band and can come in a variety of strengths. Tendu’s stretch loop is ideal for a dancer as it allows handsfree flexibility training, allowing continuous, fluid, and easy movement. Use the loop to push the limits of your muscles and set yourself flexibility goals. See if the next time you come to use it, you can reach just that little bit further. We recommend regular flexibility training to see a positive improvement in your body.
Resistance bands are a great way to up your dance game, as you can perform your normal dance exercises and stretches but add an additional level to your workout.
You can get resistance bands in varying levels of strength from light to super heavy. A lighter resistance band should be used at the initial stages of strength building, and it’s also a great tool to aid you during warm ups. A heavier resistance band can be switched to after an exercise has been practised and perfected with correct posture. We currently offer resistance bands by Tendu, Bunheads and Gaynor Minden.
The accompanying book to Gaynor Minden Resistabands suggests a variety of exercises to help strengthen various muscle groups in your body. We’re highlighting some leg exercises that Gaynor Minden recommend.
- Passé with resistance band looped around upper thigh.
- Pedaling in a seated position with legs outstretched and resistance band looped around the soles of the feet.
- Ankle flex with resistance band looped across balls of feet.
- Prone kickbacks with resistance band across sole of foot.
Check out Gaynor Minden’s The Dancer’s Dozen book that comes with your resistance bands for instructional information on the above exercises, and to learn other exercises.
Here’s an example of a real dancer trying to increase her strength and flexibility with a resistance band by Gaynor Minden
Depending on how many hours of dance you do and how regularly you dance, the need to massage your feet will vary. Particularly if you’re a ballet dancer, you’ll find that regular use can help to roll out arches and relieve any cramp or pressure you may have after dance. You can also use it to improve your arches by engaging your foot and toe muscles to wrap around the massager as it rolls. This is a must-have for any dancer and will help your feet to strengthen, but also recover, after class.
Tendu foot massager
A turn board reduces the friction between your feet and the floor to make pirouettes easier. It also helps with getting to grips with the feeling of being in a fast turn, which is great for younger dancers especially. The leg that you’re developing to be ready for turns will be strengthened and prepped by using the turn board, and we hope you’ll find your first proper pirouette easier and more natural.
We’ve got more training, recovery, and strengthening equipment on our website. Check out our full accessories range with a simple click.
Always check with your teacher before using equipment to ensure you’re using the correct technique for your dance style.