I had an opportunity to teach Pilates to a group of dancers at a local dance school years ago. This group of dancers took Pilates as a module as part of their Diploma of Dance. Before I taught them, I thought since they were great movers, was there a need to teach them? I soon realised why they really needed it. They moved well, had great flexibility but they were getting injured easily. With their flexibility they could do many beautiful movements, but without enough core control to support those dynamic movements.
In that 1.5 years teaching there, I realised the importance to have balance between STRENGTH and FLEXIBILITY. With that, it comes Grace and Control. I think it applies to whatever we do in life as well. We have to have great mental strength to clear obstacles and at the same time be able to give allowances as well. This will ensure a graceful living. Enjoy the article!
We all know the rigorous training involved in being a dancer. The long hours, sore feet and the strain placed on the body from continuous working of the joints and muscles can take its toll. This continuous strain on the body can be very draining and even cause injury to many dancers. This is why Pilates has always been so essential to the rehabilitation and avoidance of injury.
Pilates emphasis on posture, strength and flexibility have made it a popular workout choice for dancers alike. It’s an excellent exercise routine encompassing a strong focus on upper body strength for better balance, alignment, posture, turns and other points of work. It is also very effective at strengthening body parts – especially ankles and feet, which are essential to dance.
Pilates engages the body making you feel alert and leaving your body and mind in a state of feeling revived and focused. As each movement intricately takes into account each individual muscle group, while also sustaining balance and agility, the structure of Pilates is specific and works every body part.
The reason why dance coaches use and recommend this method of exercise with their dancers is because it improves and restores the dancers muscles and movements adding strength and agility without injury.
The rigorous work routines of dancers are very demanding. Pilates works the body while also avoiding injury – which is a common occurrence with most other conventional strength training methods like weight training or other aerobic activity.
The rhythmic style of dance with abrupt movements sometimes interchanged with simple shorter movements can be hard on the body. That is why Pilates and dance are an excellent compliment.
Imagine restoring your body back into shape with an exercise program that rewards you with the grace of a dancer while at the same time toning and building muscle to give your body perfect posture along with muscular definition. Pilates has been the secret exercise program for millions over the years, especially dancers.
Pilates does not only work isolated muscle groups, but it works all the muscle groups helping to restore and rebuild any damaged muscles or soft tissue but also building strength to avoid any further damage – which is a common occurrence with many dancers.
The physical and mental conditioning of Pilates has made it the common exercise choice for many dancers. It’s fun, relaxing and improves alertness. But best of all, it’s a great way to bond with fellow dancers and friends alike. No need for heavy equipment with this exercise program.
A simple floor mat and the proper knowledge of the techniques and positions used in Pilates is the perfect formula to restore and strengthen any dancers physique.
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