Dance is an incredibly athletic endeavor and requires a lot of strength to improve bone health, prevent injuries, and reduce the risk of stress fractures. Contrary to popular belief, not all dancers are born with flexibility and nimble bodies. While some men and women are “born to dance”, most professionals invest years into building their endurance through stretching and strength training.
Improving your child’s strength helps them perform leaps and other risky movements that require substantial endurance. Below are some tips that can help your child become a strong and flexible dancer.
Tips to Improve Your Young Dancer’s Strength
There are specific exercises your child can do to improve their stamina in dance as well as exercises to improve their flexibility, such as:
Core Strengthening Exercises
As a dancer depends on a strong core to protect their muscles and be able to safely perform all dance movements, there are particular core strengthening exercises your child should try. These can include (but are not limited to) vertical leg crunches, planks, and bicycle crunches.
Strength training and endurance are not possible without cardiovascular exercises. Your child can perform basic and advanced aerobic exercises to improve their cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance.
To support the body, whether a dancer or not, proper nutrition is essential for all body groups including the muscles. Your child should follow a specific healthy diet with 55% to 60% carbohydrates, 12% to 15% protein, and 20% to 30% fat.
Consistency and Patience
Dancing takes practice, patience, and a desire to follow your dreams. Your child needs to have patience if they want to be consistent, especially when dedicating hours, weeks, months, and years into dance. The more consistent your child is, the more likely they are to improve through strength training.
Exercises to Improve Dancer’s Strength
Not sure how to encourage your child to build their strength? Try these easy-to-do exercises.
Incorporating squats into strength training can help your child add more power to their legs. This exercise helps to prevent injuries by strengthening the joints in the hips, knees, and ankles which receive the body’s weight in jumps.
Another good leg and core strengthening exercise is lunges. The movements associated focus on the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings as well as help to increase flexibility. Dancers depend on this exercise to correct muscle imbalances and help boost their metabolism.
Planking is an exercise that focuses on all muscle groups. Performing a plank (no matter how difficult it may be) increases strength of the glutes, quads, and chest muscles in addition to the core muscles in the back and abdomen.
An advanced exercise to the basic squat movement is deadlifts. Using weights, the dancer puts more force in the hamstring and glute areas than the ankles. A deadlift trains the hips to perform a hinge movement which trains the spine to remain in a neutral position with less back strain.
Glute bridges target the core muscles along with the glutes and hamstrings. By improving the flexibility and strength of the legs and hips, a dancer can use this exercise to perform the most basic dance movements.
Another “squat-related” exercise is the leg press. Targeting the leg muscles, this exercise focuses on the quadriceps, gluteal, calf, and hamstring muscles. When performing leg press exercises, the dancer needs to have a focus on their form to prevent muscle injuries.
To build strength in the calf muscles, this exercise gives way to strengthening the ankle and all leg muscles. The goal is to perform leaps, jumps, and rapid foot movement without damaging or overstretching the muscles.
Any of the variations of the basic push up can help strengthen the upper body. All forms of dance incorporate arm movements which require precise control for an effortless flow. Push-ups strengthen the shoulders, arms, elbows, and wrists.
How Performing Dance Arts Can Help Young Dancers Get Stronger
Whether you are looking for kids dance classes in Vaughan or Yorkdale, Performing Dance Arts offers world-class instruction. Embracing the passion for dance, our certified instructors provide safe and effective dance training with strengthening exercises and movements.
If you’re looking for one of the best dance studios in the Yorkdale area, then get in touch with us today! Contact us to register your child for our dance classes in North York or to learn more about our various dance lessons. We offer dance classes for all skill levels and ages!