Dancers, coaches and parents,
The dance team winter season is in full swing! Longer practices, harder routines, and less recovery time. So how can dancers stay healthy?
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Sometimes less is more: Exercise + exercise = injury. Adding increasing hours of dance without decreasing your general conditioning efforts may lead to too much too fast. The general sports medicine rule for teen athletes: Your number of dedicated training/competing hours should not exceed your age. When it does, injury risk is thought to rise.
- Recognize DOMS vs. injury: DOMS is delayed onset muscle soreness. It is common when you learn new routines or condition in new ways. It often affects both sides of the body in fairly large areas lasting ~ 72 hours. DOMS may cause a temporary loss in flexibility, which self resolves in ~ 2-3 days. This is different than an injury, which often presents on one side of the body in more localized areas. Injuries are often provoked by specific movements, as opposed to a more general muscle soreness.
- Thanksgiving: Take time to celebrate instead of feeling like you need extra practices with friends. Your body will thank you, and you will come back stronger after the rest.
- Stay warm: Many times you take the competition floor several hours after marking. Instead of sitting in the splits, perform a dynamic warm up 10 minutes prior to taking the competition floor.
We’ll share additional supporting tips on Facebook/Twitter on the MN Dance News page. Like the page, and check back every couple days for new tips!
This article was written by Twin Cities Orthopedics’ Dance Medicine providers for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any medical condition.
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