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Dancing is one of the best ways to stay active and healthy. Not only is it a fun, creative activity, but it has a number of unexpected health benefits. Many well-known athletes practice dance in addition to their other sports as a way to prevent athletic injuries and strengthen their muscles. Similarly, those who have already suffered from an athletic injury can find relief by dancing. Dancing is more than a hobby. It’s a rejuvenating sport that is known to heal the body and promote a healthy lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more about the power of dance when it comes to athletic injuries.
Strength Training Through Dance
When people think of dancing, they probably don’t think of muscle training. When we think of muscle trainers, we think of big guys in the gym lifting heavy weights. While weight lifting is certainly a kind of strength training, it’s not the only kind. When we dance, we move a lot of muscles. Dancing invoices jumping, fast movements, and even lifts. These all involve a large level of muscle strength and raw power. It’s about being coordinated and controlled in these movements, something not often covered in other athletic routines.
There’s a reason dancers are so strong and lean. They have high levels of endurance from years of practice in the dance studio. They are conditioned to hold complex, powerful movements for long periods of time, and they know how to keep moving even when their bodies are screaming in pain. So how exactly does this translate to preventing athletic injuries? Research has shown that more strength training leads to lower risks of injuries. Simply put, muscles that are used to working hard are less prone to breaking down or injury.
Because strength training is so important, as well as coordination, endurance, and all the other things that dancing improves, so many athletes from around the world rely on dancing to prevent injuries. Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi spent years dedicating her life to dance in conjunction with skating training. This led her to win Olympic gold.
Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi is just one of the many examples of athletes who saw the power of dancing firsthand. Countless others have and continue to dance while they practice other sports, and they’re better athletes because of it. What exactly are the things these athletes are building? Here’s just a short list!
Dancing uses every muscle in the body. When you dance, it’s a full body movement. Dancing is known to strengthen not just individual muscles, but the foundational muscles. Basically, it elevates your entire athletic performance. Consistent dancing is shown to boost muscle strength and motor fitness. It doesn’t take much dancing either to bring in big benefits to the body. Just a half hour of dancing is known to burn over 300 calories! In contact sports where an injury is common, dancing can help strengthen the bones, leading to fewer injuries. Improving one’s overall fitness level is essential in athletics, and dancing gets a body to its prime!
Some sports focus on short, strong burst of power. This means the athlete is used to working hard, but only for short intervals. This can lead to injury when the athlete is unable to maintain this level of stamina when needed, causing a burnout or tear. Endurance steps in to save the day, but endurance takes time. Cardio is shown to be the best way to boost one’s endurance, and dance is the ultimate cardiovascular exercise. If you’ve ever been in the middle of a long dance session, you know how it gets the blood pumping! These heart-pumping dance sessions make the body more than just stronger, they make the body work harder! A famous MMA champion is known to have said that ballet is harder than any workout he’s ever done!
If you aren’t coordinated, you won’t make a good dancer. Because dancing is full of complex movements, you need to know how to stay in control of your body no matter how it’s twisting or turning. Memorizing precise steps is also a complex process that takes effort and practice. When dancing, you need to be both aware of your body and the space around you. Practicing these things is important not just for performing dances, but for excelling in a number of sports where awareness is key. A higher level of coordination means fewer accidents on and off the field!
Now you see how dancing is so valuable for all types of athletes when it comes to preventing injury. Because dancing is about strengthening the entire body and boosting fitness levels, it means athletes can perform their best both inside and outside of the dance studio.
Recovering Through Dance
Not only does dance help athletes prevent injury, but it is a great practice for athletes looking to recover from an injury. Injuries happen no matter how much we practice. Sometimes they’re unavoidable, and they can be hard to come back from without the right training. Dance helps athletes recover in the following ways:
When your body is recovering from an injury, you need to find unique ways to stay in shape. Flexing on a bar might not seem like a great way to stay in shape, but you’d be wrong. Flexibility exercises have a high benefit on our health, and they strengthen muscles without the impact of other, harsh routines. With the right dance performance costumes, flexibility is a breeze.
Recovering from an athletic injury is as much mental as it is physical. It can be hard to get back out there and risk getting hurt again. Dance is the perfect way to transition back into athletics. Dancing teaches athletes to be mindful. When dancing with music, you have to focus completely on your body. This helps bring athletes back into the right mindset! This is an advantage other sports simply do not have!
The Power of Dance
Dance is about more than performing and pretty costumes. It’s about mastering both the mind and the body. Dancers are known for their stamina, coordination, and strength. All types of athletes recognize the power of dance and use it to boost their performance across the board in other sports. Not only does dance prevent injury by strengthening the body, but it helps athletes heal from injuries faster. Are you ready to try dance for yourself? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!