6 Reasons Pilates is great for dancers
As dancers we strive for perfection in our performance. However, many dancers complain about aches and pains, or even injure themselves, as dance training can lead to imbalances in the body.
Pilates works the body in good posture, to start building strength in the right places, without bulking. You can think of Pilates as equipping your body for the rigors of dance training, and providing a natural safeguard against injury.
Pilates builds a body better suited to dancing in a number of ways, and helps dancers stay strong and injury free.
Tone through the body - strength without bulk
Pilates helps develop toned muscles, as the exercises are designed to 'lengthen and strengthen' through the muscles. This coincides with the limber, fluid aesthetic and physical attributes dancers are looking for.
By toning their muscles with highly targeted low-zero impact exercise, dancers develop the required strength and endurance to help support their body through their movements and choreography.
The stronger a dancer is the more grace they can bring to their work, making demanding movements appear graceful. At the same time, large bulky muscles can inhibit free movement. So the toned, long muscles built by Pilates exercises are ideal for dancers.
Flexibility AND strength
Pilates helps create flexibility in the body in a way that differs from normal stretching. Pilates balances flexibility and strength through movements that help with mobility through the joints. Pilates works on elongating the muscles which helps develop strength in the body without shortening the muscles so there is no loss in flexibility.
Core strength is more than just a strong six pack. The core is made up of the upper abdominals, lower abdominals, obliques, pelvis floor and inner thighs. Pilates helps develop balanced strength and stability through the whole core.
A strong core helps prevent lower back injury for dancers, and helps them move with ease ,while remaining stable.
Breathing for power
Pilates workouts, especially those at Suna Pilates, focus on correct breathing. This breathing technique and training creates stronger cores, raises cardio fitness and helps dancers breathe for optimal benefit through demanding choreography. Great breathing ensures your body and muscles get good levels of oxygen to fuel your cells and power your movement.
Due to the increased mobility that is developed through Pilates dancers gain better alignment and tracking with their joints. Improving hip, knee and ankle alignment helps decrease the chance of injury.
If injury does occur in a dancer's body, Pilates is great for rehabilitation.
Working with Pilates rehab lets dancers work on strengthening the body to help support their posture correctly, and to prevent re-injury. Pilates can help with lower back tension, joint pain, muscle strains, knee joint support and many more physical injuries or weaknesses that need support and strengthening.
If you’re a dancer and you’re looking for something that will develop strength and have a long term beneficial effect on your body, then Pilates is for you.
Thank you to Donald Giannatti for the image.