Sometimes it’s easy to get swept up in what we think we should be doing for our bodies from what we see on social media, what our peers are doing what our coaches/choreographers are telling us – weight training, endurance training, calisthenic training, yoga, running – to name a few. Or we take part in unstructured training for the sake of moving (which of course is better than not moving at all!)
But ultimately it depends on what your goals actually are, what or why you want to train combined with what your body and mind needs. (If you scan over the blog previous to this one it touches on the subject of goals!)
You might be in a recovery period where lifting double your body weight in iron is not what your body needs. Or you might have been sitting slumped at your computer all day doing research, planning classes, invoices and everything else; increasing tightness in your hips and shortening the length of abdominal muscles – in which case I wouldn’t then suggest completing a 15 minute ab workout.
I’m sure we all know one of the brave souls who run the marathon that’s just passed us – all those who took part would have been taking part in muscular endurance and cardiovascular training as well as strengthening the legs, core and scheduling rests and stretching sessions. Goals require a combination of different training styles and techniques.
Dancers in general require a whole host of different training – which will be different for each style and each person. Each body is built differently with different strengths and different weaknesses. So aside from aesthetic goals we really need to focus on how to give ourselves the training we need in our profession, that is individual to us, as well as a little TLC! We need to find a way to combine our aesthetic goals with everything else we need (if aesthetics is something you are concerned with).
- Do you have one weaker side/foot/arm?
- Do you struggle with explosive movement?
- Do you give yourself enough recovery time?
- Maybe you have an old injury that you put deep heat on and hope it will just pass…
Time can be a big factor holding us back from participating in exercise, or conditioning, or just moving sometimes. We are too tired or ‘run out of time’ so – so a 10 minute jog down the road and back might be all we can fit in. Or rehearsals might require you to strengthen particular areas, which then might cause repetitive strain and injury, which could lead us to forget our own goals or slow down our progress.
It can be hard to find a balance which is why creating a schedule for yourself can help you track what you have done and prevent ‘running out of time’ e.g. 10 minutes of yoga, rolling (fascia release), HIIT workout, weight training, mobility work etc. It also allows you to allocate time for yourself.
I know that in the past, I got into an odd mindset of thinking that the gym was the only place to complete a “good” workout which is absolute rubbish! So then when I haven’t been able to go, I will have only of done the minimum or what has been required from me in rehearsals/class/teaching. Then I’d become complacent and lose sight of what I wanted to achieve, as well time discard quality time allocated to improving myself. I know personally this also has a huge effect on my mind – feeling I have no breathing space from work and personal life, as well as feeling unproductive & start to lose sight of my personal goals.
So YES it’s okay to put in the diary allotted time for yourself – hey it’s your diary! Set aside 30 minutes a day & physically put it in your diary (however you use a diary i.e. paper or phone or email), mix it up and combine different training over a week to be the creator of what you need – body weight training, stretching, training in different dance styles, alignment and mobility, cardiovascular, swimming, HIIT, a walk with no technology, meditation, martial arts, cycling… the list goes on. Don’t worry if you feel it needs to vary over a month, periodisation is a great method of training.
Of course getting up and just moving is good but, if you can structure and plan ahead, you can track what works best for you and progress a lot quicker. If you would like more help or more information drop us a message.