As with any other sport, dance comes with a small (but possible) risk of injury. Dancing physically demands a lot on our bodies and it is important that we take steps to ensure we reduce our risk of injury as much as we can control! Read on to see what tips we have to keep you as healthy and injury-free as possible.
This is the easiest and one of the most important things to remember in dance! Warmups prepare your body for movement and allow blood to flow to your muscles. This gives them the oxygen they need to move smoothly! Warm downs return lactic acid (a waste product of exercise) back to the bloodstream. If you don’t warm down after intense exercise, you are far more likely to have sore muscles the next day. This can reduce coordination and actually contribute to injuries! (It’s important to note that sore muscles are very normal for dancers! There are just ways to reduce the incidence). Check out our blog on dancing in winter for more info on warmups!
Sometimes after intense dancing or stretching, muscles need a little extra care! Having a hot bath after exercise can reduce soreness the next day and relax the muscles! If you want to treat soreness on the go, heat packs are a great portable solution.
Ice packs can be used to reduce inflammation such as brusing or swelling. It is best to use ice immediately after an injury occurs. If you suspect that you have an injury always ceck with a healthcare professional before trying to treat it yourself!
Regular checkups from a healthcare professional can prevent possible oncoming injuries before they set in! It’s always good to know what physical changes and adaptations your body goes through as a dancer, especially as every body works differently. A physio can help to identify specific extra needs or points of weakness for your dancer to be mindful of or work on.
Many dancers only ever experience injuries by training at home! If you aren’t trained to practice at home safely, you should wait to be under a teachers’ guidance and care. New skills should only ever be attempted with a professonal supervising, even parents and older sibings may not know how to safely ‘spot’ or guide you. Once you are 100% confident in a skill and your teacher approves, you can then train at home. (very carefully and in an appropriate environment for the skill!) Acrobatic and tumbling skills should only be practiced on a sprung floor no matter what level you’re at to keep you injury-free!
Do you have any tricks to keep you injury-free? Let us know in the comments below