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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Stamina problem


ping

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I work my classes very hard to build stamina but the problem is it doesn't seem to be helping. What other forms of exercise can I do to help build up my stamina.

 

ping

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To build stamina, you need to add a cardio workout to your weekly routine. That means doing some form of exercise that brings your heart-rate to 70% of theoretical maximum and keeps it there for 22 minutes or more. Repeat 3 or 4 times a week. The traditional method of figuring your max heart rate is 220 beats minus your age. Take that result and multiple by 0.70 to find your training zone. If you don't have a heart rate monitor, learn to take 6 second pulse counts and multiply by 10 to get your heart-rate.

 

Sports that qualify as cardio workouts:

-running (may have adverse effects for dancers due to weight bearing aspect and repetitious motion that doesn't use full length of muscles)

-swimming (total body workout that burns tons of calories)

-bicycle (eliminates the weight bearing problem of running, but doesn't use full muscle motion)

-jump rope

-rowing (either machine or on-water)

-cross-country skiing

-various gym machines like stairmasters, stationary bikes, treadmills

-walking (if done briskly enough to bring your heart into the cardio zone)

 

Stretching after a cardio workout is recommended to regain full suppleness of muscles that didn't work to their full length.

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And there are ballet teachers whose classes are constructed like cardio workouts! Nothing ever seems to stop!

 

And let's not forget that ping's natural max heart rate is about 206. He's 14.

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And there are ballet teachers whose classes are constructed like cardio workouts!  Nothing ever seems to stop!

I wish my classes qualified! Whenever I get busy and don't have time for both a cardio workout AND a ballet class, I usually choose ballet because it's so easy to lose your center and all your technique refinements. However, then I lose my stamina and start adding unwanted pounds.

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Improving stamina? Let’s refine this a bit. If you are talking about improving stamina for ballet class (essentially, you are struggling to do the class work because of physical deficiencies rather than technical deficiencies), by far the best thing to do is take more classes, and put as much intensity into those classes as you can. Eventually, your body will adapt to the stress and you will walk out of class with a smile rather than barely be able to walk out.

 

If you are talking about stamina in general, ask yourself if you are talking about cardio (huffing and puffing during exercise) or muscular endurance (you are the worst person you know your age and sex at doing push-ups). Any exercise that raises your heart rate for an extended period will improve your cardio. Exercises that are short term (say less than 2-3 minutes) that require you to continue exercising while your muscles are “burning” will improve your muscular endurance. The main thing is to do whatever you do for an extended time (months, years).

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In answer to Garyecht's post.

 

I am taking one two hour class every day. (I usually take two-three classes a day.) Where I really see my stamina problem is in the last half-hour of class; which is when I do variations. Right now I am doing a male variation from Raymonda and a male variation from Paquita. My stamina problem isn't during class it is just during those two variations at the end.

 

I hope this helps.

 

ping

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The problem with male variations is that they tend to throw everything but the kitchen sink in there when it comes to bravura steps, and this practice can be quite fatiguing. If you learn to do the variation three times over in rehearsal and are secure with it, then you're set for the stage. At least praise Eternal Goodness that most of them are only about a minute long! :)

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male variations ... tend to throw everything but the kitchen sink in there when it comes to bravura steps ...  At least praise Eternal Goodness that most of them are only about a minute long!

:innocent: Yeah, a minute solo immediately right after a 3 minute pas de deux with heavy lifting, then followed by more lifting in the coda. :lol:

 

piece 'o cake!

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And in the coda, they throw in the kitchen sink, too!

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