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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Benefits of Cross-Training


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I thought this article from Laban was very interesting




Discussion of supplementary and cross-training has been around for a while, and there are debates particularly about aerobic training & fitness. This article is a useful summary.


From my experience, having done desultory training for aerobic fitness for years, it was only when I made a concerted effort to learn to run properly (I did the NHS "Couch to 5K" programme) that I really reaped the gain from aerobic fitness. I find I draw on that strength in allegro particularly.



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I admit to a huge bias when it comes to cross-training, especially for adult dancers, so I endorse everything that is said in the article. Well, almost everything I should say. I would add weight training to the mix. Yes, I know that many people (mostly females)believe that if they touch a weight they will turn immediately into bodybuilders. Though females can develop some serious muscle, in order for that to happen one has to do serious training, as in many hours each day accompanied by doses of testosterone. I just don't see many dancers, whether male or female, doing that. Besides muscle looks good, while fat doesn't. The modes mentioned in the article don't really affect body composition. They might indirectly affect bodyweight, but not likely body composition.


As we age loss of strength becomes the dominant physical characteristic that declines, more so than flexibility, muscle endurance, or aerobic fitness. Weight training can significantly slow that inevitable degeneration.


The other big thing regarding cross-training is that whatever you choose as an activity has to be something you enjoy doing. If you don't enjoy it, you aren't likely to continue with it.

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