As a young person I was always told that running was bad for dancers. And now, as a Dance Conditioning teacher, I tell my students to hit the track and get to work! I LOVE this article from Dance Magazine. These experts give some wonderful tips for dancing AND running as part of your weekly regimen. Of course when you're in specific training (for a marathon, a performance season, etc.) something has gotta give -- so adjust as needed to best suit your goals, your schedule, and your body.
Some interesting points from the article:
- repeated bounce of running strengthens bones (like resistance training with weights!)
- running in parallel helps to strengthen those muscles underutilized -- especially for ballet dancers who are always working in outward rotation
- increases stamina -- strengthens heart and lungs (prevents injuries resulting from fatigue!)
- landing a leap in ballet is equal to 12 times your body weight, and running is only 7-8 times (who would have thought?!)
Some great tips:
- start smart with lunges and squats to get those muscles ready, and then balance power walking with short intervals of running until your body is ready for longer runs of 30-45 minutes
- muscle soreness is ok, but be on the lookout for any join pain, swelling, or tendon discomfort
- pay attention to your form, a heel strike is great for dancers to roll through the whole foot and not tense up the calf muscles
- get fitted for proper shoes -- just like you would for specific dance styles
- the "runner's high" is an added bonus!
So get out and hit the pavement!
Happy (and healthy!) running!