Injury prevention for Dance and Fitness – Taking Precautionary Steps
For any dancer or fitness enthusiast, an injury can be an extremely frustrating thing. No matter how minor or temporary, any injury prevents you from working out or dancing at your best, and this feeling that you’re being held back can be incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, most injuries are preventable. Taking precautionary steps is an essential part of preparation before you begin your fitness and/or dance routine – Knowing that you’ve taken steps to minimise the risk of injuries will give you a sense of reassurance when you’re moving about. This increase in confidence of the safety of your surroundings prevents you from second guessing your movements, allowing you to be more certain of your next step.
Injury prevention comes in a few different forms, and each step is worth considering. The more preparation you take to ensure your safety, the better and more confident you will be in yourself!
1. Prepare your Environment
Dancing and working out in a safe space is important in keeping you safe. Studios, whether professional or at home, include the proper equipment that can withstand maximum levels of pressure and weight. Additionally, they have the proper flooring to cushion landings and falls, decreasing the risk of both immediate pain and long-term harm.
When practicing or working out in a professional studio, it is important to choose a studio suitable for the exercise or dance style that you’re planning to do. When in doubt, you can call or write in to the studio to ask them for more information regarding their studio.
If you’re doing your fitness and dance activities from home, then ensuring that your home has been adapted for this purpose is important. Check out our previous article to see how you can set up a safe and viable studio in your own home!
2. Prepare your Mindset
Once you know the location and space of where you’ll be dancing/exercising, you can plan your work out and activities accordingly. Based on the size of your available space, different exercises might be more appropriate - small spaces are suited to precise technical exercises, while big spaces are suited to bigger and more full-out run throughs.
Equally important is to set out a plan for what you want to focus on work out for each particular session. Going into your dance or fitness session with a clear plan means that you don’t second guess or doubt your movements. When you are sure of your actions and have confidence in them, you’re more likely to execute them correctly, thus preventing injuries from improper movements.
3. Prepare your Body
Finally, you need to take the proper steps to physically prepare yourself for your dance or fitness routine. Before you begin, ensure that you’ve had a healthy meal or snack at least an hour before and are well hydrated, as this will provide the energy you need for your class/session.
At the start of your workout, always ensure you are properly warmed up. Each fitness and dance style will require the use of specific muscles, and it is important that you warm up take this into consideration. Ask your dance or fitness instructor for advice on the best warm up that is suitable for you – as they would see you in class and/or know your routine the best, they are in a good position to help you plan your warm up!
Have any questions regarding injury prevention, or have your own dance and fitness injury stories you'd like to share? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!