Drink Water for Endurance

Drink Water for Endurance

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hydrate for Best Performance

To ensure you are hydrated, drink plenty of fresh
pure water throughout the day. If you engage in
vigorous activity, increase your consumption of

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Just came across this bit of information...all the more reason to drink your water!
Mild dehydration can slow down metabolism by 3%,
lead to fatigue and decrease memory and concentration.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Drinking Water for Optimum Performance

Check this out dancers: The human body consists of 70% water,
the brain consists of 80%water, the blood consists of 90% water.
Let’s face it, we rely on water as the basis of our existence " not soda,
or juice or coffee, tea". We need to ingest water in its purest form, free
from any chemicals in order for our cells to remain hydrated and our body
systems functioning as they should.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Strengthen Those Abdominals

Dancers must have strong core muscles (abdominal and back) to have good posture and a strong center to support movement. A common exercise used is crunches, but they are not the only way to gain strength! Using crunches for gaining abdominal strength is valuable to a point, but research shows that over using spinal flexion (rounding forward), can lead to herniated discs. So what other exercise can we use for abdominal strengthening?

One good alternative is the "side plank." One study in which researchers examined six common ab exercises performed by 120 subjects to see how hard the muscles were working showed some interesting results. When compared to other common ab exercises, the side plank and the classic abdominal crunch both resulted in the greatest change in muscle thickness for the transverse abdominis and internal oblique muscles (meaning they were contracting the muscles more than the other exercises). The reason the side plank is a good choice is because it does not involve spinal flexion, and because it builds abdominal endurance (previously found to be associated with less low-back pain). The side plank also aids your total-body fat-burning workout.

To do the side plank, lie on your right side. Bend your right arm at the elbow and stack your left foot on top of your right foot. Supporting your body weight on your right forearm and your right foot, raise your body in a straight line. Your butt and thighs should hover a few inches above your mat. Keep your back straight and your hips up. Hold your abs tight, but breathe normally. Beginners should hold this position for 15 seconds on each side. Try to hold it a little longer with each workout. For advanced core strength, hold for 45 seconds per side.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What About Stretching?

There are many different ways that stretching can be accomplished. One important point to remember is that stretching is most advantageous when the muscles are already warmed up. In most instances, stretching at the end of class will be more beneficial. If you want to stretch before class, do a short aerobic warm up before you stretch to raise you internal body temperature. Stretching a muscle for 3 minutes is very reasonable, as it could take up to one minute just to get the muscle to relax. Dancers- work toward having a feeling, a sense in your body that the muscle you are stretching is elongating. Release all the tension in the body so you will benefit from the stretch.

Dancers it is a good practice to stretch atagonistic muscle alternately. For example, stretch the hamstrings in the back of the leg then the quadriceps muscles in the front of the legs. Alternating the stretches helps elongate the muscle even further. Dancers should also stretch the hip-flexors located in the front of the hip line alternately with the hamstrings and low back. You will know if your hamstrings and back are tight if you can not sit up on your sit bones and stretch forward without your low back immediately rounding or your knees immediately popping up off the floor. The hamstrings attach on the (sit bones) on the top and below the knee on the bottom. This is why you have to have fairly flexibly hamstrings to be able to sit at a 90-degree angle.

Dancers need to stretch on a regular basis to improve and maintain the lengthening of muscles. If you only take class a couple days a week, stretching on the other days on your own is very important. Figure out what muscles are tight and focus on these areas. A gentle stretching routine for all muscle groups is important. The arms and shoulders need to be stretched and supple just as the legs and feet. The muscles in the hips work very hard when you dance and need to be stretched and relaxed to avoid tension and injury. Remember dancers stretching is your friend!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Eat Healthy to Perform Well

Dancers, we want to make food our friend! We are talking about the fuel that helps us perform at our best and the nutrition that keep us healthy and strong. It is sometimes difficult for active people like dancers to juggle schedules and fit in the time for healthy meals. Often it becomes frustrating, especially when we know what the healthier choices are, but just don't take the time to eat right.

There are several possibilities for conquering the "eating right dilemma". One of the most important tricks is not letting yourself get too hungry. Hunger often leads to overeating the types of foods that are not as healthy and often calorie dense without adequate nutrition. Instead, eat regularly and choose foods that will make you healthy and support your dancing by giving you energy and stamina. The key is to have wholesome foods available even when you are on the run.

There six basic nutrients that are essential for a healthy mind and body. The six types of nutrients include: carbohydrates (go for complex carbohydrates), fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. Work to balance your diet by eating a variety of foods. If you are only eating yogurt, oranges and rice cakes you are missing out on many important vitamins and minerals. Eat in moderation, if you have chips or soda at one meal, compensate at the next by having a nutrient dense choice like low fat turkey on whole grain bread and an apple. The third suggestion is to choose food for its wholesomeness. As in the example above, choose whole grain bread over white bread, choose whole fruit over fruit juice and water over soda. By choosing natural foods you can avoid additives and usually get more nutritional value.

Although it is not always easy to eat the healthy foods, by a little planning and fore thought you can have healthy snacks with you right in your dance bag. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (you can carry them with you) for the complex carbohydrates. They provide fuel for your muscles and brain. Drink plenty of water, it regulates your body temperature, keeps you from becoming dehydrated, carries nutrients to your cells and waste away from your cells. Eat lean protein to build and repair your muscles. If you are not sure about what the healthy choices are start by taking a look at the food pyramid and keep learning more from there. Dancers-With just a little planning there will be a healthier, happier you!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Today's message is on the importance of ballet for aspiring dancers. Whether you love ballet or not it is crucial to your training as a dancer to take ballet class and work hard at it. Dancers should be aware of body placement principals and use them while they dance. Alignment of the body is extremely important. The spine must be lengthened with no sway in the low back. The ribs are held softly and not allowed to protrude forward. The weight of the body is shifted slightly forward toward the front of the feet, with the armpits aligned over the hips. If the weight is not forward dancers will fall back out of turns and balances or develop the wrong muscles to hold themselves in the incorrect position, (i.e., overdeveloped thighs). The whole premise of ballet training is to work in a turned out position. The majority of turnout happens from the hip socket, with a lesser amount happening in the lower legs and feet. Turnout should always be developed from the hips with the use of the rotator muscles. For more information on ballet principals take a look at this additional information.
The proper development of alignment and strength in the dancer's body is crucial regardless of what style of dance is your favorite. Jazz, modern, lyrical, musical theater, even tap all require an understanding of body alignment and placement. For example, modern uses a great deal of off center movement. To find off center movement dancers must first be able to be on center and have the strength developed to hold that centered movement. Developing strong feet and ankles is not just crucial for the ballet dancer, but for all dance forms. Think of the leaps and turns and quick direction changes in jazz dance, or the constant use of the feet and ankles in tap dance. All the dance forms compliment each other with ballet being the core class. Through ballet classes dancers learn about posture and placement. They learn to create lines with the body, by extending the arms and hands, and legs and feet. They learn about port de bras or the carriage of the arms from the back and the opening of the energy in the chest. They learn about epaulment and the different angles of the head. All of these principals are there for the dancer to use in ballet class and to take with them to use in all of the other dance forms. Just do it dancers, take good ballet classes and work at mastering the technique no matter what your favorite dance form may be!