Cross Training for Ballet Strength

Improve your technique by cross training.

As Summer approaches, many Dancers will embrace a much needed three or four month layoff. Some will vacation, some will continue to obsessively take class day after day. The smart Dancer Cross Trains. To continue Dancing with the intensity you had during the season is like beating a dead horse. Our bodies need time off in order to make important gains and improvements. Yes, you can actually improve by taking some time off!

Here is the Cross Training Plan that I recommend;

Right after the Performance Season is over, take at least 2 weeks off! Upon returning to class, this will give you a clear signal as to what “pains” are actual injuries and which were just symptoms of overuse. During that first class back (typically after a 2 to 6 week break) take note of certain areas and muscle groups in the body that feel weak. If you feel that you have a serious injury this is a great time to see a Doctor, get an MRI, and get it fixed in time for the season to start.

After taking note of those weak areas, consult a Ballet Strength Expert such as myself for Dance Specific exercises that you can do in the gym.  On Ballet Dancers, for example, the “turn-in” or legs in a parallel stance is usually weak. I would then recommend some basic strength training techniques involving one-leg squats and exercises on the Bosu. Dancers also tend to favor one side of the body. This is a great time to strengthen your weak side!

As far as taking class goes, I recommend no more than 3 days per week during your time off.  The other 2 days should be dedicated to your Cross Training program!

Feeling out of breath during that variation? Don’t forget about cardio. What better time than Summer to go for a run, hike, or bike ride in your favorite park. You may be surprised at how much better you feel and how much more you are able to do pain free!

How do I Cross Train? To ensure that my trouble areas stay injury free, I take class only twice per week during the off season and weight train three times per week. I also focus on keeping my core strong with lots of unique abdominal exercises. For Cardio, I do chasse’s on the treadmill, front and side!

Still confused? I have taken all of the guess work out of it with my new book, Beginning Ballet Strength©. You can get your own copy at www.balletstrength.com!

Happy Dancing,

Nikol Klein, Professional Ballet Dancer/ Certified Personal Trainer/ Author/ Certified Nutritionist

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About Nikol Klein

Nikol Klein is former Professional Ballet Dancer turned Women's fitness expert. She currently works with Women all over the world as a personal trainer and Ballet Strength coach to dancers.

Posted on June 26, 2010, in Audition Advice, ballet nutrition, Ballet Strength, Injury Prevention, Strength Training for Dancers, Technique Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I agree with this plan. Definitely a good idea to take time off and heal the body between seasons. Young dancers can benefit from reading this post.

    And by the way, I purchased Beginning Ballet Strength and it is amazing! Looking forward to your future projects.

    Sincerely,
    Dominique

  2. Thank you Nikol for making this information available to dancers!

    • Hi balletmom,

      No problem. I am dedicated to providing young Dancers with the information they need to succeed at the highest level as performing artists.

      Stay posted!

      • Thank you, Nikol. My daughter has started your ballet strength program and loves it. We may be contacting you soon for a custom program.
        Do you offer nutrition as well?

  3. I found this blog on Dance Bloggers and am intrigued. You have so many wonderful articles. Kudos.

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