Cross Training for Artistic Athletes What it is and why you need it

Cross Training for Artistic Athletes

Written by Scott DPT

May 21, 2020

Today we want to spend some time describing what cross training is and why it’s so beneficial for Artistic Athletes

Feel free to Contact Us at any time for deeper discussion.

First, let’s explain what cross training is!

Cross Training is the act of participating in 2 or more forms of physical activities (or sports) with the specific aim to improve abilities in your main activity (or sport).

Said another way, Cross training would be anything you do that is not dance, but with the aim to improve your dance

Repeating dance techniques is practice, but it’s not cross training, and it leaves a lot of improvements unrealized!

We see this in almost every other major sport. For example, swimmers spend an average of 60 mins on dry land for every 3-4 hours swimming. You can’t swim on dry land, but you sure as heck can build the muscles you need to swim better!

Here at DPT Fit we are 100% committed to Artistic Athletes, so nothing we design is geared towards the average person, or soccer player, or swimmer. Certainly they could benefit, but it’s made around the demands the Artistic Athlete faces.

Are you ready to see the results for yourself? Let us help you achieve more control and power than you ever have before with our New Season, New Heights Program!

In only 8 weeks our Artistic Athlete, Sage, saw over 40% improvements in her extension height!

Don’t miss out! Sign up here: https://nsnh.dptfit.com

You may now be asking yourself, but WHY do I need to cross train? Isn’t practicing my skills and technique all I need?

Maybe you guessed our answer? It’s “no”! There are two main reasons why not.

  1. Dance is a skill/technique and you need to build your foundation to improve skills. Only with addressing things from different approaches can we reach maximum results. 
  2. Dance is typically in extreme positions where muscles are at their natural weakest points. Muscles are better trained in mid ranges through simple movements for at least 50% of the time to maximize engagement.

Let’s take jumps as an example to dig a bit deeper into this. Not only is this one of our most requested skills to improve on, but also the major focus of our best selling program, New Season, New Heights!

You can practice jumping every class for your whole life, but unless you address the foundation, the underlying components, you will likely stop seeing improvements over time.

To improve your jumps, you need to improve your coordination, power, leg strength, activation speed, and more! In cross training, we can break these down and individually address them to see supreme success!

So that’s one benefit, being able to individually address and improve the specific factors limiting you. Another is being able to get out of the positions typically held during dance. 

There are so many reasons training in mid ranges can improve your performance in extreme ranges of flexibility!

For one, learning to control your body in different positions improves mind-body connection and coordination, leading to better control in other positions. 

Also, with overuse injuries being the most common in dance, taking you into different positions allows you to continue working what you need to, but without the same risk to injury.

On top of that, you can more easily build your neuromuscular control in mid-ranges. I’ll skip the detailed science, but basically we have better ability to engage all of our muscle fibers in mid ranges. The great thing is that your body does have muscle memory. So when you build this control and activation of your muscles in mid range, you can more easily engage and control them in your end ranges!

How about one last benefit? (I think I could go on all day, but I’ll wrap it up, haha). Cross training also improves your mind. To learn completely new movements and techniques in cross training can lead to improvement in learning future tasks. So learning a new exercise makes it easier to learn new choreography! Also it can be exciting and fun to have new things to experience and try!

Hopefully we have done a great job explaining the many benefits of cross training for your health, performance, improvement, and sanity! Next up we will explain how you can start to harness these benefits for yourself!

Finally treat yourself like the athlete you are!

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