Strength and conditioning

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    If strength and conditioning is very important and necessary for a dancer, at what age must a dancer start on strengthening? Is it advisable to start strength for kids under 5?


    Hi Varsha,

    I like to think of kids dancing to have fun and not get in shape. If you want a kid, especially one who is just five years of age to really love dancing and engage with it lifelong, it is best to device ways of making dance fun. Resistance training (body weight, using bands or free weights) has been shown in athletics to really benefit children starting at the ages of 6-8 years. You will however need to exercise caution in the design of the program as their bodies are still developing. And figure out ways of making it engaging and fun!

    To get a shining star to rise at that age is far less of a hurdle than keeping that star from sinking when she/he is older. Let them rise slowly but help them as teachers to shine longer and brighter! And yes, definitely include strength and conditioning – in measured doses, close monitoring and with loads of fun!

    – Savitha


    I would like to know that if a young (age 18) dancer has not been doing any strength training or conditioning from the beginning, but has been continuous with their dance practice, then when they begin with strength training and exercise, do they need to change their way of dance practice? And if yes, then in what way?


    Hi Ishika,

    Good question. While the best training window is between 12-18 years of age, it is never late to begin a strength program. Starting at 30 years of age, one loses 3-5% of their muscle mass per decade. Years of dancing at a younger age may predispose you to over-use injuries at a later age. By starting to work on your strength now, you are buying time not only to continue dancing for a long time, but to safe-guard even from natural age-related changes and changes accrued from repetitive strain while dancing.

    Yes, there are adaptations for dance while you train such as regulating your nutrition and scheduling practices so you are giving adequate recovery time. However, the more critical aspect is following a strength program that supports dancing and doesn’t cause further imbalances. I hope to cover this and more in the videos to come. Thank you for the question – it helps me plan what to address in the forthcoming videos to help you better:)

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