Recovery Tips during Dance Competition Season
Whether you are a high school dance team member or part of a competition team the season is officially underway. This most likely involves long hours of practice after school and on the weekend. It can be hard for dancers to juggle dance practices, school and personal life that recovery is often overlooked. The question I ask my dancers is what are you doing for recovery? Recovery can look different for everyone however there are a few key areas that should remain the same for every dancer.
Taking a few moments after a hard dance practice to stretch and relax your muscles is a great way to avoid stiffness the next day. It also helps slowly reduce your heart rate after running an intense dance right before hopping in the car to drive home.
Re-hydrate and Refuel
As mentioned in the first blog of this series, nutrition and hydration is key during these intense schedules. It is important following long practices to find time to rehydrate and refuel.
Following long periods of jumping and high intensity movements our muscles can begin to have damage and breakdown. Protein is made up of amino acids which is necessary to help rebuild and repair the muscle. Carbohydrates are necessary for replenishing the muscle glycogen depleted when dancing. By eating carbohydrates right after an intense dance practice you can improve your recovery time and avoid further muscle breakdown.
Rest and Recovery
Lastly, allowing time for passive recovery is just as important as active recovery and refueling. This can come in many different forms depending on your schedule and the needs of your body. For some, a good night's sleep is adequate enough for recovery. For others, a full day of rest is needed for the muscles to rebuild and repair. Getting a massage, foam rolling, yoga, meditation and compression boots are all great things to include on your recovery days.
Following these healthy tips will not only keep you healthy, but also give your body what it needs to keep you injury free and full of energy when dancing!