Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Staying active during injury recovery

First up before I say anything else - speak to your doctor/physio/surgeon before you go hell for leather into any training routine while you're injured. The last thing you want to do it prolong your recovery or worsen your existing injury. Also, there are times when giving your body a break for at least a couple of weeks might actually be the best thing for it. Speak to your doctor, assess your situation and make your decision.

Training when you're injured can have a lot of benefits if you do it safely; it can slow muscle atrophy if you have limb immobilied, maintain your existing fitness levels, or at least prevent them from dropping too far, and can lessen the psychological impacts of injury. Unfortunately if you're injured and want to stay active, you may have to accept that you won't be dancing for a while. This doesn't mean you can't work on specific aspects of technique or fitness, just be smart about it. Any time I've injured myself I've found boredom and frustration can be one of the worst aspects so finding a way to stay motivated and at least maintain a basic level of activity feels better than nothing.

Friday, 24 May 2013


The blog's been pretty quiet recently, but only because nothing else has!

There's been trial runs of new conditioning workshops that I'll post information on soon. The workshops have looked at building active flexibility (I'm still loving pushing developpe height) and utilising plyometrics to improve floor work (because the only thing more fun than rolling around on the floor is being able to bounce back off it). They've been a lot of fun and it's great to see the dancers pushing themselves to further develop aspects of training they'd previously not focussed so much on.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Hypermobility in dancers

Despite hypermobility being a topic that is frequently discussed in both dance and dance science circles, it was not an area I've ever had a great interest in. My focus has generally been on supplemental strength training and endocrinology, and anything that falls outside of that I've been reluctant to delve into too deeply. That is until I was diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome after my most recent injury. Being the type of person I am, I can't be told something is affecting my body without then poring over every piece of information on the subject that I can get my hands on. I've never considered myself to have above average flexibility compared with both my dancer and non-dancer colleagues, in fact, my lack of hip flexibility and subsequent limited turnout had been a bone of contention for most of my performing life. Sure I had to resort to my knees rotating and sneakily compensating for what my hips lacked (terrible idea by the way), but the rest of my flexibility levels were pretty good so I accepted you can't win them all and figured I was working from a pretty typical physical start-point. I therefore assumed hypermobility wasn't going to be a problem that affected me. Turns out I was wrong - I was blessed with both average flexibility and sub-par joints. Hypermobility syndrome affects the stability and range of motion of several of, although not necessarily all the body's joints and subsequently can have a substantial impact on posture, joint pain, physical performance and proprioception.