Thera-Bands for Dancers: Improve Balance

Here's some other posts you might enjoy:  Preparing to Exercise, Foot & Ankle Exercises or read all the posts here: Thera-bands for Dancers
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Today's post contains exercises you can do in class or at home to improve your muscle strength.  Before you begin, remember to review our exercise tips.

Benefit to dancers: Strengthened hip flexor muscles and improving balance on one leg (which helps with turns and static poses).

All of these exercises need the band to be stabilized by a stationary object low to the floor.  At home, this could be a sturdy table, bed post or other heavy piece of furniture. In class, you could use a partner – just remind the students to check their bands for small tears which could cause the band to snap.

Slow Degages to the Side (Hip Abduction / Adduction)
Loop the band around your ankle and attach the other end to the sturdy object.

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Thera-bands for Dancers, Part 3: Foot & Ankle Exercises

Exercise bands, Thera-bands or similar resistance training are often suggested for dancers to increase the strength with at-home practice.  What exercises should dancers do and what can be done safely at home, without a teacher to observe incorrect habits being formed?

We will be exploring these questions and more during our series:  Thera-bands for Dancers

Today's post is about foot exercises you can do in class or at home to improve your muscle strength.  Before you begin, remember to review our exercise tips.

Benefit to dancers: Improved foot articulation, strengthened point during all exercises, extra push during jumps, higher foot arch (posterior tibial muscle), toe flexors and extensors along with your ankle and calf muscles.

Toe Crawls**
Lay the band (you can also use a towel or piece of fabric) out away from your foot.  While standing or sitting, use your toes to "grab" and pull the fabric / band towards you.  Repeat for the full-length of the band.  You can also strengthen your toes by "grab" marbles or other small objects.



Toe Flexion**
Sit with your foot flexed.  Loop the band around your foot with one end under your heel and the other over your toes, pulling the ends towards you, creating resistance.  Slowly push with just your toes to a crunched position.  Repeat

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Thera-bands for Dancers, Part 2: Preparing to Exercise

Exercise bands, Thera-bands or similar resistance training are often suggested for dancers to increase the strength with at-home practice.  What exercises should dancers do and what can be done safely at home, without a teacher to observe incorrect habits being formed?

We will be exploring these questions and more during our series:  Thera-bands for Dancers

Today’s post contains some exercise tips to keep in mind during all of your resistance band exercises:

  • Warm up the muscles you plan to exercise and stretch after you’ve exercised.
  • Maintain good posture, such as keeping your wrists in line with your elbows.  If you start to lose your posture, stop, reposition and start again.
  • Remember to keep breathing during the exercise.  Exhaling during the difficult phase and inhale during the easiest.
  • Use slow, controlled movements
  • Maintain the natural width of the band, to keep it from sliding or digging into your body.

Reminder:  While TheraBands are endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and are versatile, portable and easy-to-use, you should consult with your doctor or health care provider before beginning a resistance program or any exercise program. While using the band, stay attuned to your body.  If any exercise hurts… stop!  Don’t over-do.

Thera-bands for Dancers, Part 1

Exercise bands, Thera-bands or similar resistance training are often suggested for dancers to increase the strength with at-home practice.  What exercises should dancers do and what can be done safely at home, without a teacher to observe incorrect habits being formed?

We will be exploring these questions and more during our series:  Thera-bands for Dancers

What is a Thera-band?
Thera-band is a brand name for thick elastic bands that adds resistance to simple exercises, making them more challenging and more efficient.  Because they are flexible, you can use them to strengthen muscles that otherwise are otherwise difficult to strengthen (foot and ankle muscles).

Exercise bands are often used in physical therapy and for injury recovery.  Thera-bands are also one of the least expensive and most portable pieces of equipment you can buy.

After the jump, read about the different types of bands available and where you can get them.
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