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Exercises for Preventing Dance Injuries


There is actually quite a few "Exercises for Preventing Dance Injuries"... And this blog post will only cover a few of them.

For a more complete list I recommend reading the book "Conditioning with Imagery for Dancers" by Donna Krasnow + Jordana Deveau.

Now understanding of course that this book is written for dancers (ballet, etc) it does have a fair amount of dancing jargon and lingo in it. But that doesn't mean the book isn't useful for other things too. Yoga, aerobics, gymnastics and preventing general sports injuries by increasing strength and flexibility in joints.

Within the book the chapters are broken down into parts covering everything from warm up, legwork, flexibility, "Developpe and Rond de Jambe", turnout, extensions, strength and stretches. Plus of course the introduction and appendix.

The good news is that even though I don't know what "Developpe and Rond de Jambe" is, the book is highly illustrated with multiple photos on every page. Not kidding. The book is 158 pages long and has (I am estimating) about 400 photographs in it showing all the poses. The images shown here is just a tiny sampling of what is inside the book.

That said, trying to review this book accurately is a bit like trying to review the bible or bhagavad gita. Nevertheless I will try to summarize ONE section of the book.

WARM-UP.

90% of the exercises in this book takes place on your back so you will probably want a yoga mat if your floor is dirty. "Warm-Up" begins with a Neutral Pelvis Lesson:

"Start by lying on the back (supine) with the arms and legs extended, arms at the sides of the body. Focus on allowing the breath to be natural and the body segments to lie easefully with as little tension as possible. While inhaling, imagine the breath filling the body, and sense how it releases tension in the muscles on the exhale. Image the pubic bone directly above the tailbone (coccyx), and the back of the head, rib cage, and sacrum heavy and in contact with the floor. there will be spaces under the neck (cervical spine) and low back (lumbar spine), due to the natural curves of the spine. This organization of the pelvis is neutral pelvis in the supine position."

Easy to understand and you probably just learned some new words for various body parts. It helps that the authors used both the layman's terminology and technical jargon.

In the following paragraphs on Parallel Legs Sliding, Side to Side Rolling and 3 more warm-up exercises the authors are very detailed about exactly how to do each exercise so that anyone with a firm grasp of English will understand it even if they aren't experts at the lingo.

On the sides of the paragraphs there are also helpful tips for how to visualize what you are doing so you understand it more perfectly. (Kudos on the attention to detail!)

The end result in the book is a series of very pricise exercises designed to increase flexibility and muscles in various areas of the body, especially those which dancers often develop injuries. If I was a professional ballet dancer I would consider this book and its exercises to be a regular part of my exercise routine.

I will be posting more exercise book reviews in the future. Please subscribe / follow this blog and return for more. :)

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