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Showing posts with label Exercise Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise Books. Show all posts

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.


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. :)

Books + Exercise: Why Research is your Friend

Learn to hit the books once in awhile and you will reap the benefits!

If you have been participating in a certain exercise for a while now (eg. yoga, martial arts, running, archery, boxing, etc.), consider heightening your understanding of its history or inner-workings to find more fulfillment within the practice and to even improve the physical aspect of the activity itself.

Some examples of this include:

Runners - Learn the history of marathons. It's fascinating.
Dancers - Take music theory lessons. Learn rhythms and melodies.
Cyclists - Learn how to fix/tune up your bike or even build one from scratch.
Martial Arts - Learn the history of your and other disciplines.
Weight Lifters - Teach yourself about anatomy and psysiology.
Yoga - Learn the benefits of each posture, the history of yoga and the different disciplines of yoga (breathing, meditation, and so forth).

Deepening an activity with some history and theory will turn a simple exercise from a hobby into a lifestyle.

Sample Books if you are into Archery: 'Precision Archery' is a great practical advice book about everything from equipment maintenance to cross-training exercises to proper form. 'Zen Bow Zen Arrow' gets more into the mental discipline of archery, but is also great for motivation to get you out on the archery range and practicing regularly.

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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