As dancers it is important to stay fit, lean and healthy.
When doing research to figure out the best way to achieve that you may have heard that working out on an empty stomach can help you get there more quickly. Perhaps you’ve even tried it before.
Let’s just start out by saying, it’s certainly not for everyone. And just like with anything, there are pros and cons to consider.
Here, we're exploring the benefits and downsides of dancing on an empty stomach to help find what works best for you.
What is “fasted cardio”?
Fasted cardio refers to doing cardio workouts while your body is in a fasted state. Your body is considered ‘fasting’ when it’s no longer digesting food, usually between 3 to 6 hours after a meal.
When your body is in this state, insulin levels are low. Insulin breaks down glucose in your body, and glucose comes from food. This process is responsible for producing energy. Without...
Many women struggle throughout their menstrual cycle. Our hormones fluctuate all month and when it comes time for our period then things can feel totally out of whack.
From bloating, cramps, and indigestion to moodiness, headaches, and fatigue, we can all agree periods aren’t much fun.
But as dancers, our schedules don’t slow down just because we’re on our cycle. Practice, competitions, and staying in shape doesn't give us a break, regardless of what time of the month it may be.
The good news is there are some foods you can eat (and others you can avoid) to make your period far less intense, helping you perform at your best - year round.
Foods to Eat on Your Cycle
When it comes to the foods you should be eating while on your period, there are a few things to consider. You’ll want food that balances your hormones, provides enough iron and magnesium, and that will offset any cravings you may have.
As a dancer and athlete, it’s natural to feel like giving up from time to time. But that doesn't mean you should. Just by fighting it and making some key mindset shifts will allow you to see your training in a whole different way.
In this article, we'll look at six common reasons dancers want to give up. Plus, we'll cover how you can overcome these obstacles so that you can continue to progress towards your future goals.
1. "I Don't Have Enough Time"
I get it. You are busy. You have school, friends, family, hobbies, you name it. That may make it hard to find enough time to exercise. But the truth is, every dancer has twenty-four hours in a day. And so if others have enough time to practice, get strong, and get flexible, then that means you to do.
To overcome this hurdle it’s important to prioritize your dance training and plan it well in advance. Put your training sessions on the calendar so that nothing will interfere with your session.
Once you do this you will...
Rest days have always been a crucial component for me for as long as I can remember.
From being a young girl trying to become a champion all I wanted to do was dance, and as a beginner sometimes that is absolutely the best way to progress. But just like anything, the better you get at it the higher intensity you are performing it at, and so I knew that to perform at my best on certain days I would need to take rest days on other days, and that’s exactly what I forced myself to do.
Do you feel like you’re falling behind by taking a rest day? Don’t worry, I am with you. My mindset would not allow me to sit still and do nothing as I would tell myself I was going to lose. And so I had to always add in something that was enough to feel like I was making progress without actually fatiguing my body and mind.
Today I want to share these tips with you but first, let’s look at why you shouldn't train on every day of the year.
Have you ever stood backstage with a mind that won't stop racing? If so, you're not alone.
It's normal to be nervous before your performance, whether you’re about to step on stage for the first time or you have dozens of shows under your belt.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can manage your nerves and one of those ways is through breathing!
Breathing techniques bring you into a calmer state by deactivating the ’fight or flight’ system in your body and is something that has been used by Lauren across many of her big competition days.
Instead of standing backstage and watching the competition warm-up, Lauren practiced controlled breathing, which in turn kept her heart rate down, made her body more relaxed and most importantly saved more energy!
In today’s blog, I am going to teach you the exact same techniques so that you too can calm your nerves at a competition, and make your performance reach new heights!
So let’s get started.
Have you ever noticed that your menstrual cycle influences your dance performance? If so, you’re not alone! While the menstrual cycle doesn’t impact the performance of all Irish dancers, for some, it certainly does.
In this blog, you’ll learn how the menstrual cycle can influence dancing abilities. Plus, you’ll discover what you can do to manage the effects of your cycle.
Various hormonal levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. Some of these hormones impact how you feel, your coordination, and how fast you recover from your dance sessions.
Therefore, you may feel better at certain times of your menstrual cycle than at others (although other factors can also influence how you feel and perform, such as your sleep and nutrition).
Now, we are oversimplifying a bit here, but there's one menstrual-cycle- related hormone in particular that can influence dance performance. It's the hormone...
It’s not always easy to get the amount you need through diet alone. Especially for those of you who are younger, busy or generally just don’t like to eat as much as you need. Thankfully this is where protein supplementing comes in.
This is because they are cheap to buy, even easier to drink, and with a little creativity, you can even blend one into a smoothie with milk, meaning you can make it even more enjoyable than eating food itself!
If you are not hitting your daily protein requirement through food, then I recommend getting the rest through protein powder, and drinking it directly after your workout!
Each serving contains around 20 to 25 grams of protein. So by mixing just one serving with water or milk, it would ensure you’ll achieve your daily requirement of protein.
Now before we look at the types of protein powders you can get I want to make one thing clear:
Protein Powder is NOT Bad for You and...
To recover well from your dancing sessions, it’s essential to get enough protein. In this article, you'll discover why that’s the case. Plus, you'll find out how you can ensure you hit your daily protein needs.
Why is Protein Vital for Recovery?
When you dance you can cause small tears in your muscle fibers, something we call “muscle damage.” This ‘damage’ is the exact reason why your muscles may feel sore the day after class.
Now, while the word “damage” may sound negative, muscle damage is actually a really good thing. That’s because your body will repair that damage when you rest. Plus, it’ll strengthen your muscles to prepare them for a similar stimulus in the future.
In other words, muscle damage is what triggers your muscles to adapt to your workouts and that’s why it helps you become a better and well-conditioned dancer.
To repair that muscle damage, however, your body needs to have access...
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner dancer or you have countless performances under your belt, a drop in dance motivation will happen to all of us at some point. And so the question is not IF this is going to happen to you but WHEN, and what can you do about it when it comes around.
Fortunately, I am going to share six tips with you that you can use to revive your dance motivation. Tips that have helped me throughout my dance career. So let’s get started!
1. Set a Goal That Excites You
One of the best ways to get your motivation back is by setting a goal. That’s because goals have a gravitational pull that move you forward. They give you something to strive for.
It must be a goal that excites you. You should feel at least somewhat enthusiastic when you think of your goal, because if that’s not the case, it won’t benefit your motivation much.
Ideally, your goal also has a deadline. You can, for example, set a goal to enter a competition...
Do your hips sometimes feel tight after dance class? If so, you’re not alone.
Intensive dance training can cause tiny tears within your muscle fibers, which can produce that tight feeling you are all too familiar with.
This is what we call 'muscle damage' and it is actually a good thing. That’s because when you rest, your body will repair and strengthen those muscle fibers, so that you’ll be fitter and better prepared for your next workout.
That doesn't mean that we cant work on the tightness during the recovery however. In-fact there is lots that we can do, and so today I am going to show you 5 top stretches to perform after dance class to get rid of those tight hips!
1. Kneeling Flexor Stretch
Stretches: hip flexors
Your hip flexors, which lie at the front of your hip bone, are highly active while you dance. You contract this muscle every time you lift your leg, which is why this muscle may feel tight after class.