The colder months can be a very rough time for dancers because if there is anytime our muscles are going to put up a fight, it’s during the colder months! The winters season can bring temperatures that can stiffen our muscles and make stretching more of a challenge. However, even though stretching starts to become a little difficult, we must become one with nature and find ways to combat the stiffness in our muscles. How do we do that, you ask? Here are three tips on how!
“Don’t Push Yourself Too Far”
Instead of getting frustrated with our bodies for not being in its most flexible state, we simply must come to terms with the fact that colder weather has a different effect on our bodies in a way that warmer weather doesn’t. So my first tip is, please do not get impatient with your body and push yourself too far. If you know you can get into a mega over split normally, but you’re experiencing a little difficulty achieving it at the moment, don’t get frustrated with yourself. You still have the capability to achieve that beautiful over split, but sometimes it’s just more advantageous to take it easy, just a bit. Pushing yourself too far past what your muscles will allow right now can result in very serious injuries that can put you out for the count for weeks or even months. It’s far safer to simply do what you can and work with what you have. So please make sure you’re always careful during this time of year.
“Layers Are Your Best Friend!”
During the winter months, warm-ups are your best friend! Clothing items such as sweatpants, pullover sweaters, legwarmers, etc. really do come in clutch around this time of year. Since our muscles unravel easier with heat, layering will add an extra amount of warmth to your wardrobe that will help loosen you up. My personal favorite items to wear to warm my muscles up are fleece pants, a hoodie or activewear jacket and leg warms for my calf muscles and Achilles tendons. In a ballet class, you usually can’t wear your warm-ups past barre but wearing them up until that point will help you immensely! If you’re not taking a ballet class, then you probably have the privilege to wear your warm-ups for the entire class! So most definitely think about putting on a few extra articles of clothing! You’re muscles will thank you!
The last thing I have found helps me cope with my tight muscles during the winter is continuing to stretch throughout the week at home and not just when I’m taking or teaching class. If you’re in a company or you have classes of some kind every single day, this is no problem at all! But if you’re in the studio part time, stretching at home will really get your muscles adapted to the elements because their being used on a constant basis instead of just a few times a week. So doing a low to medium impact stretch routine once a day will really go a long way and wearing warm clothing while you stretch as well, will be a sure way to get those muscles goin’!
And there you have it! From the Top’s top three tips for dealing with stiff muscles during the winter season! We hope you enjoyed this post and by all means, give these tips a try. You won’t regret it! Thank you so much for stopping by and we’ll see you next Friday. Same time, same place!