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What A Relief: Dance & Fitness Products That Will Aid & Support Your Body

Hey there, FTT Family and welcome back to From The Top Dance Blog! Today we are talking about one of our favorite discussion points: taking care of our bodies!  As I’m sure we are all well aware, dance is a sport, art form and career path that ranks rather high on the scale of physical demand. We spend hours on end on our feet, turning, leaping, stretching, practicing to master stunts, moves and tricks. As I often say, if we are professionals in this world of dance, then our bodies are most definitely our office! One method of self care that can be extremely beneficial to the body of a dancer is the use of support and recovery products. Certain braces, creams and support bandages can make a huge difference when coping with the after effects of long dance days and can also add extra support to individual problem areas during class! From injury prevention to post-class recovery,  in this post we’ll be listing some of our favorite products that we have found super helpful, as well as the muscles that they target, and how to use them to receive the best results! Let’s get into it!

  1. Products To Support Weak Muscles & Joints

Great For: During Class 

Okay, the first category we’ll discuss on this list is products that are perfect to help support weaker muscles & joints during class. This can be areas such as your knees, hips, quads and back. For these areas, braces and ace bandages work wonders! Knee, hip and back braces give you solid support, as well as added comfort, as you work your body throughout class. In result, this will cut down on any pain or soreness that you may experience in this area, both during and after your day is done. If you find braces a bit too rigid and you’re looking for a product that is more flexible while still providing support in the aforementioned areas, an ace bandage is a tried and true secondary option! During the summer of 2011, I pulled my left hip flexor and as I was nursing it back to health, I always wrapped it in an ace bandage before class, as well as before any at home therapy that I was doing at the time to help it heal it. The ace bandage really provided me with the needed support while I gradually got back into the full swing of class, despite the fact that my hip was significantly weaker during that period in time. It was my trusted class companion and tremendously helped me build its strength back up to where it is today. It’s literally like it never even happened. So, if one of these spots are a problem area, or if you’re even nursing an injury in one of these areas, these two products will be sure to help save the day!

  1. For The Tight Calves

Great For: During Class

There are a couple of options for relieving tight calves that I am actually very fond of. Mostly because this is one of the areas of my own body that I have to pay attention to, especially in the winter. Calf compression sleeves are a fantastic way to better warm-up and support tight and weak calves. Much like the braces mentioned in the previous tip, calf compression are great if you’re looking for a product that will better warm and support this area. If the tightness in your calves is not as severe, of course there are always the tried and true leg warmers! Hanging around for generations at this point, there’s a reason why leg warmers have never left the legs of ballet dancers. Those bad boys will for sure do the trick and get those calves nice and loose.

  1. IcyHot

Great For: Before, During & After Class

Remember that pulled hip flexor story I shared in tip #1? Well tip #3 is yet another recovery method that I discovered during that period. If you’re dealing with muscle stiffness, soreness or  injury, IcyHot is about to be your new bestie. Apply a small amount (cause a little goes a loooong way with this stuff) to the desired area before class to help unravel your muscles and/or take a bit of tension out of the injured area. This will allow range of movement in class to be done far more comfortably and with less pain. After class and once your prior application has worn off, if you’d like, apply a tad bit more to the desired area to help the muscle(s) cool down a little more naturally rather than abruptly tightening up. This will allow you to wake up the next day feeling that much better without feeling much (or even any) of the after effects from the day before. And sure, you may smell like a pack of Big Red gum, but hey. The relief is totally worth it!

  1. For Arch Support

Great For: During Class

If you’re a dancer with a flatter foot that desires a little extra support in your arches, then gel arch support sleeves just may be your perfect fit! Super flexible and discrete enough to be worn under your shoes, gel arch sleeves are fantastic for giving your arch that extra security while relieving pain and tension as you dance. Not only do they aid in injury recovery if needed, but also injury prevention as well for injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis, which is definitely a plus in our book!

  1. Epsom Salt

Great For: After Class

Now you didn’t possibly think that this list would be created without the old faithful, did you? Epsom Salt is an item that is most mentioned amongst dancers when you hear the term “relieving soreness”. And that is simply because, well, this stuff really works! Whether you add a cup of it to a foot basin for post-pointe recovery or take the dive into a full Epsom salt bath, this fast acting (and rather relaxing) product will always be one of our top solutions to help your muscles unwind with ease at the end of a long dance day.

  1. Rubbing Alcohol

Great For: After Class

I really feel as though this last product on our list is a forgotten gem when it comes to relieving sore muscles especially. Rubbing Alcohol is one of the oldest hacks in the book but man, does it work! Once you’ve had your after class shower or even an epsom salt bath, simply take a handful of rubbing alcohol and massage it onto the muscles that you believe will be most sore the next day or may be even sore already. The difference you’ll feel the next day is fantastic, which is why we definitely had to include this hack on this countdown!

Thank you all so much for hanging with us today! We hope you all found a new product or two to add to your dance wellness kit! As always, we wish you a lovely weekend and until our next blog post, remember…

Keep dancing!

Lexi

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