If you’re playing around with the idea of adding strength training and conditioning into your off season, have you given any thought to what that should look like or how to keep your dancers accountable for their own progress?
Your dancer’s off season is a crucial time to build muscle, recover from the demands of performing and prepare the body to come back stronger than ever.
Whether you’re spending your off season together as a team or you’re making it your dancer’s responsibility, follow these steps to make the most of the time off.
1. Set Goals:
- Whether it’s for the team as a whole or an individual dancer, take a look at what went well during the season and where judges or you felt improvement was needed.
- Make goals specific and measurable. For example, “more consistent turns” isn’t something you can measure but “completing a triple without hopping” is something you can actually measure and decide yes it happened or no it didn’t.
2. Create a Plan:
- Decide what type of training will be important for this goal. Upper body, lower body, flexibility or endurance?
- Use the filtering tool on Dancer-Fitness.com to help find exercises that train those specific goals or skills.
- Pick 3 days a week to train for 20 – 30 minutes and plan which exercises you want to do on which day.
- I like to alternate an upper body workout, lower body workout and cardio workout throughout the week.
- There are dozens on pre-made training plans ready to go if you need more inspiration.
3. Track Progress and Accountability:
- A very important step to getting stronger and improving is tracking progress.
- Have each dancer bring a notebook with them to their training sessions and on day one, have them write down how many of each exercise they can do with good form.
- If the exercise instructions say “do 10 repetitions” but they drop their knees in push up number 6 or can’t do another squat after 8, have them write down that number.
- The goal at each training session is to write down how many they did and increase that by 1 or 2 each week.
- If you’re not training as a team, come up with a form of accountability to help your dancers stay on track. Whether it’s sending you a video, a picture of their tracking form or something else! Set up little challenges every few weeks to see how strong they’re getting.
4. Plan for the season:
- As your dancers are training, don’t forget to check in on the dance goals too. Was the goal to do a triple without hopping? Every two weeks or so have your dancer film that skill to monitor progress and to plan what else needs to be improved for the season.
- Don’t let the off season be the only time your dancers train. Start brainstorming ways to block 10 or 20 minutes in each practice for strength and conditioning.
- The feedback so far from other dance coaches and teachers is that strength training is saving them time on cleaning routines and their dancers have never felt stronger!
|Feel like you need inspiration right now? Grab this free Conditioning Cheat sheet to start empowering your dancers to train like athletes today!|