What are Corrective Exercises?
Almost all overuse issues come down to muscle dysfunction, muscle imbalance and fascial restriction, so working on these areas is the key to staying healthy and injury-free over time. Corrective strength and flexibility exercises should therefore feature in the daily schedule of every dancer.
These exercises aim to address muscle dysfunction specifically: tight muscles or muscle groups should be stretched, whereas weak ones need to be strengthened. Such corrective training can either form part of a rehabilitation process, to re-establish proper compensation, or can be used to raise the level of compensation to make an athlete or dancer less prone to injury or overuse.
The videos that you will find in this section show some of the exercises that I frequently recommend to my patients, and are presented here for their reference. As every body and every situation is unique, you should always consult a health care professional before starting any corrective exercises. It is important that an exercise program is tailored to your needs and that you have had a proper functional examination (and any necessary treatment) in advance.
Flexibility exercises are usually helpful in dealing with joint dysfunctions, or “blocks”, associated with muscle dysfunction. However, if you attempt strength training while suffering from joint dysfunction you can seriously aggravate the problem.
When and How Often Should I Do the Exercises?
The recommended frequency of strength exercise depends on individual factors and the specific rehabilitation or conditioning program you are following. A general recommendation would be to train at least three times a week. I have selected some exercises that can easily be performed in the studio with some basic equipment, such as resistance bands or loop bands.
To push your limits further, consider starting weight training in a gym. Many dancers are afraid of building up “bulky” muscles that may affect their shape, posture and aesthetic. However, with the right training routine, it is perfectly possible to gain strength without “bulking up”. In fact, a combination of strength exercises and specific endurance training is the key to staying slim and healthy, without reducing your nutritional intake.