Whew! You made it to the gym. After rearranging your office time, parent time or school time, you actually set foot in the one place where you are to honor your body. You are so proud of this moment that you start loading up your locker, filling up your water bottle and catching up with your fitness buddies. Before you know it, spin class begins and you jump right in. After all, you want to get the max out of your workout, right? There’s no time to waste since you don’t know if your packed schedule will allow for another gym visit this week.
Within a few minutes, you feel it — the dreaded cramp! It creeps up seemingly out of nowhere and inhibits your ability to fully partake in class. You want to ignore it, but it’s getting worse, and now you just wish you had slowed down a bit. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, we are here to remind you that honoring your body begins well before your fitness class or dance session.
At Arthur Murray Royal Oak, we pride ourselves on being a low maintenance studio that doesn’t require a lot of prep work for our students. We don’t demand particular clothing, props or equipment, but we do hope our students take the time to warm up. Aside from eating the right foods, stretching is and should be a primary focus before working out, as it helps maximize performance, increase range of motion and prevent injuries.
Most individuals do not use the muscles targeted in dance on a daily basis, so they often feel sore the next day if they didn’t do the proper prep work. So what exactly is the best way to stretch for ballroom dancing? We recommend:
- A few practice laps around the dance floor.
- Stretching off to the side of the dance floor. For added support, hold on to our “ballet bar” to make bending over easier.
- Focus on your arms, core, hips, legs and especially your feet. Though they are the foundation of our bodies, our feet are often overlooked. Check out this video on the importance of warming up your toes and stiff ankles.