Whether you’re signing up for your first Aerial Dance Annual Show or you’re a seasoned competitor, you may have considered preparing in some way before the event. Although we have good intentions, we might not always take the best the best strength and conditioning approach to arrive at peak performance for our next major performance.
You can’t prepare for your next performance while training for your next performance. What I mean by this is the best time to begin preparing for your routine was probably before the full routine had even existed. Many dancers will approach strength training by training the muscles they will use most in the routine. The instinct makes a lot of sense. You want to be strong where you perceive you’re going to be challenged during a piece. However, if you consider how much work some areas like our backs and shoulders are already going to be grinding out by practicing your routine, we might be better off choosing to balance muscles that are weaker to prevent overuse injuries during this time.
Does that mean you should neglect shoulder training? Of course not. Periodization programs begin with a General Preparedness phase; which typically occurs several months before your event. During this phase we focus on strengthening and creating a more resilient body as a whole. It’s the training during this time that will allow you to avoid overuse brought on by the repetition of a routine.
Creating a periodized strength and conditioning program can help you plan and help avoid training faults such as excess loading (too much, too soon), monotony, and an overly varied program. Using a periodized program can also help us think about our training in yearlong increments to adequately plan not only training, but also much needed rest. If you’re overwhelmed thinking about trying to create your own plan, Aerial Dance can help!