Part of my role as a rebel & misfit in the dance world is not going along with the popular trends but giving it to you straight. No sugarcoating.
And that includes breaking down diet & exercise myths. We are told so many lies based on marketing schemes from so-called "experts" that it’s easy to be led astray. It's no wonder you're frustrated with not getting the results you are working so hard for.
Let's be real -- it's already extremely hard to stay on top of your diet and exercise routine. To be elite (or even just above average) in your health and fitness takes A LOT of effort! But when you are following the wrong formula...it's even harder. You waste a lot of time and energy doing things that won't get you the result you want. In fact, they could take you in the opposite direction.
So, let’s get down & dirty with some #REALTALK to clear up these common misconceptions in this MythBuster Series…and give you better tools to approach your goals to optimize your body & your ballet.
And since cross-training is so popular in the dance world right now, let's start with this banger:
Myth: Any exercise counts as cross-training.
Truth: Just because you are exercising doesn't mean you are cross-training.
In order for exercise to count as cross-training, it has to actually improve your main sport (dance).
Choosing any random activity you want doesn't count. Sure, it's still exercise and has particular benefits....but it ain't cross-training. And ironically, it could actually be detrimental to your dancing.
If you want your exercise to compliment your dancing (aka cross-training)…you have to train in a specific way with a specific purpose.
Hint: Most of what is marketed as "cross-training" these days isn't going to help your dancing. In fact, it could be stealing energy from it, or worse, putting you at risk for injury.
Let me give you an example: I’ve been athletic and into fitness my whole life. But the exercise I was doing in my younger years was NOT making me better at my dancing. I would show up to rehearsals exhausted and depleted after being a "good little bunhead" putting in extra work at the gym. But all that extra work I thought would make me better just caused my body to breakdown and deteriorate faster. I felt washed up, was contemplating retirement, and feared I needed a hip replacement...even though I was only in my twenties! I could barely get out of bed, let alone dance well. It wasn’t until I changed the way I was training and developed my specific #bulletproofballerina system that exercise started to IMPROVE my dancing.
Here's another example: We all love the runner’s high. It feels good to log miles on the pavement. But are you really going to be dancing your best Odette/Odile after a 5K run the night before? Not only will that drain energy from your body, but it creates a lot of damage particularly in your lower body joints which already take on so much wear and tear.
Exercise has a cost. It's not all unicorns and rainbows. Your body incurs a certain
amount of damage along with the benefits. And certain forms of exercise have a
higher cost to benefit ratio. As a dancer who is already so rough on your body,
you can't afford to pay that higher price that will break down your body
faster. You need to choose exercise that gives you the highest bang for your
buck -- the most amount of benefits with the least amount of damage. That is
PC: Rachel Neville Photography
So, the moral of the story is this...if dancing better is your main priority...make sure your exercise has the specific purpose and formula to support that. It's easy to get caught up in exercise for exercise sake. And that has its own benefits. But if your goal is to dance better, you have to be very strategic with your cross-training -- exercise in a way that builds you up versus breaks you down.
Stay tuned for more REAL TALK MythBuster Series coming soon!