This is a question I get asked often. Most of us know that cross-training is an important part of high level sports and athletics. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, cross-training is a secondary physical activity used to support a primary physical activity. For example, the Gyrotonic method can be used to support dance technique or certain types of weight training can be used to support American football. Every high level athlete/dancer does some from of cross-training nowadays. Good cross-training helps minimize the risk of injury, improves technique, and makes the body feel and function better.
But what if you’re not a high level athlete? What if you’re a young student? Or an adult with active hobbies? Is cross-training necessary in these scenarios? The short answer is yes, cross-training is necessary. But knowing when and where to begin can be confusing.
For kids, beginning a cross-training regiment between 10 and 14 years old is ideal. Especially if they are trying to work up to a professional level in a technical sport like dance. Now, unfortunately, most young dancers/athletes won’t begin cross-training till after they have been injured. While it is entirely possible to get injured even with a cross-training regiment, in my experience the injuries tend to be fewer, less severe, and heal quicker when cross-training is utilized. In particular, chronic injuries like tendonitis or stress fractures are much less common. Talk to your coaches/teachers to start figuring out what kind of cross-training method might be right for you. For dancers, the Gyrotonic method is an ideal option since it was originally designed by a dancer for dancers. Today, the Gyrotonic method can benefit anyone.
Now what about adults? For adults, cross-training is used to keep us moving as we age. Having at least two or three different activities is ideal to keep your body feeling good. As a recently retired professional dancer, finding new activities for myself has been a journey. Since I no longer have the time to train for hours every day, I have had to find other ways to keep myself in shape that work with my new schedule. At the moment, my weekly schedule includes the Gyrotonic method (of course), ballet barre, functional weight training, and walking to work when time allows. The combination of all these activities keeps my body and mind balanced. Most of my adult clients come see me twice a week and then have other activities that they do when not in the studio. Some walk or hike, some ice skate, some run, some weight lift, and some dance. It just depends on what they feel like doing.
With all my clients I take into account their other activities when it comes to designing their sessions. This helps them get the most benefit from their sessions and keeps them moving no matter what their movement background. Book a session for yourself here. Or if you still have questions, book a complimentary New Client Consultation.