The Benefits of Cross-Training

The Benefits of Cross-Training

by Studio Owners, Tash and Misha

First, if you think you should do a strength class before pole dancing or taking an aerial class, read this blog first, called “Do I need to build strength before I start pole dancing?”

So, something that we as dancers and athletes deal with everyday is a want, or really a need, to become stronger in our sport. While we can certainly do this by practicing the sport itself, we can expedite this process by cross-training. So what exactly is cross-training? Specifically defined, cross-training is an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness. Layman’s terms? It’ s using one or more other sports or exercises to help you gain strength and stamina in the sport that you primarily focus on.

​So then we reach the questions of, does this actually work, and how can it help me? Put bluntly, yes, it actually works and most trainers recommend it. Especially so for those students who are a bit more serious and those that perform or compete a great deal. To best explain how it can help, I’ll give you an example. You know that nemesis move you’ve been drilling for months or maybe even years, but you just can’t seem to get it no matter how hard you practice or how many times you try it? Chances are that there could be some sort of disconnection in the movement due to muscle weakness in an area that needs to be activated. I may have issues with my handstands due to muscle weakness in my shoulders – as a supplement to my normal workouts, I may engage in exercises to help strengthen my shoulders and the surrounding muscles such as planks, lat pull downs, box assisted handstands, push-ups, etc. Now, some of you may be thinking, “Ugh! I dance so I don’t have to be bored at the gym!” To which I counter – you DO NOT need a gym to cross-train! There are SO many different sports and disciplines that can help us cross train nowadays that don’t require mundane gym exercises. From swimming, to zumba, to aerial and acrobatics, to martial arts and yoga/flexibility class – there is a great deal to choose from. Poledancer JJ Pole Nerd provides a very cohesive list of alternatives in her Polecon blog located here.

While it might not be everyone’s first choice to tack on another task to their activities – in a grander sense – it can certainly help with a great many things, and it doesn’t just apply to strength training! We’re talking flexibility, fluidity, conditioning, etc. A main component to focus on here as a benefit is injury prevention – which is a big one for most of us. In any case, no matter your background or experience level, it never hurts to start early and can definitely be a game changer in your training. So why not start? What have you got to lose? Except maybe some bad habits in your dancing 😉 Dream Dance Fitness certainly offers a whole set of cross-training classes exactly for this purpose…so you can work on the areas that you may need to develop to become a better dancer or athlete. Want to build up your stamina? We definitely recommend you take a zumba class…not only will you build up your stamina, you will dance, tone up, and have fun while having a great work out!