2020 was a strange year for everybody no doubt and many things including Physie classes and attending the gym were put on hold indefinitely. This meant rehearsing from home became the new norm and then unfortunately for some, State (and of course Nationals) competitions didn’t even happen due to COVID. This was a perfect storm for injuries, inactivity and general dissatisfaction due to lack of motivation.
Enter 2021 – it’s a new year and a new Physie season to focus on (and hopefully one that ends with Nationals!). Setting goals early in the season is important and I thought I would share my 5 top tips so that your body is ready to take on what will probably be a very exciting and big year for most.
1. The fitter you are, the better your Physie. It would be a fair assumption that most of the National place getters are doing some type of high intensity exercise outside of their Physie training at least 2x week. This might be attending the gym, doing cross fit, bootcamps, F45, circuit training, reformer Pilates or simply running. There is a strong correlation between increased fitness levels and doing well in the Physie season. Just doing rehearsal twice weekly is not going to be enough. If you know your fitness is lacking and even thinking about the work is making you breathless, then now is the time to start upping your training before interclubs come around in the middle of the year.
2. Strength training will help improve your Physie.
Improved back bends?
Higher legs in your balances?
Ability to control your kicks and hold them?
If that all sounds great to you, then working on your strength is really important. All too often dancers think that flexibility is the main limiting factor for the above things but lack of strength can really hinder your ability to get into those positions and own them! Getting a good strength program is important though so working with a PT or seeing your dance physio will be really helpful. Some gyms who offer weight sessions with smaller classes and guidance from trainers can also be a good starting point or alternatively doing reformer Pilates is another option.
3. Pay attention to your flexibility early! Now is a perfect time to highlight the areas of your body that need lengthening. Unfortunately, so many of you leave it too late and end up coming to see me a month out of Nationals wanting to improve splits or kicks. Whilst we can always make some small changes in limited time, to really see noticeable and comfortable changes we need time. Asking your body to do things too quickly will result in injury.
4. Know when to ask for help. If you are experiencing any niggles currently or have developed any new injuries over COVID then now is the time to get them looked at. Leaving injuries to fester over the year is not ideal and often we cannot completely solve the issue in time if you leave it too late before competitions start. We don’t like band aid fixes – we like to get to the root of the issue so that the injury does not return to haunt you.
5. Factor in time to rest and recover. Make a plan now whilst in the beginning of the year to have some rest days scheduled into your week. For example if you have Physie 2x week and then 2x other exercise session such as gym or Pilates, we have 3 days to play with. One day could be for other sports or hobbies and then you have 2 days to rest and focus on treating your body. These may be days where you just stretch and do some light foam rolling from home or maybe even get a massage once in a while. Rest and recovery days are SO important and often towards the end of the year, I can tell the difference between the girls/ladies who have not had adequate rest. They have increased rate of injuries, multiple areas of pain or niggles and generally feel tired and have lack of motivation.
Hopefully these tips have been very helpful and remember if you need a dance physio that speaks Physie – we are hear to help!