Spring Fever? 4 Ways to Crosstrain Outside

March 21, 2016

Spring has sprung! And what better way to ring in the season than by enjoying the weather—and crosstraining at the same time? Though most go-to dance cross-training activities, like yoga and Pilates, are traditionally done inside, making the effort to get outdoors can relieve stress and give you a fresh outlook on your exercise routine. Here are four ways you can embrace spring and stay studio-ready:

  1. Swim for Strength
    . Whether you’re looking to strengthen muscles without tightening them or recover from an injury through low-impact cardio, swimming is ideal for dancer bodies—and for changing up your cross-training routine. San Francisco Ballet principal Frances Chung swears by her swimming routine, and suggests using a kickboard to target the muscle groups you’re looking to strengthen.
  2. Run Wherever, Whenever
    . Running has numerous physical benefits for dancers, plus it’s versatile and free. Mark Morris Dance Group’s Stacy Martorana began running as an escape from dance, and grew to appreciate the energy it gives her throughout the day and her increased stamina. She recommends ending a run with yoga stretches (downward dog is her favorite). Former Pacific Northwest Ballet principal Maria Chapman also runs almost every day, but is mindful of keeping the intensity low enough to not interfere negatively with her dancing.
  3. Take Your Inside Work Outside
    . If you already do yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonic, weight-lifting or most anything else, you’ve already got yourself a spring workout. All you need is a yoga or Pilates mat and a flat surface, and you can enjoy your usual routine in a fresh new setting.
  4. Get Adventurous
    . Even if it’s not the meticulously strategic Pilates exercises or barre class you usually use to stay studio-ready, nontraditional physical activity can come with serious benefits. In addition to running, Ballet West principal Arolyn Williams goes hiking whenever she can. It helps her with strength and endurance, and she cites it as a confidence-booster.

Arolyn Williams takes to hiking for a break from dance. Photo by Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West.

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