How To Warm Up and Cool Down Like A Pro
Dancing is a very physical activity, and it can put our body through a lot. As dancers, we know that warming up and cooling down is essential. Here at Nan’s Dance of Raleigh, we have put together a guide with everything you need to know about the importance of warming up and cooling down, what they should include, and how long it should take. After reading this, you’ll be able to warm up and cool down like a pro!
The Importance of a Quality Warm-Up
A safe warm-up will:
- allow your body to slowly increase in temperature (approximately 1 or 2 degrees)
- help prevent an injury or a pulled muscle
- improve your performance and flexibility
- prepare you mentally for dancing
What Should My Warm-Up Look Like?
A warm-up should include various activities that “warm-up” your whole body — it should consist of heart rate raising exercises and simple, slow movements. In fact, your warm-up should not make you tired! Therefore, split your warm-up into two parts: first a dynamic section and then a static section.
- warms up your joints
- starts with moving your head up, down and side to side to loosen the muscles in your neck
- works your way down your body to your feet
- includes stretches such as leg swings or jogging on the spot
- No less than 5 minutes (must raise your heart rate, but not tire you out)
- stretches without movement
- includes toe touches, leg stretches, and splits
- ensures your muscles are ready for you to begin dancing
- As long as you prefer (must stretch all muscles)
The Importance of a Cool-Down
A good cool-down will get your heart back to its resting rate and cool your body temperature down gradually. A cool-down should allow your blood flow to return to your body’s resting rate slowly. This will cause the lactic acid that has built up in your muscles to release so that you won’t get cramps. Your cool-down should include:
- plenty of gentle stretches
- slow stretches held for a reasonable length of time – this is the stage that will release the lactic acid build-up
How Long Should I Cool-Down?
During a cool-down, it’s essential that you listen to your body. There is no set amount of time you should spend cooling down; you will know it is complete when you feel as close to how you felt before your warm-up.
- gentle stretches are essential
- you should hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds, longer if you can
It is also crucial to drink plenty of water after you have danced to replace any fluids you have lost during your dance workout.
Want to Read More About Dance?
Take a look at some of our other articles about dance.
So why Nan’s school of dance?
We offer instruction in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro, and Pre-Dance, at all levels. We love having new members in our dance classes. We will help get your child acclimated to our dance school and make them feel right at home. When your child attends Nan’s School of Dance in Raleigh, they will become a part of our dance family and share in our love for dance!
Don’t forget to register!
From ballet to hip hop, we offer dance classes for ALL ages and skill levels in a variety of styles. We place students in classes that will challenge them while offering a fun atmosphere for learning and growth. We also offer Mommy & Me classes, (18 months – 2.5 years). Register online or give us a call at 919-803-6044 to hold your spot!