COMMON CAUSES OF INJURY:
It can never be stated enough, “Not being properly pH balanced is the most common cause of injury!”
- Improper Warm Up – All major muscles need to be warmed up with an increase in temperature & blood supply in order to make them more pliable & less susceptible to injury. Particularly, make sure the lower leg muscles are warmed up & stretched before jumping and/or dancing. Wearing leg warmers or knee high socks serve as a tool to help keep in the warmth so these muscles can work more diligently as needed, particularly through colder months.
- Bring your heart rate down slowly, gently. Bringing your heart rate down at a fast pace is extremely hazardous. Blood flow may pool up in certain areas causing cramps &/or muscle spasms if encouraged to stop flowing at a charged pace. Bringing your pulse rate lower gently will prevent possible hemorrhaging.
- Improper Cool Down can also be a factor in common causes of injury for bones & ligaments.
- Muscle Imbalance – For every muscle that moves, there is an opposing muscle that moves in the opposite direction. If one group is stronger it can force the ligaments or tendons to compensate for the lack of strength & tear. Treatment is to strengthen the weaker muscle & stretch the stronger.
Moving while being up on toes for extended periods can throw off entire structure alignment, causing hip & joint problems.
- Stay off toes! During any jumping related movement portion of an exercise – land on whole feet. This does not mean come down landing flat footed! It is a heel to toe (actually, ball) motion when moving forward & a toe (ball) to heel when jogging in place.
- Arching the back can cause serious damage if flex control is not adequate. Never arch your back while exercising. Keep “tummies” (abs) tight & knees slightly bent with heels down to prevent this action. Feel “conscious control” in major muscle groups being worked.
- Touching heels down in back will help to stretch & strengthen needed muscles preventing injury in joints & ligaments.
More Common Causes Of Injury:
And the list goes on…
Hyper-extending joints can lead to major problems down the road. Keep joints slightly bent at all times. Hold strength & control, breathe, especially while working with weights.
FYI: Weight training does have significant value in increasing muscular strength, flexibility & endurance. However, it should not be considered as a means of training for developing Vo2 max. (maximum oxygen uptake).
Best combo choice for many people working with weights seems to be to target specific zones with weights every other day between days with aerobic movement.
Overworking – If at any time, you feel breathless, you are overworking, slow it down! Especially, during higher impact stages know your limits & pace yourself!
While exercising, during high working heart rate range, be aware of keeping your heart rate at the level it will benefit you most. Know ahead of time what that level is always being careful not to exceed it.
Refer to a maximum heart rate chart. Ask an instructor for guidance on how to read the heart chart before the time comes when your heart rate is climbing. Once the heart rate is in the individual target zone that is best for you, keep it there for a minimum of 20 to 60 minutes for best aerobic benefits. If feeling winded, lower the arms & march in place. Limit any jumping or bouncing of any kind – take it slow & easy. Always keep moving after heart rate has climbed, bringing it down slowly when it’s time.
It is not by working out harder that helps us get into better shape it is working out more often. Duration is dependent on intensity, the lower the intensity, the longer the time. Improvement in Vo2 max is directly related to frequency, intensity & duration of training.
Three times weekly is good for maintaining where one is. This means more often for progression. Participation less than three times weekly will not support adequate change to meet most peoples needs, although is better than none.
Fitness is limited to changes in Vo2 max., total body mass, fat weight & lean body weight factors.
The last place fat goes on will be the first place it will leave from. In the case of toning, until a certain level of nutritional health (where fat ratio is concerned) is reached, muscle will not be obvious to see. Targeting specific regions may be premature.
Hence, working out to exercise the heart, which will burn fat, as well as tone, should be the primary focus. This of course needs only be approached when the pH rule of 80/20 is observed. (See related chapters).
Keep in mind that actual weight loss fluctuates with different people & may not even occur initially. Some people may actually gain a little because through exercise you tone & gain muscle tissue while burning body fat. Muscle weighs more than fat while your waist may actually be becoming smaller, however …
This is so very important: Keep well hydrated by ingesting plenty of fruits & vegetables daily and support more agility, stronger action & a higher level of endurance during exercising. Hydration also assists levels of increased efficiency in prevention of possible troubles such as shin splints, ankle problems, hip & lower back pain. Keeping well hydrated also helps the body to sweat.
*Sweating is a good thing. Support yourself to sweat by dry skin brushing with a natural fiber brush if sweating does not already come easily.
*Never wear antiperspirants especially while working out.
Un-natural Floor Surface – Suspended hard wood floors or cushioned floors designed to ‘give’ are best for shock absorption.
Concrete flooring has no ‘give’. Carpeted surfaces can catch feet on lateral type movement, should these types be your only option, wear smooth soled shoes.
Improper Footwear – Aerobic dance exercise places higher demand on feet, legs, ankles, shins, hips, lower back, etc., than running because of the jumping, twisting & lateral movements involved.
A good quality aerobic dance shoe is an uppermost key factor in joint injury protection.
These things are what to look for in good quality footwear for aerobic type dance:
- Overall fit – never sacrifice comfort for style.
- Shock absorption – A well-cushioned inner sole helps to prevent stress fractures.
- Adequate arch support – You may purchase arch supports separately.
- Flexibility at ball of the foot – The shoes should flex easy at the ball of the foot, not back toward the arch.
- Heel Stability – Heel counter should be solid & stiff for stability.
- Lateral Stability – Reinforcement of upper part of shoe provides lateral stability.
- How old are those shoes? Repeated foot impact 3xs weekly will decrease your shoes shock absorption by 50% in only 3 to 4 months. Invest in your knees, shins & feet now, not later at the Orthopedist.
- FYI: Running shoes are designed for forward movement only & limit lateral movement which could cause catching or holding to the floor causing injury.
- FYI: Leather provides more support than nylon.
- An informed instructor can counsel on proper footwear for preventative care during aerobic dance movements. If you feel the need to, do not hesitate to ask for added information on shoes & common causes of injury.
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