Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stairmaster...for Dancers

Hey,

So I've got another stairmaster post. My initial one was examining the Fatburner program, but this one is looking at using a stair machine through a dancer's lens.

Disclaimer: I received my B.A. from the University of Maryland in Dance.

So besides the calorie burn, I wanted to highlight three things I love to work on as a dancer, when on a stair machine:

  1. Turnout - Because you are constantly in motion, it does not give one the chance to do what some dancers do, and force their turnout. So rotating from your hip and then spiraling down and through the leg, where your foot is placed when it hits the stair is where your turnout is. Sometimes, I'll even alternate between turnout and parallel.
  2. Slow Extension - Imagine you're doing one-legged Pliés...each step up is just the recovery portion of it. One of my sub-goals is not to step up in bursts of energy, so I'm bobbing, but rather to do a slow press so that the movement is even. This speaks to my goal of good "form", from my post about the Four "F"s which sum up my workout objectives, as a dancer. One thing that helps me with this, with the slow press, is to imagine a space-hold with my torso, particularly with my head.
  3. Through the Toe - At the end of each step, roll through your foot, before disengaging it to step up. So yes, an Elevé, or rise, in English, for those with technique. This will help strengthen those calves and help prep for jumps, particularly if you do it consistently with each step, during your entire time on the stair machine.
And then rinse and repeat with the other leg. :-)

So, it didn't click until the third point, that I could've just described using the stairmaster as a series of single-legged Relevés. Just in case, a Relevé is just an Elevé from a Plié position.
 
Anyway, that's that, just my thoughts about using stair machines as a dancer. And I'm sure I'm not the first one. Curious as to who else does this, as well as other training thoughts dancers have had when using stair machines.

Let me know in the comments,

JR
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