The Injury Prevention Paradox
Over the last few weeks, I have been asking Dancers what they feel is the most important thing they can get from Physical Training and Strength and Conditioning. By far, the most popular answer was "Injury Prevention", "Stop me getting hurt" etc.
This is brilliant for a number of reasons but mostly because it shows that Dancers recognise that there a ways in which we can create protective mechanisms throughout the body as a system when we perform Ballet or Jazz or Contemporary etc.
The mechanisms of this injury prevention phenomenon are not really that well understood amongst sporting and Dance participants. In actual fact, a good injury prevention programme and performance enhancement programme are pretty much one in the same thing. If an Athlete or Dancer is being coached in strength and athletic training to enhance performance and improve the structural integrity of the body for improvement then by enlarge they are lowering their risk of Injury.
The research in the world of Sprinting suggests that the faster, more efficient, athletic sprinters with faster times are at less risk of injury. Despite preaching injury prevention to Dance populations, I am of the belief that providing high quality athletic and performance training is a protective mechanism for injury in itself.
Programmes that point out lots of "corrective exercises" and "injury prevention exercises" rather than focussing on generating force, speed, mobility and quality of movement are probably a wast of time.
You can do all the clams in the world to improve knee mechanics in a plié but unless you are able to cope with the forces of landing on a single leg then those clams are pretty pointless.
Just because an exercise does not look like Dance, does not mean it is not specific to Dance. I tend to chose exercises that will improve the athletic potential of tissues in the body and progress and regress these exercises according to the training and strength capabilities of the individual.
Nordic Drop (Hamstring, Distal End)
Posterior Chain Protocols for All: Nordic Curl = Eccentric Phase Only Razor Curl (In background) = Hip Hinge Ecc and Con Phases
High Eccentric Forces over time can allow an individual to cope with rapid and high force loading of structures.
Other Options might include Single leg RDL and other Hamstring Dominant exercise. We chuck these in for variety and challenge. Dancer Shown is Bleiddian Bazzard a 2nd year Student at KS Dance.
Research perspective: Lowered hamstring injury occurrence however did not lower severity of injury. better than nothing ;)
2nd Paper: Eccentric Hamstring Training and changes in Muscle Architecture.