Reasons why dancers do not have cardiovascular fitness:
Benefits of Cardiovascular Endurance Exercise for dancers:
- Improves your posture and health
- Enhances stamina which improves your performance ability
- Increases oxygen supply to muscles - efficient functioning Improves your anaerobic ability
- Reduces the risk of fatigue, enhances concentration and reduces stress levels
- Boosts your immune system and reduces the risk of injury
Understanding the Cardiovascular System
|Cardiovascular endurance depends on the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to where it is needed and to continue for long periods of time under stress.|
In reality most types of dance training involves stopping and starting; performing short movement sequences with intermittent periods of no activity where you observe the next sequence, this way of working only develops your anaerobic system it does not develop your aerobic capacity.
Anaerobic and Aerobic Systems
Anaerobic SystemAnaerobic simply means without oxygen.
As you begin physical activity there is a sudden demand for energy, the body will use up its first energy store then go onto to use up the stores of glycogen (broken down from carbohydrates) stored in the muscles as the energy is not available in the form of oxygen. This is because the body is working so hard that the demands for oxygen exceed the rate of supply.
Lactic AcidDuring anaerobic activity the waste product lactic acid is produced. As there is no oxygen supply to the muscles the lactic acid will build up and can be the cause of muscle soreness and you will be forced to ease of or stop. You will be unable to return to activity until the lactic acid is removed. As you rest oxygen is supplied to the muscles replenishing the energy stores and you soon will be able to return.
When you start any physical activity you will use the anaerobic system, however, if the activity is low in intensity your body will be able to supply oxygen to your muscles and continue as you engage in the aerobic system.
Anaerobic ExerciseAnaerobic exercise is intense exercise lasting approximately one to three minutes (Lactic System) the demand is sudden or large that the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen to the working muscles.
High intensity, short duration:
Aerobic SystemAerobic simply means with oxygen
Oxygen is delivered around the body via the blood stream and pumped by the heart. The aerobic system can only work when the energy demand is low intensity for the heart to provide the muscles with sufficient supply of oxygen. In aerobic activity the body is working at a level in which the supply of oxygen is sufficient to the body's demands for oxygen.
Low to moderate intensity, long duration activities:
Aerobic Endurance Exercise
Low intensity activities over half an hour:
- An hour’s walk
- 30 minute swim
- 30 minute cycle (stationary bike)
- Continuous low intensity dance (such as the five rhythms)
Aerobic Endurance TrainingAerobic endurance is developed through the use of continuous rhythmical activity to improve maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max).
VO2 maxVO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that you can use to produce the energy you require for any physical activity.
It is important for dancers to progressively improve their cardiovascular endurance, training only occurs after thirty minutes of continuous activity where the pulse rate is sufficiently increased to improve your maximum aerobic capacity (V02 max). Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, (cardiovascular) system. An aerobically fit dancer can rehearse or perform for longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery. It is beneficial to participate in cardiovascular endurance activities 3 to 5 times per week.
Aims of aerobic endurance training:
- Improve the heart and cardiovascular system so blood (and oxygen) can be delivered around the body more efficiently
- Increase the body's ability to utilise oxygen
- Increase the body's ability to recover from heavy bouts of intense exercise (dance).
Heart Rate Monitoring
Resting heart rateOr for 15 seconds and multiply the number of beats by 4
Maximum heart rateThe maximum heart rate is estimated by taking your age away from 220. e.g. 220 take away (your age) 20 = 200 BPM.
Target heart rate for exercise
|Age||Maximum Heart Rate (BPM)||Target Heart Rate (BPM)|
|Anaerobic (85% of Max)||Aerobic (70% of Max)||Aerobic Endurance (80% of Max)|
20 – 29
30 – 39
40 – 49
50 – 59
200 – 191
190 – 181
180 – 171
170 – 161
170 – 162
161 – 154
153 – 145
144 – 137
140 – 134
133 – 137
126 – 120
119 – 113
120 – 114
114 – 109
108 – 103
102 – 97
Cardiovascular Endurance in DanceIdeally cardiovascular training is incorporated within the dance training itself with the later part of a technique class training the cardio vascular system. For example, travel and jump combinations lasting at least 32 to 48 bars in duration and including longer dance combinations dividing the class so the dancers receive adequate rest period to recover from the cardiovascular workout.
If cardiovascular training is not an integral part of your dance training it is important that dancers find an appropriate cardiovascular routine to compliment your dance training, rehearsal or performance also allowing for adequate rest periods.
Enhanced cardiovascular endurance can enhance you dance skill, fitness and can prevent injury from occurring due to fatigue. With all dance training a warm up and cool down sequence is required to maintain health and well being and enhance recovery. Improved cardiovascular fitness can enhance you dance ability and help you reach your true potential in dance performance.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this web page is intended as general guidance and information only. Power Dance System and its authors accept no liability for any loss, injury or damage however incurred as a consequence, whether directly or indirectly, of the use this information. All advice on this web page should only be used under the supervision of a qualified dance / fitness / healthcare professional.