Gymnasts Are Ballet Dancers Too

Cara DevenneyMiscellaneousLeave a Comment

gymnastics-vs-ballet

Would you believe me if I told you that ballet dancing can actually improve your gymnast’s skills?

Ballet dancing can help teach your gymnast how to manage and control their breathing while performing, enhance overall flexibility, and improve your athlete’s balance and posture.

Many athletes that are involved with gymnastics are involved with ballet dancing too. Both sports go hand-in-hand with each other and one can help improve the skills in the other, and vice versa. Ballet skills and gymnastic skills are not something you can just learn overnight. Both sports call for equal amount of practice and dedication.

A lot of athletes start out as ballet dancers and end up getting involved in gymnastics as they get a little bit older. Gym coaches can tell if this is the case because the athlete naturally keeps their body straight and toes pointed. Whatever the situation may be (even if your gymnast becomes a ballet dancer) one sport 100% compliments the other!

So, what are the details that ballet dancing will teach and improve in your gymnasts’ life?

Breathing

Ballet will teach your athlete how to breathe properly when it comes to physical activity. You may think that breathing is an easy thing to do, but did you know that it actually takes practice?

Breathing should be part of everyone’s workout routine. I say this because breathing is the most important thing (besides drinking water) us humans can do and many of us do it wrong when it comes to exercising. Breathing correctly isn’t just good for your overall health, but it improves performance.



How will Ballet help my gymnast breathe correctly?

Inhaling deep breaths through your nose and exhaling through your mouth is a popular method when it comes to learning how to breathe. Taking deep breaths will help your athlete release and control any stress, and will help him/her focus on what is happening at the moment.

Your athlete will be moving around a lot in gymnastics. Taking short and fast breaths can interfere with your athlete’s performance because he/she may not get the energy or oxygen he/she needs. Not breathing correctly can also result in injury and can even throw your athlete off balance or beat.

Ballet will teach your athlete that breathing throughout his/her routines will bring uniqueness, elegance, and life to your athlete’s performance.

Flexibility

Flexibility is achieved when your body gets into a routine of exercising and stretching. As we all know, gymnastics is a competitive sport that uses strength from all of the muscles in the body.

Flexibility is important because it avoids muscle pulls/injuries and gives your athlete the ability to bend, twist, and flip in ways you thought were never possible!

How will ballet help my gymnast’s flexibility?

Just like gymnastics, ballet dancing is another sport that works with flexibility being a main component. It is natural for our bodies to lose flexibility overtime because if you personally stop exercising and stretching, then so does your muscles.

Your muscles will become tense without conditioning and if your gymnast dares to perform a skill he/she learned last season and has not practiced since; well it is most likely that your gymnast will really hurt himself/herself.

Ballet will benefit your athlete’s flexibility because it will keep your gymnast’s muscles in tact. Ballet will redevelop any lost muscle and joint strength if your gymnast does not do gymnastics full time and year round.

Balance

Balance is a skill that takes time to perfect no matter what sport or activity your athlete participates in.

Balance is important because if your gymnast loses his/her balance during a performance, points may be deducted from his/her score or your gymnast can get physically hurt. If your gymnast does not have balance, how else can he/she excel in the sport?

Just like gymnastics, ballet dancers perform skills on the beam where they too learn to control their balance. Ballet will also work your athlete’s core, which is the center of all strength. Your gymnast’s core will help him/her find his/her security.

How will ballet help my gymnast’s balance?

Ballet uses a lot of lower muscles, therefore, it will keep your athlete on their feet when they are not doing gymnastics. The foot and leg power from ballet goes a long way because your gymnast’s body will be used to working his/her legs and feet from gymnastics.

There are a lot of short jumps, leaps, and footwork in ballet; your gymnast will be preventing ACL injuries and other serious leg injuries without even realizing it. Your gymnast will become really good with his/her feet real quick, you watch!

Ballet dancers are used to landing on their legs and feet with such a soft power and can help your gymnast stick his/her landings too. Ballet dancers are constantly on their toes and gymnasts walk/run while on their toes as well.

Staying on your toes is not an easy thing to do, and can take a very long time to conquer. The more your gymnast is practicing and working his/her muscles, the stronger he/she will become.

Posture

Posture is something that many people struggle with, even us adults. Having bad posture can affect your health by giving you back aches and pains; plus hunching over isn’t a good look either.

Great posture does not only help with your athlete’s skills, but it will also boost confidence in your athlete because he/she will be learning how to keep his/her head up and stand tall!

Posture controls how an individual’s body lines up which will only do good your athlete’s movements. If your athlete’s body is not lined up right, how do you expect him/her to do the best performance he/she can do? When an individuals body is aligned, the muscles and bones can play their part and help the skills be done smoothly with the support your body needs.

How will ballet help my gymnast’s posture?

I personally am not a ballet dancer but I do know a lot of people who do ballet. I was very surprised to learn that ballet dancing teaches an individual to learn their body and their movements without relying on a mirror.

Gymnasts do not use mirrors while performing or practicing. Gymnasts are used to performing by having a clear head and being aware of their surroundings. If your gymnast is having trouble with posture and being more aware of their body then ballet class is the perfect fit!

In order to complete certain skills in gymnastics and ballet, it is ideal to have the proper posture so you can perform that skill correctly. Some skills probably won’t even look “right” if your athlete’s posture isn’t what it should be.

A good trick to practice posture is to think that you’re like a string doll and have a string connected from the back of your heels to your head. In order to make that string sturdy and tight, you have to stand up straight. If you do not stand up straight, then the string is loose and wiggly.

Like I mentioned, learning correct posture takes a lot of time and practice. Ballet can improve your gymnast’s balance by teaching him/her different methods to try out and see what works best.

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