Electrical stimulation has proven to be one of the most efficient training methods. Its ability to tone muscles has been proven in numerous studies over the years. On previous occasions, we have seen how it can be very useful when it comes to improving athletic performance. However, did you know that professional ballet dancers also use electrical stimulation as part of their training? We explain more in this article.
What is Ballet?
Ballet is commonly considered to be a type of performance dance and, more specifically, a classical type of dance. This is true to a certain extent, although with some differences. Firstly, because physical skills such as flexibility, limb strength and speed are much more important in ballet. All this makes it much more physically demanding than most other styles.
In turn, what makes ballet difficult is down to the consistency required. The dancer must express a thought, concept or emotion through a range of steps that must follow a specific order, or in other words, tell a story through characterization and body language. This is the only way to portray emotions to the audience without speaking or lyrics.
To complement this discipline and make it more beautiful, it is usually accompanied by classical music performed by an orchestra. Lyric and theater can be part of the same performance together with classical dance, as they have done for centuries. All this calls for greater levels of concentration from the dancer, requiring greater physical effort.
What is Ballet Fit?
This emerging discipline comes from the Anglo-Saxon world (mainly the United States and the United Kingdom) and is popular the world over. Our country isn’t lagging behind the trend. Lots of ballet fit academies have stated popping up.
To sum up, it is somewhere between pilates, yoga and, of course, classical dance. However, it is not just a combination of these; its movements are perfectly designed to represent the best of the three styles. Ballet fit seeks the harmony of dance, the flexibility of yoga and the static strength of pilates.
Virtually anyone can do this, but it also requires a great deal of physical effort to perfectly execute the different positions. Fortunately, anything can be achieved by putting in the time and focusing on toning and effective preparation.
Electrical stimulation and Ballet
Electrical stimulation has been linked to the world of dance for many years. And, as we have seen so far, it is a fairly physically demanding dance form. The important thing is to tone the muscles and increase strength to be able to get into positions and make movements in a fluid way.
If you were to ask a classical dancer about the parts of their body that they work the most, the answer would be pretty straightforward: the legs and the upper body. Just imagine the hours of training they have to put in to move around the stage comfortably and, more importantly, naturally.
In case you don’t know what EMS is, we’ll give you the rundown. Basically, it’s a type of training that uses electrical impulses to contract your muscles while you’re working out. We can tone and increase muscle power in a more comfortable and effective way.
Over the last few years, electrical stimulation has been gaining ground in many sports. For example, it is already used in training for tennis, swimming or even soccer. But, how has it managed to gain popularity in a discipline as classical as ballet?
Perform better with electrical stimulation
One thing about classical dance cannot be overlooked. Many people give it a try but end up giving it up because they don’t go into it with the right attitude and lack the level of commitment required. Do you know just how tough it is to move around the stage following a series of memorized steps? Imagine how enriching it is for the dancer to see how their choreography turns out.
There is no question about the first of these: the physical, which we will discuss in more detail in the following section. Next, let’s look at the emotional aspect. It takes less of a psychological toll on dancers who choose electrical stimulation and so optimizing the physical side of things is crucial. So, EMS means that rehearsal time is optimized, resulting in better performance levels.
Experts point out that EMS can be very useful on its own. However, we recommend combining this innovative technique with conventional exercise. Whatever your choice, when it comes to dancing, electrical stimulation offers the following benefits:
- Tones the body: improving physical fitness makes it easier to dance.
- Boosts strength: it mainly strengthens the upper body and legs.
- Increases muscle mass: this is responsible for explosive strength, necessary to execute complicated dance moves.
- Optimizes flexibility: thanks to this skill, the dancer can move fluidly.
Muscle recovery with electrical stimulation
Because they put themselves through grueling levels of physical exertion, professional dancers are prone to muscle injuries. As with most sports, this is commonplace. However, not recovering properly can make things worse further down the line that could affect day to day life.
Within EMS, there are several types of currents. Benefits depend on the current chosen, as in the case of analgesic currents, or otherwise called TENS electrical stimulation to treat injuries. Its main function is to minimize the sensation of pain when working on the injured area in order to stop it from spreading to other parts of the body.
Improves flexibility with electrical stimulation
Do you know how to be more flexible with EMS? Easy, with cyclic training. This means stretching the muscle until you can’t lengthen it any more. The process is subsequently repeated to progressively improve this skill.
This is just one of the common techniques, but there are many more. Remember that one of the advantages of this system is precisely that it can be worked deeply. As a result, the ligaments become much more elastic, one of the points most valued by professional dancers.
Improve concentration with electrical stimulation
Lack of concentration is one of the biggest threats to effective training. When performing conventional exercises, we tend to lose focus easily due to the demands of the activity. With EMS, it is much easier to focus the mind on how we are progressing which increases motivation and memory.
Although it is a rather different type of exercise to conventional ones, it is rather dynamic. What does this mean? That the body will never work in the same way; it will have to adapt to changes in the muscles. To achieve much stronger results, it is essential to focus on the effect of the currents.
Benefits of electrical stimulation
We have already seen that EMS can be incredibly effective for dancers. But, what other benefits does electrical stimulation offer regular Joes and athletes alike?
Improving athletic performance is a goal that all athletes set themselves, whether amateurs or professionals. However, although there is no one-size-fits-all way to achieve it, several aspects can be worked on. Electrical stimulation contributes to speeding up progress in several aspects, emotional and physical alike, by stimulating a greater number of muscle fibers.
“EMS is responsible for providing that small differential factor that these professionals may be lacking when it comes to perfecting their movements”.
When muscles are damaged, they can be under extreme tension which causes pain. In these cases, electrical stimulation relaxes them by mimicking the signals sent by the central nervous system to the peripheral nervous system. At the same time, it also helps to prevent muscle atrophy which is caused by not using the muscles enough.
Electrical stimulation for professional dancers
When a certain level of mastery is reached, the physical demands are much higher. This is where the influence of technological systems almost inevitably comes into play. EMS is responsible for providing that small differentiating factor that may be lacking in these professionals to perfect their movements.
This technique is key, even during periods of inactivity. While away from rehearsals, there is a lot of work to be done. Professional dancers use electrical stimulation to relieve their muscles after rehearsing, or even to bounce back from injuries more quickly.
This is all part of a field that is gaining increasing importance. This new technique is used by amateurs and professionals alike. The key is to make the most of it to optimize its influence on our body.
To sum up, modern professional ballet wouldn’t be what it is without electrical stimulation Remember that a combination of gentle currents and conventional exercise boost results even further. For more information, our blog has everything you need to know. Feel free to subscribe!