Survival of the Fittest

Dancers today realize supplemental training in addition to daily class is necessary to survive in the evolving dance world.

Katie Boren for FLX

To reach the top of the field and avoid injury, today’s dancers realize that an effective strength and flexibility routine is needed in addition to the daily grind of ballet class to advance and improve technique rather than only maintaining it. Repetition of movements incorrectly each day can hinder improvement and lead to overused muscle groups with eventual injury. To cope with the hardcore effects of injury, dancer’s often turn to Pilates and Physical Therapy. Yet, applying these same principles to your daily training routine can keep supple, agile muscles in full range of motion and improve functional strength. You can then avoid injury, stay in peak performance shape, and reach your maximum potential.

Ballet is akin to any Olympic sport and as such today’s dancer must train like an Olympian. Taxing demands are placed on a dancer’s body; thus, waiting for an injury to instill these exercises will not advance you further but simply revert to pre-injury form. The life of a dancer is so rigorous with rehearsals 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. In times of fatigue is when weaknesses of the body are apparent, and the body is more prone to injury. How do you find a balance of maintaining the body and still advance physically and mentally?

Professional ballerina turned entrepreneur, Rachel Hamrick, speaks on injury from experience. She realized these ideas regarding training and recovery after undergoing a serious abdominal surgery that decreased her spinal mobility.  Jumping back into ballet class as quick as possible, she soon discovered that she was not improving technique but instead compensating for the weakness and practicing incorrect form. Hamrick discovered that the most effective way to regain her body’s strength was to form a new perspective and re-train her patterns of movement.  Immersing herself in Pilates, Yoga, Strength Conditioning, and Kinesiology she worked to apply the knowledge of these methods in dancing. She noticed a difference in her body and began seeing positive results in her strength and flexibility. Upon joining dance companies abroad, Hamrick found it difficult to find the same accessibility to Pilates, Yoga, Physical Therapy exercises, and Sports Trainers. The language barrier and busy rehearsal/touring schedule left little room to cross train how she had been right after surgery. In response, Hamrick began creating tailored exercises with portable equipment that she could execute on a daily basis in the studio, theatre, or hotel room that offered the same results she had experienced in her strength and flexibility.

Flexistretcher® products are the outcome of not only personal experience but researched training for ballet-specific movement patterns that adhere to the aesthetic required of the art form. Serving the needs of the professional dancer, they assist to maintain and further improvements in technique, keeping the body in its elite form and advancing to one’s fullest capabilities. Hamrick’s extensive experience has allowed her to create training methods for the professional ballet dancer to combat weaknesses and muscle tightness. With these methods, professionals, students and any active individual can achieve the desired aesthetics for which dancer’s strive. FLX®’s training methods and products were created to help face the demands of the ever evolving ballet world. Dancers today are constantly working to exceed the boundaries of dancers past and outstep the limits asked today. Incorporating these proven training techniques with Flexistretcher® products into your daily schedule can help your body to reach these limits and overcome them.  Surviving in today’s dance world means keeping up with the fittest. Learn from dancer’s past and evolve with demands by avoiding injury and choosing to surpass your own expectations.  

With the Flexistretcher®, your limits are endless. Are you ready to stretch your boundaries?