Updated: Dec 7, 2020
According to the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, a smart warm-up has four parts: "a gentle pulse-raising, a joint mobilization, muscle lengthening and a strength/balance building section". A good warm-up of 5 to 10 minutes of chosen activity should gradually increase our heart rate minimizing stress on our heart and joints, ensuring greater flexibility and elasticity of the tissues: i.e. bigger movements, greater dynamism, ahh yess indeed. We want to look good and fill the room with expression when we dance and whether you dance for fitness, performance, fun or happiness it sure helps if we warm-up appropriately and safely.
Having taught various forms of fitness consistently for the last 24 years (injury free I must state), nothing can separate yourself more quickly from your health and safety than that of a crude or non-existent warm-up, leading you to believe your workout is complete after three songs 😜😂.
Marching on the spot is great, variances in the march are also quite effective at lifting heart rate. Amongst the fitness community, it's generally agreed NO hand movements over the head, no low fast runs, no jumping especially on one leg due to the high risk of spiking one heart rate early; risking injury to muscle or body. Squats are useful for warming the larger muscles, and a good steady bpm of 115 to 120 beats per minute, or bpm is considered the industry standard, although personally I prefer a little faster. I find it bring the community dancer in on my vibe quicker and set the tone of the class.
To be honest, there are very few moves to be incorporated in a dance fitness warm-up as unlike other specialisms dance fitness is for everybody and everybody needs to be warm to dance. Longer warm-up in colder conditions is a surety and one super cool thing about being a fitness instructor is that you get to open people up to your world of dance and fitness and that my Love is everything. 😍
Until next time Dance CultuRise Always.