Monday, January 11, 2010

Dancing and Knee Pain

Normally, four nights of lindy hopping, two lower-body strength workouts and three cardio dance workouts in the course of a week would make my knees sore. But they felt better near the end of the week, after three hours of enthusiastic dancing, than they did at the beginning.

Here's an example of lindy (the dance I did for four nights), demonstrated by two of my teachers, Tiff and Kenny:

Tiff and Kenny did a show-stopping dance on Thursday that inspired me to dance better on Friday. Instead of doing the same few styling moves (foot and leg movements in this case), I pulled out all the stops and did every one I could think of--and I think that doing several movements instead of repeating a few movements dozens of times was what kept my knees from hurting. My partners enjoyed the variety, too!

Another dancer and I were talking about workouts. I mentioned I had stopped doing squats a few years ago, and she said she didn't do them, either. "Unless your knees are perfectly lined up over your feet, it'll hurt your knees." Perhaps; all I know is that I feel better not doing them. For my lower-body workout, I use the DVD Ballet Conditioning. Lovely Elise Gulan, ballerina, leads viewers through a series of exercises to rival the Navy Seal Workout.

The morning after my dancing epiphany, I did a 20-minute cardio dance workout (a la Body-for-Life) without any knee pain.

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