Grab your goggles! In one European study, researchers followed athletes who switched from doing just one kind of exercise to triathlons—swimming, running and biking. After multi-area training, the athletes actually performed better in their original sport. This news comes as no surprise to ballet dancers, who know that cross-training can improve their leaps and bounds by, well, leaps and bounds. Swimming in particular has a few upsides that you might not have thought about.
- Like ballet, swimming requires coordinated movement between the upper body and lower body.
- If you have a tendency to hold your breath while dancing, swimming could help you break the habit since exercising in the water forces you to regulate your breathing.
- The resistance of the water makes it a low impact exercise for your joints (more so than running or jumping). So on top of building strength and endurance, swimming is also a great recovery exercise.
- Choreography often favors one side of the body over the other, but strokes such as freestyle can help correct muscular imbalances since they use even left- and right-sided movements evenly.
Hit the pool, along with the barre!