Lots of dancers like to ice sore muscles before heading into the studio, thinking that they’re doing themselves a favor. But they’re doing the exact opposite! A recent study at the University of Ulster and the University of Limerick showed that icing actually reduces muscle strength, bodily awareness and agility for 15 to 20 minutes afterwards. This is because the cold temperature slows nerve impulses, which prevents muscles and tendons from working together. The study also found that icing right before class or rehearsal could make a dancer more likely to get injured. If their muscles are numb, dancers might push themselves right past their limits and into an injury. Don’t write off icing all together—it’s still a great way to relieve pain if done after stepping off the marley for the day.
Nov. 29, 2001 07:00PM EST