25 grams of fiber per day, how to eat enough fiber

How to Eat 25 Grams of Fiber and Still Hit Your Macros

Over the last month, we’ve discussed the benefits of hitting your daily fiber intake goals. We’ve also covered how probiotics and fiber work together to maintain a healthy gut. Today we’re discussing the HOW of it all: how to eat 25 grams of fiber per day and still hit your macros. 

At first, it might feel impossible.

I mean, a lot of foods advertised as “high fiber” disappointingly contain just 2 grams of fiber per serving. And, as we’ve learned previously, a lot of our dietary fiber will come from carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

So, the question becomes:

Okay then, how do I hit my goal of 25-30 grams of fiber per day and hit my macros?”

The answer?

Intentionality.

It’s true; when you’re first trying to consume 25 grams of fiber per day, being intentional about your food choices is helpful. 

First, take a look at how you eat regularly. Odds are, if you are at this point of fine-tuning your diet, you have some staple foods you eat that you know will help you reach your macro goals.

If this is the case, are there any foods you could swap in to get a little bit more fiber?

Let’s take a look at our meals each day.

 

Breakfast

For example, every morning I like to start my day with a piece of toast before my coffee and protein. 

However, while I was mindful of eating lower-carb bread, I wasn’t optimizing how much fiber that bread was giving me. A quick run to the store and now a single piece of toast gets me started with a whopping 3-5 grams of fiber in the morning! And the carbs are still relatively low!

If toast isn’t your thing, swap out your eggs for protein oatmeal. One cup of oatmeal will generally get you 4 grams of fiber and if you add a handful of berries you can boost that number to 7 grams!

I know what you’re thinking, “But oatmeal is a lot more carbs than eggs, and a high-fiber toast likely is too.”

High-fiber breads like Ezekial bread clock in at about 15 grams of carbohydrates per slice. And one cup of cooked oatmeal is only 27 grams of carbs. 

Add a protein shake or egg whites to either of these meals and you’ve got yourself a well-balanced breakfast packed with fiber, carbs, and protein to kickstart your day and keep you feeling full.

 

Lunch 

Lunch is probably my favorite meal of the day. It gives you a forced break midday to sit down and tune into your body. It also happens to have a lot of opportunities to get some extra fiber in!

If you’re a sandwich kinda dancer then please, feel free to use the high-fiber bread swap again and get yourself another 6-10 grams of fiber from your bread alone. 

Are you a pasta fiend? Great! Try swapping out your regular pasta for chickpea (or other legume-based) pasta. This can add a lot of fiber to your diet without affecting your macros much at all. 

More of a salad person? Salads are an awesome way to pack your diet full of fiber. Not only do they tend to be high-volume foods, but the toppings you can add to them are endless!

Add a scoop of brown rice, quinoa, beans, or chickpeas, and watch your fiber intake shoot up. What’s great about this is, that salad toppings like legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, and quinoa, also tend to be nutrient-dense. 

What does that mean? A whole lotta bang for your buck! 

Once again, none of these swaps have boosted your carb, fat, or protein intake so much so that your macros will be knocked off course. Especially if you are in a season of measuring your foods. 

 

 

Free energy estimator - macro calculator for dancers

 

 

Dinner

Okay, here we get to play around a bit. 

Do you like Taco Tuesday? Me too!

I love tacos as a healthy macro-friendly meal. But once again, when I ate tacos I wasn’t optimizing my fiber intake.

Cue another trip to the store. There I found fat-free refried beans. Oh, the joy I felt in my heart! 

Half of a cup of these refried beans contained around 5 grams of fiber and just 15 grams of carbs!

Maybe you’re more of a steak-for-dinner person. Great! 

What side dishes are you eating? Could you swap out your baked potato with a sweet potato to get a few extra grams of fiber in? Or maybe try a blend of whole grains or quinoa on the side. 

Again, intentional swaps can go a long way in hitting your fiber goal of 25 grams of fiber per day.

 

Snacks

If you’re good at math you might be noticing that each of these meals might’ve only boosted your fiber intake to about 5 grams per meal. 

And if you eat 3 meals a day that’s only 15 grams of protein. 

But let’s be real, we all love a snack. Let’s say mid-morning, after your audition, you have an apple with some cheese slices as a pick-me-up (a perfect pairing of pre/pro-biotics!). The average apple contains about 4 grams of fiber! 

Then, maybe mid-afternoon you  might get a little “snacky.” Swapping out your afternoon coffee for just a quarter cup of hummus and veggies can add up to 6 grams toward your goal of 25 grams of fiber!

And just like that boom,  you’ve hit 25 grams of fiber without going over your macros. 

 

The Reality 

If you paid close attention, most of these suggestions did not require adding or subtracting anything out of your diet. It simply required making a few strategic swaps to get you closer to your goals. 

Now, there are going to be some days when you don’t want to make those swaps and that’s okay! Like anything, you do your best but you also must enjoy your life.

 Maybe on those days, you focus more on having fruits and nuts as your snacks to boost fiber between meals – or, maybe you don’t worry about it for one day. 

The choice is yours. 

Want more nutrition tips, fitness tips, and even workouts? Check out these quick reads: Follow Your Heart? Everything You Need to Know About Heart Rate Variability Training, A Gut Feeling: Breaking Down the Facts on Pre Pro and Postbiotics, Workout Wednesday: The Basics Workout

Dietary Fiber Intake: A Dancer’s Secret to a Healthy Gut

We’ve talked a lot about dietary fiber intake lately. And that’s because odds are, you likely need to up your dietary fiber intake. 

Dietary Fiber does a lot for our bodies. It promotes a healthy gut, it keeps us feeling full, and it ensures that we stay…uh…regular. 

 

Fine, but What IS Dietary Fiber?

Fiber is the roughage of plant foods that our body isn’t able to digest or absorb. Because fiber isn’t digested, it passes (pretty much intact) through your small intestine and colon.

We’ve talked about this before on the blog, but there are two types of dietary fiber: Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. 

Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a kind of gel. This kind of fiber helps with cholesterol and glucose levels. It’s found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, and barley. 

Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and promotes the movement of “stuff” through your digestive system. Insoluble fiber is found in whole-wheat flour, bran, nuts, beans, and veggies!

The daily recommendation for dietary fiber intake is 20-30 grams. 

Hitting that goal is more challenging than it seems, but it is incredibly important. 

 

Free energy estimator - macro calculator for dancers

 

Increasing Dietary Fiber Intake Promotes a Healthy Gut

Dietary Fiber is our body’s main source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible foods that promote the growth and activity of good gut bacteria.

Prebiotics are the main source of “food” for probiotics. This means if you don’t have a high enough dietary fiber intake, probiotics won’t have “food” to fuel themselves to digest food efficiently, fight disease, and produce vitamins. 

 

Okay, So HOW Do I Consume Enough?

This is the trick, increasing your dietary fiber intake requires intentionality. 

But a few swaps here and there can make for a huge increase in dietary fiber intake. 

Increasing your consumption of whole grains, fruits, beans, and legumes, and even prebiotic sodas like Poppi and Ollipop are a great way to hit your fiber goal. 

Coach Amber put together this awesome example of a day consuming 25 grams of fiber:

dietary fiber intake, 20-30 grams of fiber a day, eating enough fiber

As you can see, swapping out regular white or wheat bread for bread containing whole grains (like Ezekiel Bread) can make a huge impact on dietary fiber intake. 

Swapping out your snacks with fruit, hummus, or another bean dip can also up your fiber intake. 

Finally, making sure you kick off your day with high-fiber food like oatmeal, whole grain toast, or a chia seed smoothie, can make hitting your daily goal much easier!

So, what do you think? Are these intentional choices something you think you could adjust to?

The benefits outweigh the few moments of intentionality required. Regular bowel movements, less bloating, and staying full between meals were enough to tip the scales for me.

 

Did you find this breakdown helpful? Check out these quick reads for more: Do You Really Need 10,000 Steps a Day?, Training Tip Tuesday: Confidence Corner, the Gymitmidation Secret, A Dancer’s Guide to the Best Supplements for Muscle Recovery

dance injuries, pt for dancers, dancer injury

Dance Injuries And How to Prevent Them (According to Broadway’s PTs!)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, dance injuries are inevitable and rarely reflect a dancer’s technique, work ethic, or “injury prone-ness.”

Whether it’s a rolled ankle or a blown ACL, injuries happen and need to be honored– no matter how frustrating they may be. 

However, just because injuries happen frequently doesn’t mean you can’t prepare yourself and train your body to be as injury-resistant as possible. 

That’s why, for our final interview in our physical therapy for dancers series, we asked Mims Method PTs which injuries they see most often and how dancers can deal with them (or work to prevent them!)

So buckle up because we are discussing the most common dance injuries seen by Broadway’s PTs and how to prevent them!

 

The Hips

Dr. Dan Ginader of Mims Method mentioned that the dance injuries he sees most are related to the general overuse of the hips.

He says this is because dancers’ hips have a large range of motion but often lack strength in those extreme ranges of motion. 

To fix this we need to focus on the mobility of the hips. Because, while your hips are very flexible, you need to be able to control and support that flexibility with strength. 

Dan suggests that dancers “ Make sure that anywhere you can move the hip passively,  you also have the ability to control it actively with your muscles.”  

What are some ways to train the end range of motion in the hips? 

Weighted squats, hip CARS, banded clamshells, and banded side steps, are all a great start.

Add these to your workouts and you’re sure to see an improvement in your extensions and control!

 

The Ankles

Both Drs. Chris and Kate said the dance injuries they see most often have to do with the ankles. 

Dr. Kate Besong specifically singled out ankle impingement – both anterior and posterior. 

Anterior ankle impingement leads to a “pinched, stuck, or blocked” feeling in the front of the ankle. You’ll usually feel it during deep demi plié and take-offs and landings from jumps. 

Posterior ankle impingement leads to a similar feeling in the back of the ankle most often felt during rélévé. 

Kate says that, while both of these injuries can improve with rest, they will often flare back up when activity is increased again. Instead, working on joint alignment and the mechanics of movements can address the problem.

To prevent the problem Kate recommends keeping all sides of your lower legs strong and mobile. 

“Try focusing on the strength of your calf muscle (gastroc/soleus) with weighted rélévés as well as the strength of your shin muscle (tibialis anterior) with this exercise known as “butt scratchers.”

Dr. Chris Falciano says he sees a variety of ankle injuries including sprains, strains, and general instability. He said he usually comes across these as a result of jumps and turns. 

Chris is a huge proponent of cross-training for dancers as a means of injury prevention (no, we did not pay him to say that!). 

What’s good crosstraining for dancers?  Well, we’ve written a few things about that, but for now, maybe start here: Why Should Dancers Lift Weights? 

 

 

mindfulness for self-care, mental health support for injury recovery

 

 

Overuse vs. Fluke Dance Injuries

Dr. Brittney Mims, Founder of Mims Method Physical Therapy echos Dr. Chris’ encouragement for dancers to cross train. 

She says most dance injuries can be put into two categories: overuse injuries and fluke injuries. 

Fluke dance injuries (caught shoes, slips, or someone in the way when landing a jump etc.) can be hard to avoid. 

But Britt says that many overuse injuries can be prevented by a proper warm-up and – you guessed it!- cross-training. 

 

Injury Does Not Equal Failure

As Brittney mentioned, sometimes fluke dance injuries just happen. On top of that, no matter how much injury prevention work you do, sometimes overuse still catches up with you. 

The important thing to remember is, that injury is not a reflection on you as a dancer. It does not mean you didn’t ___ enough or if you had done ___ differently you wouldn’t be in this position. 

Also, despite what you might feel, sustaining an injury does not make you “injury prone.” So, take the time you need to care for your body and don’t stop caring for your body once you’ve recovered. 

Instead, keep doing that one exercise you really liked from PT by adding it into your warm-up or workouts. Take what you learn from your recovery and add it into your cross-training. It’ll only make you stronger!

Want more tips for cross-training as a dancer? Give these a read: Gym Myths and Misconceptions: The Dancer Edition, 10 Exercises For Dancers That Will Transform Your Technque, The Ultimate Dancer Workout for Conditioning

working out on vacation

Should I Be Working Out On Vacation?

I get it, working out on vacation doesn’t always sound appealing. I mean, it’s vacation. It’s a time to rest, recover, and cast the responsibilities of life aside for a couple of precious days. However, working out on vacation can have a ton of benefits and add to the benefits of unplugging for a few days. 

Let’s talk about it. 

 

Working Out on Vacation: The Why

Working out on vacation might sound like a drag but, actually, getting in a sweat session can make your vacation even better. 

How?

Because exercise has been clinically proven to boost your mood and mental state! I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation I already have a little mood boost. Add to that the natural high of an efficient workout and I am flying HIGH!

Working out on vacation can also keep your digestion moving despite any tough travel days or new foods. Exercise is an excellent way to promote healthy digestion. Getting in some movement on vacay keeps that travel bloat or constipation at bay leaving you with a happy gut ready to eat all the vacation treats you’ve been dreaming of.  

You never have to earn a treat or meal.

But, when on vacation, odds are you’re eating out a lot more than usual. This uptick in calories can cause a bit of bloating and even slight weight gain if you’re traveling for a long time. This is nothing to worry about and nothing that a couple of days back in “ordinary life” won’t reverse. However, working out on vacation gives you a little bit more wiggle room, calorically, if this is something you’re concerned about. 

On top of all of this, exercising on vacation keeps you from losing all semblance of a routine. If you’re used to moving your body every day or exercising three days a week, chances are, moving during vacation is going to feel good. 

Besides, even if you only exercise once during vacation, returning to your workout routine when you get home will be easier than if you haven’t.  

 

 

personal training for dancers

 

 

How Do I Workout On Vacation?

Here’s the thing, working out on vacation doesn’t have to look like a 45-minute lifting session in the gym. 

This study showed that people saw health improvements from workouts like golfing, Nordic walking, and E-biking. These aren’t what people usually think of when they picture “working out on vacation” but these activities raised the participants’ heart rates and promoted muscle growth.  

Something as simple as participating in that beach volleyball game, going for a swim, taking the hotel yoga class, or hitting your steps goal (or beyond) is enough to keep your body feeling strong. 

This is why, when people go to Europe and spend all day walking, clocking 20k + steps a day, they come home feeling extra lean. 

Now, if you know you won’t be walking a lot and you’re not on the kind of vacay that lends itself to a bike ride, or a swim, or otherwise, a more traditional workout might be your best bet. 

We love to have some bands and other travel equipment in our bag to make a hotel workout session easy and efficient.

We also like to remember that working out on vacation doesn’t have to be long or complicated to be impactful. Keeping things simple makes holiday workouts easy to squeeze in between activities or before you kick off your adventures for the day. 

 

So, how do you work out on vacation? 
  1. Plan an activity appropriate to your vacay that will get your heart rate up and your body moving. 
  2. Put yourself through a quick circuit in your hotel or wherever you’re staying. Keep it simple, squats, push-ups, dead bugs, and cycle through it however many times you feel.

The main thing is to move! 

As someone who used to never work out on vacation and who now does, I can tell you that it makes a huge difference in how I feel.  

But I don’t get crazy about it. Not getting my workout in does not ruin my day or make me anxious about enjoy food.

Rather, I focus on getting movement in when I can, and when I can’t, I enjoy the rest knowing that rest is equally productive for my body. 

So what do you think? On your next trip, will you try working out on vacation? Maybe just start by packing the appropriate clothes and see what happens. And if you do end up working out on vacation, tell us about it!

We’d love to hear if you felt like it made a difference in your trip!

 

Did you enjoy reading this? Here are a couple more blogs we think you’d love: The 15-Minute Workout, 10 Tips For Eating Healthy At A Restaurant, Let’s Talk About Stress, Ba-by! Stress Management For Dancers

What is a Rest Day? The Key To Unlocking Your Progress

One of the hardest things to communicate to our dancers at Dancers Who Lift is how productive a rest day is. 

 

I had an old teacher who used to say,

“There is someone out there working harder and longer than you, and when they meet you they will beat you.”

 

This mentality not only made sense to me but added an immense amount of pressure to my training schedule. 

And while this sentence has some truth in it, what “they” are working harder on could be better defined.

You see, I thought it meant more hours in the studio, more hours spent on nutrition, more hours spent in the gym, more hours spent practicing, more hours auditioning. 

But when someone is training at an elite level, they are incredibly intentional about rest. They take rest days and active recovery days. They have a consistent nighttime routine to help them get quality sleep. These athletes care deeply about rest because they recognize that it directly impacts their performance. 

Now, with dancers, rest is particularly important because, unlike other athletes, we don’t have a “season” in which our training is focused.

No. Auditions happen year-round. Opportunities to perform crop up left and right and remaining ready is a big part of our reality. That’s why being intentional about rest is so important. Because life without rest is not sustainable. It will surely lead to burn-out, illness, or even injury.

Studies have shown that it is integral to an athlete’s success to have a detailed recovery plan that balances, sleep, nutrition, hydration, and physical and psychological rest. 

So let’s talk a bit about the different kinds of rest days and how you listen to your body to determine which kind of rest it needs. 

 

Active Recovery Days

This, we have found, is a dancer’s favorite kind of rest – because, well, it’s not passive. 

Active recovery days are days in which you still move your body, and you might even exercise, but the intensity and intention of the workout are not the same. Workout days have the focus of increasing your heart rate, burning calories, and building muscle. Active rest days have the goal of increasing blood flow, decreasing physical stress, and muscle recovery.

Examples of an active rest day are:

Taking an extra long walk, taking an easy ride on your bike, doing yoga, or a mobility flow. 

Examples of things that might look like active rest days but are not are:

Taking a pilates/core power/SLT class, taking a hot yoga class, or taking a spin/SoulCycle class.

 

Yes, these things might be lower intensity than your other workouts, but they are still, in fact, workouts designed to put your body under physical stress as a means of training. 

Active recovery days are incredibly important for muscle recovery. Studies have shown that engaging in active rest days can decrease recovery time in muscle groups. This means that taking an active rest day between workouts could help you perform better during your next workout!

Not only that but the activities associated with an active rest day (walking, gentle cycling, yoga) are also associated with positive mental health. 

So – to recap, active rest days promote muscle recovery and a positive mental state.

Sound good to you? Same.  

 

 

mindfulness for self-care, mental health support for injury recovery

 

 

 

Then, What Is A Rest Day?

After hearing all those positives about active rest days you might be wondering, why take a rest day? Moving my body every day is good, right?

Well, yes.  We want to get our bodies moving a little bit each day. But every day does not have to be active. 

Like anything, too much of a good thing is still too much. Constantly being active places our bodies in a state of chronic stress. Being in a state of chronic stress increases a hormone called Cortisol, the primary stress hormone. This causes an increase in sugar, also called glucose, in the bloodstream. Cortisol slows functions that would be nonessential or harmful in a fight-or-flight situation- changing immune system responses and suppressing the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes. 

What does this mean? It means that if your body perceives that it won’t get a break, it will be more susceptible to illness and injury, and will slow down the muscle growth process (it won’t recover well between workouts.)

If you are someone looking to reach a fitness, physique, or training goal, that is bad news. 

The remedy? Take a rest day. 

A rest day is comprised of leisurely movement like a stroll through the park or a stretch session. But mostly, a true rest day consists of restorative activities like reading a book, watching a movie, sharing a meal with loved ones, or being creative in a way that is separate from your profession. 

I can hear it now, 

“BuT, I fEeL LaZY WhEn I dO NoThING.”

 

If you are saying this, then this is an even bigger signal that learning to rest should be a top priority.  Because, if you are constantly worried during your rest day that you’re losing progress by resting, then you aren’t really resting at all. 

Emotional health plays a big role in our physical health. If we are emotionally stressed, eventually that stress will manifest physically in some way. 

Just because you are physically resting does not mean you’re giving your body the rest it needs. To recover, you need to also rest your mind. Release your worry and unplug. 

It may take time to discover what you need in order to fully relax. 

For me, I need my space to be tidy. If my space is a mess, my mind will be too. But if I take a few minutes even just to tidy up the mess a little, I find it much easier to relax.

So, take some time to reflect on what it is you need to do to properly take a rest day and do it. Then, bask in the relief of true and total rest. And do so knowing that you are making progress because of it!

Rest days are integral in muscle recovery and growth. Rest days prevent injury, and burn-out, and promote better sleep. 

 

How Do I Know When to Rest?

Learning to listen to your body and deduce what it needs can take time. 

Generally, if you’re feeling extra sore or tired, that’s a signal that your body might need an active recovery day. Active recovery is perfect for days when you’re feeling sore because the movement will help alleviate the soreness and the rest will give your energy levels a chance to rebalance. 

Now, if you’re feeling exhausted, you “tweaked” something yesterday, or mentally you need a break, take a full rest day. Give your mind something completely new to focus on like a good book or show. Meet up with a friend and laugh. Listen to your favorite song. Bake your favorite recipe or meal prep for the week. Anything to give your mind and body a break from what you’ve been focused on. 

Dedication > Motivation. But only if you are giving yourself time to recover. If you’ve been hitting them and rehearsing and auditioning and learning scenes for an acting class, and, and, and… 

Then your lack of motivation might be your body asking for a much-deserved break. Listen to it and honor it. 

 

So, when was the last time you took a true rest day?

Will you take one this week? You should! We suggest our dancers get at least one true rest day and one or two active rest days each week.

Give it a try this week and let us know how your next workout feels. My guess? You’ll be able to run farther, lift more, and dance longer than if you had skipped your day off. 

 

Want more tips for performing optimally? Give these a read: Eight Ways to Promote Faster Recovery, Overcoming Plateaus and Setbacks, 10 Exercises For Dancers That Will Transform Your Technique

physical therapy for performance athletes

A Chat With Physical Therapists about Performance Athletes

Welcome back to our Physical Therapy for Dancers Series! Today we are chatting, once again, with the Mims Method Physical Therapists about their experience working with performance athletes. 

If you missed our other interviews with Mims Method, you should know that these doctors work with Broadway’s dancers and performers from shows like Chicago, Back to the Future, and more! But, like Dancers Who Lift, the doctors at Mims Method serve performance athletes across the city. From concert dancers to acrobats to vocalists and more. 

Previously, they provided top-tier info about how to find a good physical therapist and spilled the tea on what they wished dancers knew. Today, we’ll learn more about them; why they love working with performance athletes, and what makes working with dancers different than other athletes. 

But enough from me, let’s dive in shall we?

First, let’s get to know our PT’s.

 

What/how/why did you start working with and focusing on performance athletes as a PT?

 

Drs. Dan Ginader and Chris Falciano both got their start working with dancers when they were hired by Dr. Brittney Mims, founder of Mims Method. So let’s hear a bit about her story, shall we?

Brittney grew up doing gymnastics and cheerleading and endured a severe back injury at just 15. This injury not only took her out of her sport but fully impacted her day-to-day life for years. 

When it came to her physical therapist for this injury, she wasn’t impressed, 

“Although the PT I went to was very nice, I typically left in more pain than at the start of the session. Hypermobility and teenagers were not his bread and butter. Flash forward to my junior year in college and I was still feeling pain. I was sent to another PT who totally changed my life and helped me become pain-free for the first time in years. It was so apparent how different my sessions were that I wanted to be a PT who actually worked. I switched all my remaining college courses and decided to go to PT school.”

 

During her doctorate, Brittney had the opportunity to work with Miami City Ballet on her final rotation.

“ I felt so fulfilled and challenged and I knew during that rotation I had to work with performers going forward.” 

And thank goodness she listened to this calling! Otherwise, Drs. like Chris and Dan may have yet to discover the joy of working with dancers – and superb dance specialists, like Kate Besong, might never have found her PT home. 

 

Like Brittney, Dr. Kate Besong struggled with injury as a dancer. 

“I had intense patellofemoral syndrome in both of my knees, which really limited my ability to dance as much as I wanted to. I did go to PT, and to my memory, they did have me doing stuff that was beneficial, but I was not very compliant with their plan simply because I didn’t understand how their exercises would allow me to have less pain with dance.”

Because of this, Kate’s mission with her clients is to teach them as they train so they understand how the PT exercises will impact and improve their ability to dance. 

As you can see, working with performance athletes is not just something this team “likes,” they have a personal connection to their work. They want to provide a service that was unavailable to them and ensure the longevity of performance athletes’  careers. 

 

 

personal training for dancers

 

 

What do you enjoy most about working with dancers?

 Okay, Okay, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of their commitment to working with performance athletes is simply because it’s FUN!

Each of these doctors confirmed that dancers are incredibly in tune with their bodies and – spoiler alert – we tend to be perfectionists. 

As Dr. Kate says, we “think by feeling.” This superpower makes performance athletes fantastic physical therapy clients.

Dr.  Christ agrees,

“Dancers are incredibly aware of every aspect of their bodies and can control subtle motions far better than athletes in many other sports. Add that to the fact that they tend to be genuinely interested in how different body parts (nerves muscles, etc) work together, and you’ve got the best kind of patient you could ask for.”

 

What might surprise you, however, is what they had to say about how working with performance athletes differs from regular athletes. 

Dr. Kate Besong loves the dancers’ connection to sensory memories and says it informs how she trains dancers, 

“I find that dancers respond so well to imagery and analogies. If I want them to have a better connection to their iliopsoas, I’ll show them a picture of what it looks like, show them where it is on their body and what it’s responsible for, and then give them an exercise that helps them feel that muscle. I try to paint a really bright picture so that they can access that memory again in the future.”

 

However, there is one major difference Dr. Chris mentioned that stood out to us here at Dancers Who Lift:

“Athletes in many other sports focus on strength training, particularly in recent years. Many of the dancers I’ve worked with have never performed strength and resistance training, which can be incredibly beneficial for injury prevention.”

 

Yes, in the year 2024 performance athletes are still lacking experience in strength training as a means of cross-training

Did you know that Coach Amber, our very own founder of DWL, got her start working in a physical therapy office? This is what inspired her to get stronger and started her on her journey toward creating Dancers Who Lift. 

So, if you’re a dancer struggling with injury, we highly recommend finding a physical therapist to help you through it (and if you’re in NYC check out Mims Method!). 

Then, once your doctor clears you, think about working with us here at Dancers Who Lift. We focus on teaching dancers the ins and outs of strength training and resistance training. We give you the tools to navigate any gym with confidence and approach any choreography knowing that your body has your back. 

Sound like something you’re interested in? Email us at dancerswholift@gmail.com or check us out on Instagram @dancerswholift. While you’re at it, give @mimsmethodpt  a follow too for more physical therapy tips for dancers!