It’s that feeling the next day! You wake up, roll over and push yourself up onto the side of the bed. It’s like your muscles are screaming at you…’What have you done to me???
NRL season runs through the end of Autumn and right through winter. Yes we love the sport, and we would’t cheer if we didn’t love it. However, some games are absolutely freezing! These are the games you need to make sure your muscles are warm and stretch before you get out onto that field. Let’s be honest, the cheerleading outfits we wear aren’t designed to keep us warm.
Sidelines are when your muscles start to cool down, hips, quads and hamstrings start to tighten as well as your back because you’re trying to stay warm.Hopefully your football team are scoring tries so that you can stay warm jumping up and performing combos or acro. If you are one of the acrobats in you cheer squad out there doing flips and tricks, looking after your body and muscles is vital. You’re one of the key dancers out there.
I have even heard from some cheerleaders that they apply Deep Heat to there legs and back before they go out on the field. Very smart!
The next morning you really don’t even feel like moving for the next 2 days, however, you need too and you need to nurse your muscles to prevent injury.
Here are some handy hints on managing sore muscles.
- Stretch – Don’t go crazy, you’re sore! Lightly lean into the stretch, you’re body will tell you how far to go and when to stop. Resistance bands are great also, especially if you are laying down and resting.
- Heat Packs – This will bring blood to the area and will be soothing.
- Warm bath or shower – This relaxes your muscles and the heat does wonders. For the bath, there’s only a limited amount of stretching you can do, however, pointing and flexing your feet, sitting up and stretching your hamstrings and arms can be done. The shower is more accommodating, I love stretching my quads, hamstrings, calves and back. Just lightly lean into them and the heat will assist you.
- Hot and Cold Packs – Use heat, ice, heat, ice 15mins each (This is great for after class)
- Get in the Pool – Get some of your dancing friends together and If you have access to a pool, jump in (or roll) and do some laps of just walking and moving your body around.
- Massage – A light massage the next day or 2 days after is amazing. It may hurt, but just relax, deep breaths and you will feel much better after.
- Rest – Its hard for dancers to rest if you need to go to class, rehearsals, teach or go to your next gig. Try and rest when you can and make sure you get plenty of sleep.
- Water – Be sure you drink 8 glasses of water a day.
- Protein – This helps your muscles rebuild. Remember, as dancers we want to have nice lean muscles, not bulky muscles. Small to Medium size portions of protein are great for us, around 60-65 grams.
Find a remedy that works best for you and always stretch after you dance.
Remember, you only have one body, look after it!