Conditioning for Zoukers
Be strong! Be injury free!
Dancers that dance zouk are advised to be conditioning their body consistently. The reason for this is because the movements in zouk are rooted in momentum much like running. Improper technique and conditioning leads to injury over time. Besides, who would like to become stronger and more fit?
The conditioning videos we recommend result in a strong resilient body for social dancing. Flexibility training such as splits and extreme back bends we relegate to performance arts (in which a ballet or gymnastics school would provide appropriate exercises), but the calisthenic exercises shown in the "Convict Conditioning" videos below are amongst the best we've ever encountered in progressive strength and flexibility exercises for day-to-day movement.
**note: strength is important for being able to do different kinds of movements, but bio-mechanically sound technique also is essential in preventing injury.
1: Feet (Toes & Ankles)
2: Base (Knees & Hips)
3: Frame (Torso & Neck + Shoulders & Elbows)
4: Hands (Fingers & Wrists)
5: Head (Head & Eyes)
1. Everything starts from the ground (including head movement). This exercise gives you the most bang for your buck since we use one-legged and two-legged squats in every movement (traveling and stationary). Avoid getting knee injuries by training with squats. Knee injuries are the most common amongst Leads who can prevent it by understanding how to move their legs in a coordinated fashion and who develop strong squatting technique.
2. Core strength is essential as all movement originates from the core. Here's an article off of the Harvard website.
3. We need to have enough strength to keep ours arms up and engaged when connecting with our partner's frame. Otherwise we end up relying on our partner. The frame also encompasses the neck and traps so these exercises are great for head movements too. Zouk movements generally engage the full body- so training upper body strength is also essential.
4. If you do any sort of back bending in zouk, bridges help to develop the spinal erectors and much much more. If you've been wondering how to develop strength for cambres or head movements, bridges are where it's at.