Hey guys! Today’s topic is about the things that never ever EVER leave my dance bag. These are things geared more towards injury prevention and things that help muscle soreness, not necessarily things like Pointe Shoes and Ballet Flats, you know what I mean?
The first thing that never leaves my bag is Arnica Gel. This helps with bruising and soreness, and I use this quite a bit. Not going to lie, I bruise very easily, so I apply this to my rib cage and back right before partnering. Bruised ribs are a normal occurrence for me, no matter who I’m partnering with.
I also use Arnica Gel for sore muscles. If my shins begin to hurt or my calves start to cramp, I’ll put this on during class. After I get home, I will put this on any sore area of my body (i.e. hip flexers, quads, hamstrings, etc.) and it helps so much.
The next thing I use is called DMSO, which I like to refer to as “horse cream.” Let me tell you a little fun fact: this product is actually used for equestrian horses and race horses and helps with a horse’s sore muscles. About a year ago, right before my exam, I pulled my hamstring, and my teacher (Jana) was talking to her dad about it. He mentioned using DMSO on his shoulders (I believe) and how it helped with sore muscles. We decided to try it out, and he got me a bottle (to which I am grateful).
As soon as I used it I could feel an immediate difference, and I’m talking IMMEDIATE. It has a slight icy-hot feeling and a cooling sensation, but it immediately relaxed my muscles. It doesn’t necessarily numb the pain, but it definitely helps with it. And yes, in case your either curious or worried, it is okay for humans to use. Just be sure to wash your hands after use.
KT tape is magic. I mean, I don’t know how it does it, but it helps your muscles relax. I’ve used this on days when my achilles and ankles were stiff and sore, and it helps so much. When I had shin splints, I use this, and it works its magic. I have no idea how, but it works. I use it quite a bit, and I actually need to get some more.
Pink Ankle Length Leg-Warmers. You’re probably thinking, “DUH!” but not even kidding, I wear them every single time. My lower legs are actually really sensitive to the cold, and tend to hurt and ache when they are cold. I wear the leg-warmers until my blood is flowing and they are really warm and then I take them off. If I have an extra achy ankle or shin splints, I wear them all the time. Keep warm, guys! Especially right now. I say (light) pink because it blends better with your tights.
Toe Spacers. It might sound weird, but if I spread my toes apart, you could probably fit an extra toe in between each one. I know, it’s disgusting, I kind of hate it. I have these teeny-tiny, thin silicon tabs that I made out of those toe cover-things (so technical, right?!), and it helps my toes stay in alignment. Fun fact, they actually have these little separators right here. In between my big and second toe, I use square shaped ones, since my toes are thinner that the bottom and get ridiculously thicker at the top. My toes will often be in immense pain from being out of alignment, so if you have a similar problem, I highly recommend trying out toe spacers. They’ll feel weird at first, but you will get used to them, I promise.
Cross-balls are so much better than tennis balls, guys. Invest in cross-balls because they get in there and do the job. In between classes/exercises, I roll out my feet to get all the kinks and cramps out and I find that my feet don’t feel as stiff. You can, of course, use it to roll out any other part of your body (i.e. hip flexers/gluteus, hamstrings, calves, etc.), but I use it mostly for my feet.
Another stretch-type thing (again, such technicality!) is a yoga block. I place the ball of my foot on the edge of the block and straighten my knee, and this stretches out the calf intensely, which is great for me because the calf stretch does absolutely nothing for me anymore.
Lastly, this contraption is a hand-held roller. Now, honestly, before I got this, I used a rolling pin. Yes, a rolling pin. Make it work, honey, make it work!!! You can find this in the yoga section of target, and it is so much more dance-bag friendly rather than a foam roller (which sits in the corner of my bedroom waiting for my return). I use this a lot to roll out my quads and calve especially, but sometimes I use it on my upper-back and my hip flexers.
Alright guys, that’s it for today’s blogpost! I hope you guys enjoyed it. If you have any friends who are in dance or might be interested in fitness at all, share this with them please! Thanks very much for reading! I love you all very much, and I’ll see you guys Sunday for Life On Pointe!
Sung Eun Rose