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Rest & Recovery

I have spoken a lot recently about preparing for a competition physical and last time touched on preparing mentally. We’ve also looked at how to avoid injuries going into a competition but what about afterwards!!

Competition day can be a long, gruelling, and tiring day. It can take its toll both physically and mentally leaving you feeling exhausted.

How many of you have felt like you’ve been hit by a truck the day after a competition; struggling to get out of bed and not feeling up to going to work or school?

It is important for dancers to prioritise rest and recovery after a competition in order to prevent burnout and injury. You are much more likely to injury yourself, even doing some minor activity, if your body is tired and worn out and not fully recuperated.

So here are some tips for all of you dancers to properly recover and look after yourself after a competition.


1 - Take time to rest – its important to take time out after a competition to relax and allow the body and mind to recharge. This means giving your body a break from physical and mental activity. So: -

  • Have a nice warm bubble bath with some essential oils like lavender or Ylang ylang.

  • Stretch out on the sofa and watch something funny on the TV.

  • Play a board game with the family (something not too mentally challenging)

  • Get a massage.


2 - Stay hydrated and well nourished – proper hydration and nutrition are essential for the muscles to recover and repair so make sure you drink plenty of water, (you may like to add a teaspoon of mineral salts to a glass of water) and eat a well-balanced diet with protein and healthy carbohydrates to replenish your energy stores and support muscle recovery.


3 - Stretch – some gentle stretching and using a foam roller can help to alleviate muscle soreness and improve flexibility if the muscles start to tighten up as they often do after extreme activity. Feel free to ask me for a stretching routine if you require one.


4 - Get enough sleep – sleep is crucial for recovery after a competition and for your overall health. Aim to get 8 hours each night to allow the body to regenerate. The benefits of sleep are immense for all areas of your life so should not be taken for granted. Create a healthy bedtime routine that includes soothing and calming activities. This lets the mind and body know that it is time for sleep and can help you to have a restful night. Calming activities can include: -


  • Reading a book.

  • Having a soothing bath.

  • Listening to some soothing music.

  • Using essential oils to massage the feet, face, or hands.

  • Diffuse some relaxing oils in the room.

  • Get an evening massage.

  • Avoid using technology just before bed.

  • Avoid drinking coffee in the evenings.


5 - Listen to your body – pay attention to how your body is feeling and adjust your recovery plan accordingly. Don’t push yourself too hard if you are feeling particularly tired or fatigued. Seek help from a professional from a sports therapist or physio if you are experiencing persistent pain or muscle soreness.


Rest and recovery after a competition is just as important as training and perfecting your routines and techniques. By taking time to recover properly after a competition you will be able to come back stronger and more prepared for the next one and will be at your peak performance level.

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