Today is the last day of training camp for the Chicago Luvabulls, the professional cheerleaders/dancers for the Chicago Bulls. Training camp is a 3 day process with today being the final cut for the new 2009-2010 squad.
People ask me what they should do to get their body ready for a physical event or dance audition such as this. The number one thing I believe to get your body ready is to stretch. Especially if you have not stretched or danced in a few months. You will be extremely sore after your first day if this is the case. You do not want to pull a muscle and hinder your ability to give your best performance.
I am personally very sore for my last day of try-outs. I have continued with my stretching since the season ended. However, I
think I possibly could have done more. No matter what, your body most
likely will feel some aches and pains after doing an activity that has
not been done for a number of months.
If you are sore, ice your muscles. It will help keep the inflammation
down that may have built up. I also do a small stretch after I ice my
muscles. Nothing too extreme or too far because your muscles are
Tonight before try-outs I will be warming-up, stretching and laying on
the icy hot. The icy hot is just a mask for the actual tension I feel
in my muscles. However, it helps me forget about the discomfort so I
can focus on performing.
If you ever feel you have pulled a muscle too far, do NOT continue to
push through it. Some signs that you may have done some damage: you
can't walk, there is a sharp shooting pain, you cannot move your joints
in their full range of motion or you have bruising over the area.
Severe cases where the muscle has detached from the bone requires you
to get to the emergency room immediately! (The last is a severe case,
however can happen. You will know b/c the muscle may actually roll
Make sure you stretch every part of your
body from your shoulders, neck, chest, back, hips, legs, calves and
your achilles. While stretching, perform static stretching. (static
stretching involves you reaching a position and holding it there for
about 30 seconds). Ballistic stretching (bouncing while in a stretched
position) is still used, however many fitness professionals do not use
the practice as physiologically it actually keeps your muscles from
lengthening in the long term.
Let me know if you have any questions about stretching. It is an
important part of your fitness regime that many people forget about.
Have a fun and fit day!
Go Luvabulls :)