Tag Archives: exercise

Developing Balance

If you had to do only one thing to improve your performance, what do you think it would be?


Balance is the equal distribution of weight. When you perform, through each movement that you execute, you need to have that equal distribution of weight- or at least the appearance of it.

Take a dance class or start doing exercises that work on your balance. Photo from fitnessmart.com.

Dance your way to balance

Here is an interesting article: Dancing Makes You Smarter

And another: Dance and Ballet Training for Sports

All Drillers need to read this article: Good Dancers Make it Look Easy

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is an important part of being healthy. Dance requires a great amount of flexibility. Most dance classes begin with a warm-up including several stretching exercises. Dancers must strive to achieve full range of motion for all the major muscle groups. The greater the range of motion, the more muscles can flex and extend. Most forms of dance require dancers to perform moves that require bending and stretching, so dancers naturally become more flexible by simply dancing.

2. Strength

Strength is defined as the ability of a muscle to exert a force against resistance. Dancing builds strength by forcing the muscles to resist against a dancer’s own body weight. Many styles of dance, including jazz and ballet, require jumping and leaping high into the air. Jumping and leaping require tremendous strength of the major leg muscles. Ballroom dancing builds strength. Consider the muscle mass a male ballroom dancer develops by lifting his partner above his head!

3. Endurance

Dance is physical exercise. Exercise increases endurance. Endurance is the ability of muscles to work hard for increasingly longer periods of time without fatigue. Regular dancing is great for improving endurance, especially vigorous dancing such as line and ballroom dancing. Elevating the heart rate can increase stamina. Just as in any form of exercise, regular dancing will build endurance. From http://dance.about.com/od/danceandyourhealth/tp/Health-Benefits.htm

4. Better Balance

Dancing can require fast movement it can also require slower, more deliberate movement and always good posture. Frequent dancing will help you stabilize and gain better control of your body.

Exercise your way to balance

Balance: you must develop your core muscles.


Here is a long list of different balance exercises.


Fitness and the Driller

Certain demands are placed on Drillers for each kind of routine they may march: solo, tandem, and drill team.

  • With a solo performance, it’s all about the Driller and his/her capabilities
  • With a tandem routine, the pressure is halved
  • With a drill team performance the pressure is somewhat diminished

Does this mean that Drillers on a team can relax and let others carry the weight? Absolutely not! There are slight differences for each performance, but Drillers should be in top physical condition no matter the routine.

Should a Driller lift weights?

Does a chicken have lips? I don’t know, but weight lifting for a Driller is only a plus! Unless you want to look like Johnny Bravo- then you have a problem: too much bulk and not enough finesse- you need to be able to move quickly and smoothly in many cases.

What are some specific exercises?

  • Cardio- you need endurance
    • Running, CrossFit, swimming, even going through your routine twice with out stopping
  • Weights- light weight with many reps and many sets
    • Arms, upper torso, legs are key targets- but you must seek a balance and not neglect other muscle groups!

Why? What’s the big deal with fitness?

Besides the fact that you will live a healthier life, for competitive drill or dance, or skating (insert any other individual sport you can think of), you need to build a foundation.

DrillMaster’s two foundations

  1. Educational Foundation– if you do not know the what and why of your performance, you are not going to do as well as you possibly could. Read and also study other Drillers.
  2. Physical Foundation– muscles in the lower body support muscles in the upper body. All muscles support movement, in major or minor ways. Building up those muscles to support your body are very necessary if you are going to be a competitive Driller and not just play around with a rifle. See above on recommended exercises.

See you at your next competition: smarter, stronger and faster than you were before!

Thanks to James Bisher for his video, Drill Talk, that got me thinking and writing.

I’m not a doctor or physical fitness instructor. Find what works best for you and if you have unexplained pain or other difficulties, see your health care provider. Please be safe!