Physiology of DDR

by A-Jay, 3 February 02

Here are just a few simple things you should know to maximize your body's DDR experience, and avoid pain from playing our favorite game.

Water Issues

Something I learned from choir is that the body takes approximately 20 minutes to fully hydrate itself after taking in water. Therefore, before you leave your house to go play DDR, down a couple cups of water. That way, when you get to the location, your body is ready to go. Also, bring a bottle of water while you play, and be sure to drink during the duration of your playing period. Water helps the oxygen/carbon dioxide balance out within your body, making it a lot less tiring to play. Water also prevents stomach and leg cramps if you are hydrated properly.


Don't stuff your face right before playing DDR. The rule that applies to swimming applies to any vigorous exercise. Always give your food at least 30 mins to digest before stepping on stage. Sure, you could ignore this, but don't complain when you feel a burning in your stomach.

Cuts and Bruises

Doing a handplant on top of the screws on the platform will create pain and a mark on your palm. =\;-P Too many kneedrops done improperly will create bruises. (Refer to Mel B.'s Freestyling tips to learn the proper way to kneedrop.) Messing up on a stunt badly will probably create pain. Playing for too long will later give you cramps and aches long after your game is done. Just making you aware of what you should look out for.


Cramps are caused when the sodium/potassium content in your body is not balanced. It's a complicated process that has to do with nerves and how they fire off in your body. Most of the time, your body will have too much sodium. Water helps balance the sodium concentration within your body, but doesn't act on the spot; therefore, you should follow the procedures above for the maximum effect of water. One really good way to alleviate cramps is to eat a couple of bananas after playing. Bananas are packed with potassium, so just by eating two whole bananas, the sodium/potassium content in your body will be balanced to the point where cramps are less frequent.


The method to treating aches and pains relies in an acronym that sports players know of and that asians have a whole lot of. =\;-P
R - Rest = Make sure to rest the part of your body that hurts. That probably goes without saying. Just don't use the aching body part as much as you normally would.
I - Ice = As soon as you can, put ice where the pain resides. Ice for 15 mins, then remove the pack for 5. Repeat for a good hour maybe. If you leave the ice on too long, that part of your body will swell up - not good. If iced properly, your heal time will be cut in half. If you don't have ice readily available, then find a way to apply any kind of coldness on the aching area.
C - Compression = If bones, joints, or ligaments are injured, make sure to put a wrap or tie something around the afflicted area. This keeps all the inside parts together so that they can't be injured further. I have ACE knee wraps handy while I play just to make sure that nothing gets hurt. If your neck hurts, don't be a dumbass and compress that part of your body. =\;-P
E - Elevation = My favorite part. If your bed is against a wall, this healing process is easy to accomplish. Before you go to sleep, scoot your body up against the wall so that your feet rest on the wall and are raised well above your body (specifically, your heart). Make sure you have something to do for the next 30 mins while your feet lay on the wall (I usually do my reading HW, which takes an hour and allows for a good resting period). While you do this, you'll probably feel the aching blood in your legs drain out - this is a very good thing. After 30 mins (or until you think all the bad blood has been restored in your legs), your legs should be well rested. If done properly, you should feel VERY minimal aching in your legs the next day. This method can also be applied to ParaPara aches by resting your hands on top or on the back of your head to place them above your heart.

Leaving The Area

After leaving the establishment when done playing DDR, be sure to cover up your body, even if you feel really hot. It'll probably be cold outside after you're done playing, so the temperature change will be drastic. This change makes you more susceptible to sickness if you're not properly protected. Cover up your neck, chest, and back; change shirts and wipe off your back if you are sweaty. Although it sounds stupid, breath through your nose to filter, warm, and hydrate the air you breathe in. This helps keep germs out of your lungs and keeps your body at the temperature it needs to be.