AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

8324765118 dancing pictures 198x300 Top 5 Stretches That Will Improve Your Dancing FlexibilityIf you want to improve as a dancer, it is essential you work on your flexibility. The best dancers are incredibly flexible and will work on their flexibility every day. Although this may sound like an awful lot of work, it isn’t really too bad as all you need to do is a number of different stretches every morning and then each night. They don’t take up too much time and are easy to fit around your daily routine.

The best way to help improve your dancing flexibility is to focus on doing the following leg stretches:

1. The Front Lunge
This is a very good leg stretch to start off with. The aim of the font lunge is to increase your hip and hamstring flexibility. Start by standing up straight and then extend your left leg straight back, keeping your weight on the ball of your foot. Keeping your left leg there, move your right leg forward, bending your knee creating the lunge position. Your right knee should now be directly above your toes.
Keep in this position for approximately 30 seconds and then swap legs, creating the front lunge again. If you find this stretch is too easy, make it more challenging by dropping whichever leg is at the back, lower towards the ground. You can also increase the stretch by pushing your elbows towards the floor. Do 5 repetitions for each leg and stop at any point if you feel discomfort.

2. The Pike
This is a good stretch to follow the front lunge, as it once again targets the hamstrings. For this stretch, you need to sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Slowly bend the top half of your body and reach, with your arms, to touch your toes. If you are unable to reach your toes at this point, stay in that position for 20 seconds, return to normal sitting position and then do another 5 repetitions.
Some people will be able to touch their toes easily, so if this is you and you find the stretch too easy, make it more challenging by lowering your chest as far down as it can go. Once again, take care not to push yourself too far and stop at any point you start experiencing discomfort.

3. The Butterfly
This stretch is extremely effective at increasing flexibility in your inner thighs. You will need to sit on the floor with your legs bent so the soles of your feet are touching. Sit up as straight as you can and without using your arms, push your knees down towards the floor. Try not to pulse your knees as the aim of this stretch is to gradually lower your knees bit by bit. Keep going for approximately 15 seconds and then release.
Keep repeating this stretch until you have completed 5 repetitions. Make sure you rest between each rep, taking care not to overstretch your muscles as the last thing you want is to do yourself harm. At no point should you forcibly push your knees down with your hands, this is likely to cause damage and should be avoided at all costs.

4. The Straddle
The Straddle stretch aims to increase the flexibility you have in your hamstrings, as well as your inner thighs. Remaining seated, with your back straight, point each leg diagonally so that you are in a straddle position. Try to keep your legs as wide as they can go as this will increase the usefulness of the stretch. Keeping your knees upwards, you need to reach out for each foot in turn with both hands. After touching both feet, stretch your arms outward, face forwards and lean down towards the floor with the aim to get your upper body as low to the floor as possible. Do 3 repetitions, taking as long as you need for each stretch and rest in-between the reps.
It is really important you try to maintain regular and deep breathing throughout this stretch. If the stretch becomes too painful at any point, or you notice yourself not breathing regularly enough, you should stop. Muscles need to have a steady flow of oxygen when being worked in such a stretch and if you stop breathing properly, you risk causing them damage.

5. The Wall Straddle
This is a very nice leg stretch to finish with as it means you can lie on your back! You need to be up against a wall for this stretch, so make sure you are somewhere safe, out of the way. Once you have found the ideal wall position, lie on your back with your bottom up against the wall and legs resting up against the wall too. Your toes should now be pointing up at the ceiling.
Keeping your upper body steady spread your legs out into the straddle position. The aim here is to try and get your feet as low to the ground as you can. Don’t worry if you are nowhere near…there aren’t many people who can get their feet all the way back to the floor. Try to hold this stretch for around 3 minutes, or longer if you wish.

The five stretches detailed above should take you no longer than 15 minutes, so there is no excuse why you cannot fit them into your morning and evening routines. If you keep at them, you will soon notice an impressive increase in your flexibility which will do wonders for your dancing.

About the author: Laura blogs for the Danceforce company. When not writing about Starmaker dancewear, she can often be found in her living room, spinning around in her leotard.


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