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got any good leg stretches? (for dancers)?

by admin on November 24, 2009

im a dancer and need to be able to stretch which i cant pleaaaaase help!

Depends on where you want to stretch and how flexible you are. I’m assuming you want to stretch your hamstrings, that’s the standard "I want to be more flexible" problem. All your basic warm-up stretches are good here-sitting with your feet extended in front of you, reach for your toes. Do this with feet pointed and flexed for additional stretch. You can use gravity to help you by doing this vertically, standing and reaching down to touch your toes-bending one knee at a time for added stretch. Sitting in second with your legs out to either side is useful-just only go as far as you can, without pain and keeping your knees and tops of your feet rotated towards the ceiling. If you start to pronate (roll in), you need to decrease your second or not stretch so far forward. Reach to both sides, and through the center for optimum stretch. Lunges for your calves, although extreme flexing and pointing will stretch out this area as well. To stretch out your glutes (butt), lay on your back, left foot flat on the floor, knee towards ceiling. cross your legs, so your right foot is on your left knee, with your left knee turned out. Reach through the triangle opening created by your legs and your crotch with your right hand, lock fingers with your left hand behind your left knee and pull back, stretching your R. glute muscle. reverse for the left.

For more extreme stretches, elevate your leg, either on a barre if you’re in studio, or a countertop/bed/chair/whatever For each of the following movements, orient your hips first square with your leg so you’re facing it directly, then parallel, so your leg is extended to the side, then square away so you’re in arabesque-leg extended to the back. Bend toward your extended leg and away from it, holding the stretch each time. Plie (bend your standing leg) and repeat.

If you’re naturally stiff, it can take a lot of work to overcome this and be flexible. Stretch every night–I used to tell my students to stretch during the commercials while they were watching TV. Don’t force yourself-you can get injured. The warmer you are (jogging, dancing, whatever) before you stretch, the more effective it can be. If your muscles feel too fatigued, or you feel a burning sensation, STOP. It is possible to be overstretched, leading to weakness in your joints and the tendons and ligaments supporting your knees, ankles, etc.

Perhaps buy a book? Barnes and Noble has a performing arts section, and they have dance books, or you can look in health and fitness for yoga books-these exercises also help with flexibility-just be sure you understand the exercise before you try it to avoid injury.

Sorry for the novel :) Good luck!

Leg Stretches

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