Some of our favourite dancers have the flexibility of a thousand rubber bands, and we can’t deny that some of their stunning extensions have us so enthralled that they’ve quickly become #DancerGoals.
Despite acknowledging the necessity of stretching—and despite the dance world’s running joke about wanting to become flexible without stretching—we all know that developing flexibility requires far more than merely plopping down in a split and praying for the best. Being extremely adaptable will not necessarily make or break your career as a dancer, but it will certainly help (okay, physically, it might be a little uncomfortable). So we asked four flexible dancers for their best ideas on how to achieve and maintain flexibility. ALSO READ : HOW IS DANCE BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR LITTLE ONES
Are you one of the fortunate dancers who has been able to be flexible for as long as you can remember? Or did you have to toil for years to get to your current position?
We’ve got some suggestions to get you started on mastering the arabesque! First and foremost, we must remember that, just as we are born with different body types, we are also born with different types of flexibility. What we mean is that some people are born with a stronger capacity for flexibility than others. Individuals’s bodies differ widely, and some people have longer muscle fibres, allowing them to stretch their muscles further and more easily, while others have shallower, less restrictive joints and sockets, giving them a greater range of movement
Here are a few stretches and exercises to improve dance flexibility for young dancers.
1. Standing Hamstring Stretch
The neck, back, glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles will all benefit from this stretch. Standing tall with your feet hip-width apart is a good place to start. Slightly bend your knees and lay your arms by your sides. Exhale as you drop your head to the floor by bending forward from the hips. As you stretch, try to maintain your head, shoulders, and neck as relaxed as possible.
Wrap your arms over the backs of your legs and keep them there. Hold a stretch for 10 seconds to 3 minutes, according to experts. If you get into a stretch and feel like you want to release it right away, it’s an indication that you need to stretch this region more as part of your dancer training plan. When you are done holding your stretch bend at the knees and roll your way back up to a standing position.
2. Piriformis Stretch
Outside the butt is where the piriformis muscle is found. It’s an internal hip rotator that’s located deep within the hip joint. Stretching your deep internal rotators, which create a lot of movement at your hips, should be part of your regular ballet routine.
Sit with both legs spread out in front of you on the floor. Place your left foot flat on the floor beside you and cross your left leg over your right. Then, behind your torso, lay your left hand on the floor.
Bring your elbow to your knee and push your left leg to the right with your right hand on your quad. When you do the stretch correctly, you should feel a twist in your body.
3. Tricep Stretch
The arms are an area of profound stretching that dancers sometimes ignore. Most dancers concentrate on their legs, but many ballet movements need arm flexibility as well.
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart for a tricep stretch. Raise your arms high above your head. Bend your right elbow and reach behind your head, touching the top centre of your back with your hand.
To attain a deeper stretch, gently lift your elbow toward your head. The stretch should be felt in your neck, shoulders, back, and triceps. When you’ve finished holding the stretch, switch sides.
- 90/90 Stretch
This stretch is wonderful for dancers since it targets both hips at the same time. Sit with your right knee bent out in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Maintain a flexed foot with your sole facing the left.
Place your left knee to the left of your torso and let your leg rest flat on the floor. Bend your knee so that your foot is facing backwards. Make sure this foot is flexed as well.
Keep your right glute on the floor as much as possible, and move your left glute as near to the floor as feasible. If you’ve been dancing a lot and your glutes are really tight, this may not be doable.
Hold the stretch and repeat on the other side.
5. Side Bend
This simple stretch helps to maintain the groyne, hips, and inner thighs supple. Kneel with your legs together on the floor. Maintain a straight back and a strong core. Stretch your left leg out in front of you.
Raise your right arm and place your left arm on your leg. Bend your right arm and torso to the left side of your body. As you hold the stretch, try to maintain your hips pointing forward. Then do the same thing on the other side.