Feeling Tight? ... My Remedy to INCREASE Flexibility
Being a dancer, I have come across some great ways to increase your flexibility. However, I also like to use this stretches as a cool at the end of my workout.
Before beginning a stretching regimen, know your body’s limits. All positions should be held and not bounced, to lessen muscle stress or strain. Never have someone push you into a stretch. If you experience sustained pain after exercising, talk to a dance teacher or physician before continuing.
Try to do these stretches a few times a week to improve your flexibility and range of motion. Each stretch should be done 2-3 times and each position should be held for 8 counts.
10. Cross-Legged Warm-Up Sit on the floor, cross-legged. Circle your head to the right and left. Look up towards the ceiling then lower your head to look at the floor. Reach out on the floor in front of you, keeping your head down and stretching through your hips.
9. Straight-Legged Warm Up Straighten your legs in front, keeping your back straight and stomach engaged. In parallel, point and flex your feet. Lift your arms above your head and stretch forward over your legs. Hold with pointed feet then with flexed feet.
8. Straddle Stretch Lie on your back with legs straight in the air so your body is shaped like an “L”. Flex your feet and turn out. Gently push on the inside of your knees, and open your legs in a straddle with feet still flexed and toes facing the floor. Slowly bring your legs back together.
7. Back Stretch Turn onto your stomach with hands flat on the floor, directly under your shoulders. Push up, straighten your arms and lift your upper body to stretch out your back.
6. Arms & Upper Body Stretch Stand with your feet apart and reach up, then reach forward, keeping a flat back. Release your body, reaching your hands to touch the ground. Roll up through your back slowly.
5. Leg Stretch Bend over and reach toward your right ankle. Turn your body so that your feet and legs are facing the right side and pull your chest down on your right leg. Bend your right leg, placing your hands on the floor and straighten your left leg out in back. Straighten up and turn back to the center, and roll up. Repeat over your left leg.
4. Seated Straddle Stretch Sit with your legs straight out to the sides. Keep your back straight and feet flexed. Lift your arms up and reach over your right leg. Repeat over the left leg. Reach forward, walking your hands out in front of you. Come up to a seated position slowly, and bring your legs together.
3. Cool Down – Straddle Stretch Repeat the # 8 straddle stretch to start the cool down. You should find a wider range of motion than when you started.
2. Straight-Leg Cool Down Repeat the # 9 straight-leg stretch to continue the cool down. You should be able to reach further toward or past your feet.
1. Cross-Leg Cool Down Repeat the # 10 stretch to finish the cool down and the set of exercises