Exercises to Stretch before Dancing
To help your body perform its best, stretching will not only improve your flexibility and the ease at which you can move, but it will also help prevent injuries. Consider stretching as an element that is equally important as training for strength, balance and power.
Give your body the stretch of a lifetime by applying these basics:
Keep your neck long with your head facing forward, roll your shoulders back and down, lengthen your torso, keep your hips even and energize your legs. FACT: Proper alignment improves stretches and prevents injury. TIP: Try stretching in front of a mirror.
Stretches are better and you feel less stressed when you take deep regular breaths. As a general rule, inhale to prepare and exhale when you stretch or go deeper into the stretch.
FACT: Pilates breathing can be used in all of your stretching to maximize your stretch and relaxation.
TIP: Try inhaling through the nose, pulling air into your diaphragm, not your chest and exhale through your mouth.
A cold muscle is not as elastic as a warm one, so stretching without a warm-up means that you will get less length and could possibly injure yourself. Just do a little dance in your cubicle, walk around the block or do a five minue slow ro on the treadmill to get your muscles warm enough before you stretch.
You must pay attention to all muscles groups in your body when giving stretching TLC because it’s the only way to stay aligned and flexible. For example, leaving your neck or hips neglected can cause increased pain in the muscle, making it harder and harder to stretch. Next thing you know, surrounding muscle groups will start picking up on the strain.
Tips to Remember
Hip flexors and gluteus muscles need more stretching time than the average 15 to 30 seconds. Be sure to hold all of your stretches until you feel the tension in the muscle release. Once the tension has released, exhale to allow for a deeper stretch. A great way to stretch your muscles, and especially your gleuts!