Happy Tuesday! How is your week going so far? Today we are talking about stretching!
I want to talk about stretching, not just for performance, but also for general well-being. Everybody knows that stretching is important for injury prevention and flexibility, but it can also be key to feeling balanced. Read on to find out why! (if you’re impatient scroll to #5)
Below is a list of some of my favorite stretches that are geared to challenge your normal and make you push a bit further.
5 Stretches You Haven’t Tried Yet
1.Foot Stretch – Point
This stretch will be most enjoyed by the dancers and yogis looking to work on their point and foot flexibility.
HOW TO: Start on your knees and bring your right leg in front of you. Gently roll over your point. Use your left hand as support and use your right hand to firmly press against your heel, leading your heel forward and pressing your arch further. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch to #2 below. Repeat 4x on each foot.
2. Foot Stretch – Ball
This is part 2 to #1 above. Simply flip your foot so that you are stretching the flex position of your foot on the ball. Again press your heel forward with your hand. Alternate between this and #1, 4x on each foot.
3. Split Stretch – Reach Back
This stretch will be enjoyed by anyone looking to increase their flexibility in their split. Only attempt if you already have your split, meaning you do not have to support yourself on either side and your thighs are completely touching the ground. This stretch can be very intense for your hips, so make sure to stretch before attempting.
HOW TO: Once you are fully in your split, reach back with your right hand. At the same time lift your back left leg up to meet your hand. Hold for 30 seconds. Do #4 below and then switch to the other side.
4. Split Stretch – Flex & Lift
This stretch is again only for those who want to further stretch their split, this time the front foot. Only attempt if you are fully down in your split already. This stretch can be very intense for your calves and hamstrings, so make sure to stretch them before attempting.
HOW TO: Once you are in your split, flex your right front foot and grab and lift with your right hand. Hold for 30 seconds.
5. Stretch. Every. D@m#. Day.
My 5th and final stretch tip is not a specific stretch, rather a challenge to incorporate stretching into your life every day.
Throughout the day stress builds up in your body and causes muscles to contract, making you feel tense and generally uneasy. All this tension can lead to negative affects on your mind and body. Bah! We do not want that. Especially when the solution is so easy.
Stretching loosens muscles, increases blood flow and releases endorphins (love those guys!), all of which helps you to relax and feel balanced.
Even if it’s just a quick toe touch and a shoulder stretch, try to fit stretching into your daily routine to reap the (easy and free) benefits! Why not?! Dancer or not, stretching is good for everyone.