Video:Ballet Flexibility Exerciseswith Jennifer Peterson
Flexibility exercises can help improve your agility while dancing. Learn how to do pike stretches, butterfly stretches and runner's lunge flexibility exercises.See Transcript
Transcript:Ballet Flexibility ExercisesHi, I'm Jennifer Peterson for About.com. Today, we are going to discuss how to increase flexibility.
Pike StretchThe first stretch that we're going to talk about is the pike stretch. You'll be sitting down with your legs stretched out in front of you, and you want to reach to try and touch your nose to your knees. Each time you go down, you should be able to get a little bit closer.
This is a good stretch for your back and also your legs. Another way to increase your flexibility is to flex your feet and try to pull your toes back - if you can't reach them, that's okay. You'll get more of a stretch underneath your legs.
Butterfly StretchAnother stretch we can do is something called the butterfly stretch. You sit with your feet together and try to open your knees out to the sides. This is a great stretch for your hip flexors. You can also increase the flexibility by trying to reach over and touch your nose to your toes. Again, you'll feel more stretching along your back as well.
Runner's LungeAnother great stretch that you can do is the runner's lunge. You want to have one foot up and you want to make a straight line from your knee down to your ankle. This line should be perpendicular to the floor. You're also going to stretch out your other leg, and you'll find a nice stretch in your hip flexor.
Another great stretch you can do is to try and touch your toes with your fingertips by bringing your head down towards the floor. This stretch is good for your legs and your back as well.
Flexibility Exercises with a BarreAnother great stretch you can do with a barre is to stretch out your legs from the front side and back. When your stretching from the front, you want to try and keep your hips square as much as possible. You can reach over and try to touch your nose to your knee, feeling a nice stretch on the backs of your legs.
You can also take this stretch to the side. You want to make sure that you're standing right on top of your standing leg, don't pull off of your standing leg. Again, you can stretch to one side and the other, getting a nice lateral stretch as well as a stretch in the legs.
When you're practicing your stretches at home, please be sure not to overextend yourself. Only go as far as you can, and each time you practice, you should be able to go a little further. If you push yourself, you are going to pull a muscle.
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