As dancers, it is extremely important to gain and maintain flexibility to properly perform in dance. Flexibility is not just based on how "stretchy" your muscles are, it also has a lot to do with how your nerves and connective tissue function. If you have healthy connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, and fascia), your joints will be able to achieve full ROM (range of motion) giving you a great amount of flexibility.
To achieve full ROM of a joint, try performing some of the exercises below and see if it makes a difference in your flexibility.
Neck rolls and rotations:
-Sit tall and gently roll your neck from the side, to the front, and to the other side. Never roll your neck back as it puts too much pressure on the delicate vertebrae. Repeat this up to 10 times.
-Sitting tall, turn your neck to face the right and then to the left. Repeat this up to 10 times.
-Standing tall, perform large. slow circles with your arm bringing it as far in each direction as you can. Repeat this 4-5 times and then reverse it.
-Lay on your side supporting your neck with your hand. Straighten your top leg and begin to perform large, slow circles bringing it as far in each direction as you can. Repeat this 4-5 times and the reverse it.
-Roll your ankles in slow circles or "write" the alphabet with your toes. Repeat the circles 4-5 times then reverse them.
It will take time to get your joints to work they way you want them to. Performing these exercises will help, but there are other stretches and even massages that can accompany them to help them work more efficiently. I lay out, in detail, all of this information to help you achieve your optimal flexibility.
Until the next time,