Jenn’s 3 ‘Pre-Class’ Stretch Tips!

Pick #7

Just as it is essential to ‘wakeup’ and prepare our body before we hit the surf, there are a few stretches and warmup exercises we can do to ready ourselves for an intense dance class. Before you move into any stretch, you first want to ensure that your muscles are warm. Stretching with cold muscles places you at risk of tearing and straining the tissue.

To heat up the lower body before moving into a stretch, try this hip opener to get the blood moving and start your internal furnace:

ATTITUDE CLOCHES

-place one hand on a barre or counter top for stability

-begin to swing outside leg, slightly turned out from the hip and bent at the knee, from the front to the back in a ‘pendulum’ action

-ensure that there is no tension in the hip joint; allow the weight of the leg with gravity to drop to the floor as you brush from front to back

-release tension in hip, although ensure ribs remain closed and navel draws in towards spine to project the lower back

-repeat x 32, both sides

-next, face the barre or counter top and repeat swings, this time opening leg to the side, then allow it to drop and swing across the body (sideways pendulum)

-imagine a string attached to the knee cap, drawing the thigh up and then releasing to fall back towards the floor

-ensure torso does not move or twist with the action of the leg; remain still and square in upper body

-repeat x 32 each leg Now you are warm and open in the hips, ready to move into some basic stretches before you begin class!

PASSIVE HAMSTRING & GLUTES STRETCH

HAMSTRINGS

-face barre or counter top and place one leg up, extended to the front, ensuring square hips

-raise opposite arm and bend forward, crossing hand over to outside of leg

-bend and stretch standing leg slowly 4 times

-hold stretch with straight standing leg for 2 minutes

-standing tall, extend same arm as raised leg to the side, then twist body towards it and place back of hand against back; use the pressure of the hand pushing to increase the torsion of the twist; breathe and hold for 30 seconds

-finish by folding forward again, this time straight forward, one hand on either side of leg, reaching for barre; hold for 2 minutes

Repeat other leg

GLUTEUS

-place leg on barre or counter top with 90 degree angle bend at knee, outside of foot resting on barre

-fold body forwards over leg and take hold of barre, one hand on either side of leg; hold for 1 minute

-bend and stretch standing leg slowly 4 times

-rock body in towards barre, decreasing angle at the knee, then back out, increasing angle x 4

-cross two hands to outside of raised foot and pulling body into diagonal stretch; hold for 1 minute

-next, cross hands to inside of raised foot and pull the body once ore into the opposite diagonal stretch; hold for 1 minute

Repeat other leg

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