Despite what a lot of people may think, flexibility is not something that can be gained overnight or even over the course of a few days.
Depending on the individual’s age and body shape and how healthy they are, flexibility can take as much as six months of disciplined and continuous hard work.
This can cause frustration because people nowadays want to see results immediately, but when things involve the body, it is crucial we think carefully about what we do and remember to work with, and not against what we have.
It’s not as simple as throwing on your Dancewear and becoming flexible. It’s going to take time but here are 6 tips to get you closer to a dancer’s flexibility.
Tip 1 – Make Sure You Are Always Warm
A key to protecting your body from injury before stretching is making sure you are warmed.
When your muscles are fully oxygenated and warm enough, you will have a higher motion range and it will be easier to elongate your muscles.
Look at your body and its muscles as being like playdough. You have to be able to work on it, moulding it into the specific shapes you need.
Tip 2 – Consistency is Crucial
Flexibility, as noted at the outset, is not something that happens quickly and in fact, it requires a lot of hard work, dedication and time.
The more determination and consistency you have in your approach to it, the more likely you will be to meet your goals.
Making flexibility a daily activity will be more effective than just doing it once in a while. Create a plan and stick to it.
Tip 3 – Look for Workouts that Improve Your Strength
Flexibility is not the only part of improving your extensions. You need to be strong to hold your limbs properly in place.
When you have the correct posture, the lines you hold will be accurate and beautiful.
As an art form, Ballet involves intricate attention to detail in terms of the shapes and movements you make as well as the way you communicate with the members of your audience.
A lot has changed with regards to physical extension since the earlier days of ballet and modern dancers are now faced with the challenge of changing and improving their body shapes on a daily basis.
A good place to start would be this strength and powerbuilding workout
Tip 4 – Don’t Allow Frustration to Get the Better of You
Many people allow frustration to get the better of them because they don’t see positive improvements after day one or two.
It is crucial though that you keep in mind factors like level of fitness and age.
It is harder and takes a lot more work to get to a high level of flexibility in an older, fully grown body than it does if you are still relatively young.
Flexibility decreases with age. However, determination and ability to gain the desired flexibility does not and can in some ways improve as you get older.
Tip 5 – Always Push Yourself, in a Positive Way
If you find a particular exercise or movement particularly easy, it means it is time to push yourself where it starts to ache.
Each time you push, you need to push a little bit closer to that feeling of pain. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase ‘no pain, no gain’.
Exercise caution though when you are just starting out because you need to understand what your body is telling you.
It should always be that good type of pain, that positive pain that you feel when stretching, not bad, damaging pain.
Tip 6 – Track Your Exercise and Training Schedule and Concentrate on Achieving a Goal
Start to stretch out after classes and anytime you exercise or workout. Always take around 10 to 15 minutes when stretching your body.
If you have more free time after training or classes, make time for longer stretching sessions and use the time to target your specific goals and needs more.
If you are not working out every day, warm up a little and then stretch. Working on your stretching will definitely help to improve your flexibility.
As we get older, flexibility becomes all the more important to stay pain-free. Hopefully these 6 tips have got you closer to that goal.