Flexibility Guide

Today we have a big chunk of a post: the flexibility guide.  This guide is more of a resource tool than it is an article.  It’s here for you to reference when I do workouts so that you know what I’m talking about when I mention a stretch.

Workouts with these stretches will come soon, but first I needed to but this guide up!  Stay tuned!

Each stretch is put into a specific category.  They are divided by body part.  This is where the article part of this post comes in.  If you want to learn stretches you can do for your hips, just skip down to the Hips section and reference everything there.

Here goes nothing!


 

Feet

  1. Toes in hand stretch.  This stretch involves sitting on the floor and lifting your foot above your head with your hand cupped around your toes.  This stretches mainly your metatarsals, but also your instep.
  2. Prances.  This stretch is a standing one.  Using the barre, press over demi-pointe or full-pointe on one foot at a time.  This can either be done dynamically or statically.
  3. Crouch stretch.  Come into a child’s pose (yoga), but be on demi pointe with your feet. This will stretch your arches and the backs of the toes.  It will hurt more if you press your heels together.
  4. Foot stretcher.  You can use a make-shift foot stretcher or store-bought, fancy stretcher.  I personally believe that they work just as well.  Just stick your foot in the thingy to feel the stretch.

Quadriceps

  1. The basic quad stretch.  Lying horizontally or standing vertically, lift up one leg and while keeping the knee in place, hug the knee towards your butt.  If you are standing, righting the pelvis and pressing your back foot into a barre will increase the stretch.
  2. The double lunge.  Do a low lunge, but bend your back knee as much as you can with the aid of your opposite hand.
  3. The pretzel.  Lying on your back, bend one knee at a 90 degree angle and one knee at as small of an angle as you can get.  This is hard to explain in words.  So…

 

quad
Just try to do it better than this guy.  Your back should be flat on the floor and the leg that he’s looping something around should be more bent.  🙂

 

Calves and Hamstrings

  1. High lunge.  This is a standing lunge, usually done pressing with your hands against a wall or a barre.  The back heel stays on the ground and there is as much plié in the front leg as possible.
  2. Pike.  Sitting on your butt, lean forward over to straight legs in front of you either with flexed or pointed feet.  Flexed feet increases the stretch.
  3. Standing pike.  The pike, but standing up.  Also called the forward fold in yoga.
  4. Barre pike.  Put one leg, extended, with a flexed foot, in front of you on the barre.  Turn in both legs.  Lean forward over the front leg.
  5. Down dog.  Another yoga pose.  Do the standing pike, but they walk your hands and feet further apart from eachother until you feel it in a lower section of your leg.
  6. Forward lunge.  From a low lunge, rock backwards so that you’re kneeling on the front of your foreleg, your front leg is straight with a flexed foot, and you’re leaning forward.

Hips

  1. Pigeon.  Lying on your stomach, bend one leg in front of you and extend the other straight behind you.  Feel this mainly in your quadratus femoris and adductors.
  2. Crossover.  Sitting on your butt, cross one leg on top of the other and cross them over eachother as much as you possibly can.  Then lean forward until it burns uncontrollably. 🙂
  3. Half or Regular Butterfly.  Sit on your butt, bring both of your arches in front of you until they touch.  Try to relax the hips and let the knees fall to the ground.  Lean forward.
  4. Full Butterfly.  Do the butterfly but instead of leaning forward, lay on your back.  Basically a flipped frog.
  5. Frog.  Lying on your stomach, do the reverse of the full butterfly.  Try to keep your feet and hips on the ground.
  6. Attitude barre stretch.  Put the entire side of your foreleg on the barre, like an attitude devant.  Lean forward towards the barre with square hips.
  7. Low lunge.  A lunge with the entire back foreleg on the ground, a big position.  Your typical lunge.
  8. Basic gluteus stretch.  Lying on your back, bend both knees.  Stack your 2nd leg on top of your first leg.  Reach through the hole between your two knees and hug your legs closer to you.hips

Back

  1. Cobra.  Lying on your stomach, lift your upper body off the floor with your hands.  Also do this with bent back knees.
  2. Bridge.  Standing on your hands and your feet, you’re bending over backwards.  Everyone probably knows this one.

Splits/Straddles

  1. Right split.
  2. Left split.
  3. Middle split.  You are leaning forward on the floor with your entire upper body and the insides of your legs are on the ground.
  4. Straddle.  Being up on your legs.  The middle split, but come up 90 degrees.
  5. Center straddle.  Do a regular straddle, and then trying to keep your legs turned out, try to put your upper body on the ground.
  6. Right/left straddle.  A straddle leaning over to one particular side.
  7. Reverse splits.  Lying on your back, bring one leg up and try to pull it in towards your nose with your hands.

Extensions

  1. Devant barre stretch.  If the barre is front, your effacé devant.  Leg is on the barre.  Stretch forward.  You can also bend the knee in this position.
  2. Alisicon barre stretch.  If the barre is front, you’re croisé écarté devant line.  Stretch toward your leg.
  3. Arabesque barre stretch.  Angled away from the barre at 45 degrees.  Stretch front or back.
  4. Heel stretches.  Extension devant, alisicon, or derrière with your heel in your hand to increase the height.
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