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Dancers who take their progress into their own hands are more likely to see improvement over time than dancers who just rely on their class time to practice. If you are a Port Orange dance student who has already created your own at-home stretch routine, that’s awesome! Maybe you consulted our recent article Creating an At-Home Stretch Routine That You Can Stick To ! You are likely well on your way toward your flexibility goals.

But if you have noticed a plateau in your stretching, or are just a little bored with what you’ve created, here are a few tips to improve your at-home stretch routine!

Instead of Only Static Stretching, Try Dynamic Stretching

Dancers in Port Orange dance classes likely use both static and dynamic stretching in the studio. But when you’re on your own, it can be easy to just sink into a habit of simply holding a stretch and expecting it to help you become more flexible.

For a bit of background, static stretching is when you stretch one muscle to near the end of its range of stretch and hold it, usually for between 15-20 seconds. We see static stretching a lot in splits, pike positions, and butterfly positions.

Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, incorporates movement within the stretch. Dynamic stretching examples include attitude leg swings, shoulder rolls, and rib cage isolations. Some dynamic stretches don’t even seem like stretches at all – but when you think about it, you certainly are stretching when you move your body! It just moves instead of staying still.

Try adding a bit of variety to your stretch routine by beginning with dynamic stretching and finishing with static stretching once your muscles are warm. That way, you will benefit even more from the static stretch.

Instead of Only Stretching, Try Adding Strengtheningballet summer dance

One mistake dancers make in their stretch routine is not including strengthening activities. No one is asking you to pick up dumbbells, though. By strengthening with your own body weight, you will create balance in your movement.

Stretch and strength are two sides of the same coin. Dancers in Port Orange dance classes will notice that the best dancers on stage and in class have a good mix of both flexibility and strength, as demonstrated by such steps as leaps, battements, and développés.

In order to get your leg up in a battement and not have it slam down to the floor at the end, you must have hamstring flexibility as well as core and hip flexor strength to lower the leg p



To add strengthening exercises to your home stretch routine, you can utilize bodyweight-bearing moves like lunges, squats, and planks. Here are some exercises to try from our recent article Strength Training At Your Dance Studio.

Instead of Focusing on One Goal, Try For Two Goals That Complement Each Other

Many dancers get hyper-focused on one goal during their dance training. Maybe you’re desperate to achieve a full needle and to reach that goal you’ve been working really hard on getting your splits flat.

But, having flat splits isn’t the only component that you need to achieve to get into a proper needle. Your upper back and shoulders must have enough flexibility to be able to get into that position as well, and if they are too tight, you’re out of luck!

By really honing in on the components needed to achieve the main goal, you will realize that you actually have two complementary goals to achieve. In the case of the needle, you need to have completely flat splits (hamstring and hip flexor flexibility), as well as loose, supple shoulders.

If you are trying for your needle, which began as a cheerleading position, here is a great resource from The Cheer Kin on how to achieve that goal! – How To Get A Needle.

Think about what other major goals you have for yourself and find the smaller goals within them. I promise you will be able to reach them sooner if you start small.

Instead of Stretching Alone, Find an Accountability Partner

In Port Orange dance studios, you may have been exposed to partner stretching, which is always a fun activity in class. Partner stretching, when done properly under supervision, can help dancers achieve a little more stretch than they can on their own.

While you might not be able to bring your stretching partner home with you, you can definitely enlist a friend to be your accountability partner. Accountability partners keep each other motivated toward their goals and check in with each other to make sure they’re on track.

Sticking to a home stretch routine can be difficult, especially during times of the year when you’re overwhelmed with school, rehearsals, and other responsibilities. Having an accountability partner can be a really helpful way to stay focused.

Instead of Guessing, Take Photos and Videos to Document Progress

If you’re like me, I have a hard time discerning how far I’ve gotten in a particular task. That includes flexibility! One easy way to really tell whether you’ve made any progress is by documenting your progress from day one.

Achieving a goal like a higher développé for a tilt jump is easily documented by taking photos and videos. This is also where an accountability partner (or even your mom) can come in handy to remind you to take a photo every day.

Choose a spot that you can come back to daily to take your photo or video, that way it looks the same every time. Begin on day one of your routine and document the position at whatever angle makes sense for the step. In the case of a développé to the side, you may want to photograph yourself straight on.

Come back to that spot every day after you’ve finished your stretch routine when your muscles are the warmest. Take a photo or video, and put it in a special album on your phone. Do this every day for a month (or however long you determine you’d like to wait).

Then, when the time is up, go through the album from the beginning and see the progress you’ve made. I’m sure you will be amazed to see yourself improving from the first photo to the last.

Hopefully, these tips will help you jazz up your at-home stretch routine and see improvement toward your dance goals!

Check out creating an at home stretch routine you can stick to! 



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