Why is stretching so important before any performance?

Dancers who perform on the stage literally incredible, incomprehensible acrobatic stunts, jumps, pirouettes and swings often have to concentrate for long hours, exercising joints and stretching muscles and tendons. They often pass it through sweat and tears. There are exceptions with inborn flexibility, but there are not many of them. Because of this fact, we decided to give advice to the majority and the beginners who have to stretch before every training.

Not a single move without a good stretch

In dance schools, pupils are always disgusted and bored when it comes to preparing for a dance class. Especially newcomers, they expect to start dancing, performing and immediately knowing everything like a professionals. And if they don't, they blame the teacher because instead of dancing, a substantial part of the lesson is devoted to stretching and preparing exercises.

Stretch before and after performance

For you to increase the flexibility of your movement you just have to work hard. It is an inseparable part that enhances quality of your dance and especially protects your health and reduces the risk of injury. An unprepared dancer, who just runs on the floor and starts to make even simple moves without warming their body up, risks a serious injury.

Your body needs to get used to the intensity of a movement, because so far, your only physical activity has been physical education at school, half of which you perhaps passed on a bench chatting.Those who already are familiar with some kind of sport or activity that required physical training complain a lot less, because they already know it’s necessary.

Start slowly

Stretching is a long-term systematic work on your body. So don't expect immediate progress. At a slow pace in each exercise, create tension on your muscles and tissues and as soon as you know that this is your maximum and continue to feel uncomfortable pain, stop at that point and breathe deeply for a few minutes. This is the end of the day for the exercise. We guarantee that next time you will be able to reach above your maximum limit in that exercise. Stretching prevents injury, the other way around.

Prepare yourself and your surroundings 

A substantial part of stretching is preparation. Ventilate the room to get fresh air, prepare a bottle of clean water, towel and wear comfortable clothes. If you have long hair, put it up in a ponytail. Use a yoga mat to make the floor softer, to prevent you from getting a cold and to keep floor from absorbing your sweat.

A few basic exercises that involve a lot of muscle and tendon work.

  • Tendons under the knees 

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched and almost touching at the ankles. Move your hands towards the toes of your feet and relax. Use repetitive flex and point movements in tips of your feet. In the maximum position, stay tens of seconds and then repeat the exercise.

  • Feet stretch 

Exercise can be done standing but also in a deep squat. Just lift the heels a few times from the ground to the position called relevé and remain on the tips of your toes for a few seconds. You will feel the pull on your tendons. The same works if you point the tips of your feet inward, stretching the upper part of the foot.

  • Stretching by the pole

Stand towards the pole or in a slight diagonal to the pole. Hold on to the ballet pole and lift one leg and put your foot on the pole keeping the lower leg straight. After laying your feet on the pole, use your hands to reach the toe of the foot that is on the pole. Remember to breathe and hold for a few seconds. Repeat. 

  • Split exercises for flanks and tendons

Sitting with legs apart pulling your upper body with your hands in front of you to the floor or stretching to each of your leg separately.

Split to the side where the legs form a cord. One leg is in front of you and the other is behind you and you are pulling your body and chest with your hands in front of you towards one of your feet. Pull your chest and hands in these exercises towards the ground as far as possible. Remember to breathe in your max position, hold for a few seconds and repeat the exercise.

Split while lying on back. 
You begin this exercise laying on the back with stretched legs so that a 90 degree angle is formed between the floor and legs. Cross your legs over your ankles and then stretch your legs apart. Repeat this movement several times.

  • Butterfly - stretches joints 

You begin this exercise laying on the back with stretched legs so that a 90 degree angle is formed between the floor and legs. Cross your legs over your ankles and then stretch your legs apart. Repeat this movement several times.

  •  Bridge - for back strength 

Lie on your back with your knees bent, with your arms so that your toes are pointing to your shoulders and your elbows are bent toward the ceiling. Pull your tummy towards the ceiling. Remember to have your feet as well as the entire area of your palms and fingers all the time on the ground. Keep your head facing the floor during the exercise. Repeat several times.

Stretching can be sorted into hundreds of movements that have different impact on human body. Please be careful. This will significantly help improve your performance and your physical health. We think that these exercises are just enough to get you started. On the Internet, there is an endless amount of information to inspire you, for example:

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