May 2018 TCO Tips from the Pros

May's Tips from the Pros features the top 6 myofascial stretches for dancers as recommended from our friends at Twin Cities Orthopedics and #tcodancemedicine.

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Photo by Matt Blewett/Matte B Photography

Dancers, coaches and parents,

This month, we are focusing on the top 6 stretches that your dancers might be missing. Many times, we focus on a single muscle. Single-muscle stretching can be helpful.

Fascia, however, wraps around all of the muscles and holds them together. A catch in one spot is like a wrinkle in a bed sheet—that catch spot limits flexibility in other parts of the body.

Try these 6 yoga-inspired stretches to improve your myofascial mobility:

  1. Sky archer:
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    This stretches all of the muscles between the hip, ribs, back, and shoulder. Dancers need flexibility here to bend backwards with ease.

     

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  2. Rotated laying pigeon:This stretches the hip rotators, spine, and back of the shoulder. Flexibility in these areas helps improve turnout. Including the commonly overlooked shoulder mobility also allows for ease of upper body motion so the dancer can keep good rib and pelvis alignment for choreography.

    Click to view
  3. Dragonfly twist:This stretch includes the inner thigh, glutes, hip flexors, spine, and lats. Many times dancers have subtle pelvis/sacrum rotations from performing choreography more on one side than the other. This is a great corrective stretch to help balance the pelvis and hip flexibility between the two sides of the body.

    Click to view
  4. Lunge with upper body twist:This stretch not only targets the inner thighs, glutes, and hip flexors, but also mid back flexibility. Many times, dancers do not have symmetry in mid back rotation. This mid back rotation is critical to allowing dancers to fully access their shoulder, back, and hip flexibility for choreography.

    Click to view
  5. Revolve reverse:This stretch lengthens everything from the shoulder through the front line of the body to the hip flexor. If dancers need to perform arabesque, leaps, or moves with back flexibility, this stretch is helpful.

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  6. Standing figure four:The standing figure four helps open the dancer’s turnout, while encouraging stability of the standing leg needed for all kicks and turns.

Interested in more specific instruction on how to perform each stretch? Follow the MN Dance News social media for additional details throughout the month.

This article was written by Twin Cities Orthopedics’ Dance Medicine providers for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any medical condition.

To learn more about Twin Cities Orthopedics and our Dance Medicine services, visit TCOmn.com/Blog and Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For questions related to Dance Medicine, contact SpecialtyPrograms@TCOmn.com.

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