Posted by on Oct 27, 2019 in Blogs

While dancing is an enjoyable activity, it is highly physical and involves moving many parts of your body that are not habitually used to being moved on a daily basis.

Most people know the importance of stretching before a physical workout or activity, but there are many benefits to stretching after dancing as well.

Why is stretching after dance lessons important?

Reduced Muscle Pain

Stretching after a vigorous workout is crucial in clearing the body of a substance called “lactic acid”. Lactic acid is not particularly dangerous but can cause a burning sensation and pain in the muscles.

This build-up is caused by the body’s need to use oxygen to break down glucose to create energy. If oxygen is in short supply, lactic acid is produced to convert the glucose.

Stretching after dance lessons helps to eliminate this buildup from the body and reduce pain in the muscles.

Increased Flexibility

Stretching helps to increase flexibility since the body is already warmed up and more pliable.

This increase in flexibility helps in preventing tight muscles. Having tight muscles increases the risk of injury and can restrict movement following a dance lesson. This stiffness can be felt for 24-72 hours after a dance lesson and impede everyday activities.

Increased blood flow to the sore area, especially through stretching, can help reduce soreness and stiffness. Unfortunately, stretching will not eliminate all muscle pain but it can greatly alleviate it.

Body Cool Down

Post-dance class stretching aids in cooling down the body and helps the heart and breathing return to their normal rates. Once the heart returns to a more regulated heart rate, it can resume circulating blood to the muscles.

When you are physically active, your breathing deepens in order to provide adequate oxygen to your blood and muscles. Post-dance stretching gives your lungs a chance to slow down and return your breathing to normal.

Avoid Fatigue

Stretching after a dance lesson helps the body feel rested and relaxed instead of drained and fatigued.

If you were to simply leave your dance lesson without a cool-down stretch, the blood that was previously coursing through your veins during the lesson at a quicker pace will pool in your limbs, making them feel heavy and tired.

As you stretch and help to re-establish a normal flow of blood, you will avoid that heavy-limb feeling of fatigue and feel relaxed and refreshed instead.

Basic Stretches

Remember when performing any stretch or exercise that you do not overextend yourself. Only move your body within comfortable, not painful, limits.

Also, be mindful of bouncing during a stretch. Bouncing can increase the risk of muscle tear – try to use smooth and fluid motions while stretching.

Lower Body Stretch

Sit on the floor and extend both legs out to the side as far as they can go. Bend one leg at the knee and place the bottom of your foot against the thigh of the extended leg.

Keeping your back straight, reach toward the extended ankle. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

Switch legs and repeat the stretch. Repeat 2-3 times per leg.

Shoulder Stretch

Standing straight, bend your right arm at the elbow and reach behind your back as far to the left as possible.

Hold your right arm with your left hand and gently push your right arm further to the left side.

Hold for 8-10 seconds before repeating with the other arm.

Inner Thigh Stretch

Sitting on the floor with your back straight, place the bottoms of your feet together and point your knees to the side.

Bring your heels close to your body and push down on your thighs with your elbows.

Hold for 20 seconds. Avoid bouncing your knees.

Treat Your Body Right After Every Dance Lesson

For more information about stretching after your dance lessons, please contact Elite Dance Studios!