Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Blogs

Warm Up Exercises Before Waltzing Into Dance Class

Dancing uses both major and minor muscle groups more so than other pastimes. To help prevent injury and prepare your body to pump oxygen-rich blood, it is important to warm up these muscle groups before waltzing in. Try these exercises to get the blood flowing and the body ready to go:

The Lunge

Forward lunges are a great starting point. Choose one leg and step forward about one to two feet. Begin bending your front knee until it is over the top of the foot. Never extend it beyond the toes. Keep your toes facing forward, your hip bones level, and push your back heel into the floor. Hold this position for a couple deep breathes. Repeat with the other leg forward. Do this 2 or 3 times with each leg.

The lunge uses the muscles that make up your quadriceps, along with your hips flexors, hamstrings, calf muscles, and gluts.

The Back Stretch

Sit with your legs bent under you so that your behind rests on your heels. Slowly lean forward over your thighs, so that your forehead touches the floor and your arms extend straight by the side of your head. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your neck straight. Remember to breathe deeply. Slowly roll back up to a sitting position. Repeat 2 or 3 times. If you don’t have the flexibility to perform this on the floor, you can do it while sitting on a chair.

This back stretch targets your lower back, your neck muscles, as well as your with and torso muscles, shoulders and biceps.

Stretch the Hip Flexors

No matter what type of dance you prefer, your will definitely be using your hip muscles. Kneel down as if you were proposing to someone. Keep your back straight, and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Slowly lean forward shifting your weight onto your front leg. Again, hold this position for a few deep breathes — enough for your muscles to adjust and relax. Breathe deeply as you do so. Switch legs and repeat.

This will stretch your back quadriceps and hip flexors.

Before class these exercises should be performed dynamically focusing on body position rather than the range of motion. After class, as a cool down, holding these positions for 20 to 30 seconds and extending your range a little bit, can be effective for improving flexibility.

Whichever exercises you prefer, don’t skip your warm up! Your dance class will go more smoothly, prepare your body for maximum exertion, and prevent your muscles from cramping, or worse, a major injury. Contact Elite Dance Studio today to sign up for your next dance class!