Stretching Like a Ballerina
Ever want to be as flexible as a ballerina? Here’s your chance! A daily stretching routine that can help you become more flexible. Now although stretching is great before any active sports or activities, please listen to your body. Do not push you body into any poses that make you uncomfortable or feel pain. Overstretching can put you in a greater risk of injury, so stretch until your body feels warm and flexible enough for being active.
For comfort, place an exercise mat down or some towels and kneel down on one foot. Place your body weight over your knee and make sure to keep your heel on the ground. Slowly lean forward and you should feel a stretch along your Achilles tendon. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds. Make sure to repeat for each leg for a total of 3 sets.
Modification: Similar to a calf stretch, while facing and holding onto a wall, bring one leg forward (bent) and one leg back. Stretch out the back leg while keeping it straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds. And remember to repeat for the opposite leg.
Start by sitting with your knees open and the bottoms of your feet together. Extend one leg in front and reach forward. Make sure to keep your back straight and hold this position for 15-20 seconds. Slowly you will be able to bring your chest towards your thigh as you reach towards your toes.
Modification: If you are having difficulties, you can bend your extended leg slightly but make sure to maintain the proper posture. Your knee should still be facing the ceiling.
You have probably done this stretch while standing up but try doing this while lying down on your stomach. While standing up you may tend to put your weight on your hips more, while lying down ensures you get the right stretch and allows you to pull your leg back enough.
While resting on your elbows in front of you and your legs stretch out behind, bend one leg and hold it with the hand on the same side. Pull your foot towards your bottom and hold for 15-20 seconds. Remember to repeat for each leg for a total of 3-5 sets each.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Starting in a kneeling position, straighten the back leg while also placing the hand on the same side on the floor. Twist to open the body facing the leg that is bent by lifting the arm high and gazing up to the ceiling. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeating for each side of the body.