Stretching, Warming Up, and Preventing Injuries by Ankhesenamun
Failing to stretch before class or performance can lead to injury. Cold muscles suddenly put to work are more likely to become damaged than ones that have been warmed up properly. Warming up gradually will increase your heart and breathing rates, increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles before you begin to work them hard. There are many easy ways out to warm up. Start with simply breathing. Taking the time to inhale and exhale with intention will get your body prepared for dance. Follow breathing with simple "step-touch-step-touch" using alternate feet . Music always helps the process.
Majority of professionals recommend at least 5-10 minutes spent on warming up before actual stretching begins. Warm-up is gentle gentle, breathe properly ,keep excellent posture , and stretch arms, hips, torso, legs. Many Belly Dancers I prefer to use Pilates, Yoga or simple Ballet stretches. The key is to be gentle. You can a find many free rescues online with warm-ups including on YouTube and google dancers stretches.
Tips : Warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes Use; walking gently while swinging your arms in wide circles. Stretch slowly, exhaling as you gently stretch the muscle. Hold each stretch for 8 to 20 seconds.
Avoid: Bouncing during a stretch. Holding your breath while stretching. Stretching that hurts means ease up. Stretching a muscle that is not warmed up. Straining or pushing a muscle too far. Not stretching before dance
Knees, neck , lower back,, and ankles are the most common areas that can be damaged if not properly warmed up. . Take care to include stretches that work out those areas before you attempt to dance. If only given a few moments before a class or show and you are not able to stretch and warm up before you arrive,focus on the major common problem ares above. Breathe with intention and completion, lightly jog in place to warm up, then by lightly stretch your neck, knees, lower back and ankles.
A dancer's trick is to spell out the alphabet with your ankles. Using your ankle trace each letter of the alphabet in the air. By taking the time to do these things you may save yourself from a injury that will take months to completely heal. During this time you will not be able to dance at all. So, take the time to warm-up and stretch!
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