Here are 5 movements, to drastically improve your  hip flexibility as a dancer

As dancers hip flexors flexibility can be the difference between having your leg at 90 degrees or 180 degrees.

@ballerina_ali.k

And let's be honest who would not want to have their leg at a perfect 12 o'clock. Sidenote: from 0-90 degree it's all muscular but once you go past 90 degrees you're not using as much strength and now you hip flexibility comes in to play more.

Obviously this is just an example, hip flexibility as soooooooooooo much more importance in dance.

@amayatheballerina45

Also, numerous dancers that you see flexible now, were not blessed with natural flexibility.

The majority of them had to work on their hip flexibility daily to get it looser.

Anyhoo...

We got you!

We've asked our good friend Miss Katie Peyton Groven to give us 5 movements that can drastically improve that hip flexibility.

hipflexorsinfo.com

Take it away Katie!

I get asked a lot as a personal trainer about hip flexibility and strength. It seems to be an area of concern for dancers striving for flat splits, high kicks and extended leaps. The biggest issue however isn’t really a lack of flexibility, but a lack of movement in our everyday lives. The increased time we spend sitting at school, in cars or buses causes our hip muscles to become tighter and shorter. This pulls on our low back and even our hamstrings. With these 5 movements, you’ll see a drastic change in hip flexibility but you can also enjoy some more movement in the back and legs.

1. Slide Reverse Lunge

Unilateral leg exercises like this one are great for imbalances in hip strength because you can focus on one side at a time.  You may be more dominant on the right, so doing a slide reverse lunge can help the left to catch up.

  • Start standing with one leg on a towel or furniture mover.
  • Keeping your core tight and chest up, slowly extend the leg on the towel backwards until you’re in an extended lunge position.
  • Don’t go too far into the lunge, just enough to feel a stretch in the working hip.
  • Press into the supporting leg and pull your working leg back into the starting position.

Repetitions and Modifications: Repeat for 8 reps on each side, repeat 3 times. 

2. Assisted Hip Flexor Stretch

Unlike many stretches to increase hip flexibility, this stretch doesn’t involve a low lunge. Using your couch or wall, you’ll be able to stretch your hip flexor and surrounding muscles like your quads. The movement is subtle but the stretch is intense.

  • Come to all fours.
  • Place one knee where the wall and floor meet and extend the shin up the wall. Place a yoga mat under your knee if needed.
  • Use yoga blocks or tall books to help keep you balanced.
  • Place your front foot in a 90-degree angle and position your glutes back toward your heel and chest up.
  • Gently tuck your hips under WITHOUT lunging forward.

Repetitions and Modifications: Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides

3. Assisted Splits

These “splits” are effective whether you already have a flat split or are trying to increase your hip flexibility and mobility. This stretch is a great follow up to the previous, or a warm up for a full split.

  • Come to all fours.
  • Place one knee where the wall and floor meet and extend the shin up the wall. Place a yoga mat under your knee if needed.
  • Use yoga blocks or tall books to help keep you balanced.
  • Place your front foot at a 90-degree angle and tuck your hips under.
  • Gently extend the front foot while keeping the knee bent and foot flexed.
  • Inhale and exhale slowly each time pushing deeper into the stretch

Repetitions and Modifications: Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides

4. Hip Flexor Release

This is a fantastic choice if you need a low impact hip flexor stretch and a way to relax the low back. I recommend this if you feel your hips may not be as flexible.

  • Roll up a yoga mat or use a bolster and place it under your low back, right where your glutes meet your back.
  • Begin by pulling one leg into your chest and extending the other straight.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and let the weight of your body wrap around the yoga mat underneath you.
  • Extend the same arm as leg above your head.

Repetitions and Modifications: Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides 

5. Heel Drive


This exercise to increase your hip flexibility takes a little bit of practice, but when you do it right, you’ll see your hamstring and hip flexibility improve almost immediately. Higher kicks and flatter leaps are just around the corner!

  • Lie on your back and pull one leg toward your chest.
  • Lace your fingers around your calf muscle allowing your knee to be slightly bent
  • Extend the other leg straight, keeping it engaged.
  • Use your arms; gently pull the gripped leg toward your chest and AT THE SAME TIME driving the same leg’s heel toward the floor.
  • Press into your hands as if you’re trying to break the grip of your fingers around your leg.
  • Press and pull for 5 seconds.
  • Gently release, straighten the top leg and pull gently toward your shoulder, not your nose.

Repetitions and Modifications: Repeat for 5 times on each leg

Posted 
Aug 15, 2020
 in 
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