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Stretching Part 2.

Keeping your legs limbered for dance is very important, especially the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. These stretches are perform on the floor however can be adapted to do at the Barre.

Don't forget! The quadriceps are the big muscles along the fronts of your thighs. Not only will stretching them prevent them from becoming tight, it will also help to improve your arabesque line. It will also ensure that they do not become bulky and overdeveloped.

  • Lie face down on the floor, with your forehead resting on your arms in front of you.

  • Straighten your legs flat on the floor behind you.

  • Bend your left leg and grab your left foot with your left hand.

  • Gently pull your left foot toward your left glute. Strive to keep your left thigh flat on the floor.

  • Make sure to keep your left foot in line with your left thigh.

  • Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds, then switch legs.

Your calf muscles run down the backs of your lower legs. The calves are responsible for many ballet steps including releves, pointing the toes and balancing on demi- or full pointe. Keeping the calves stretched is very important for dancers.

  • Stagger your feet with your right leg in front of your left.

  • Keeping your left foot straight, bend your right knee, slightly leaning forward with your upper body.

  • Try to keep your left heel on the floor, but ease back if you feel strain on the front of the ankle. Flexibility will improve with time and practice.

  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds then switch legs.

The hamstrings are the long muscles that run down the backs of your legs. Dancing is difficult with tight hamstrings, so stretch them as much as possible for optimal flexibility.

  • Kneel on your left knee while extending your right leg in front.

  • Point your right foot and bend forward toward your right leg. If you are flexible enough, lay your upper body on your leg, without rounding the back. (Don't worry, flexibility will improve over time.)

  • Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds, then switch legs.

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