What dancers need to know about stretching


If you are flexible only on one leg, experience niggly pains, or just never seem to get more flexible, it might be because you are stretching incorrectly.

If you get to class and promptly sit down to stretch, you a) are not warming up properly and b) are only half a chance of increasing your flexibility.

The type of stretching that you need to do depends on the purpose for stretching. The three main reasons to stretch are:

  1. To warm-up in preparation for dance
  2. To cool down your body after dance
  3. To increase your flexibility for dance.

1. Stretching to warm up

In exercise science circles there has long been controversy about whether you should even stretch to warm up. The basic current evidence suggests that passive stretches (where the body part being stretched is still and held for a period of time) can actually increaseyourchancesofinjury and possibly

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