Training Tip Tuesday: Hip Flexor Stretch

Let me tell you a little secret. Putting yourself into a lunge and simply pushing your hips forward is not going to be a deep enough hip flexor stretch for most dancers. 

That’s right, you’ve been stretching your hip flexor all wrong. 

Likely, if you’ve been stretching your hips this way, you’re not feeling a very deep stretch. This might lead you to believe that you’re flexible enough and don’t need to stretch it further. 

Wrong! Hip flexor stretches are incredibly important to dancers.

Why? Let’s talk about your Psoas muscle. 

The Psoas ( pronounced s0-as) is one of the muscles that makes up your hip flexors. But what makes the Psoas pso special (see what I did there?) is the fact that the psoas muscle attaches just above your tush, near your sacrum, and wraps up and over your hips into your groin. 

Because of this positioning, adequately stretching the Psoas muscle not only opens up your hips, but can relieve lower back pain and lead to major gains in your battement height. 

On top of all that, hip flexor stretches are excellent if you’re traveling or spending a lot of time sitting. Hello all you dancers on tour!

Stretching your hip flexors after maintaining the same position all day will do wonders for your back and hips!

 

 

personal training for dancers

 

 

Okay, so what’s a better hip flexor stretch?

I’m so glad you asked!

First you’re going to get into a kneeling position. (If you have cranky knees, place a cushion or pillow underneath your knee.)

Next you’re going to lengthen your spine and make sure you aren’t hyper extending your ribcage by exhaling and engaging your core. 

Then, tuck your pelvis forward.

Feel that stretch? Amazing, let’s kick it up a notch.

Release your tuck and breathe in. On your next exhale, tuck your pelvis forward and tuck your chin to your chest. 

WHOOOOOOEEEEE!!! Do you feel that?

Perform a few reps of tucking on the exhale and releasing on the inhale. After 6-10 reps, switch sides. 

I promise your hips and back will thank you  and your kicks will be sky high!

Want a visual? Check out this video from Coach Kiersten to follow along!

 

Did you like this Training Tip? You might also like these quick reads: Training Tip Tuesday: Mixed Grip Deadlift, The Early Morning Workout, A Dancer’s Guide to the Best Supplements for Muscle Recovery

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