Body Care #2: Dynamically Stretch AFTER you Dance
To Stretch AFTER you Dance...
1. Going on a Beauty Walk up and down some hills (to actively release muscle aches and soreness)
2. And only do Static Stretching AFTER you strength train/dance (not before, use the Warm Up above instead)
You can find details on both Stretch activities below...
My top recommendation: Dynamically Stretch AFTER you Workout or Dance
Go for a Beauty Walk up & down some Hills!
Now I have found that one of the best ways to gently and effectively stretch & release your muscles...
And reduce/eliminate a lot of Soreness you might feel after exercising...
Is to go for a Beauty Walk up and down some Hills! It's actually an amazing way to Dynamically Stretch & release your muscles...
Now I do have a Static Stretch Guide below...but I've seen through many years of teaching dance...and my own experiences with dance classes too...that it's all too easy to do a Static Stretch...like a side bend or yoga pose...in an incorrect way...that can actually cause more problems...than solve them.
And I've been researching where soreness comes from...and what causes it and how you can best prevent it...
Several scientific studies have found that 1. Breathing correctly while you Move and 2. Having Proper Form (see my Neutral Pelvis video here)...
Are the 2 things that allow you to skip out completely on a lot of Muscle Soreness...
Now when you are building new muscle in your body...sometimes you CAN feel it...your muscle feels kind of "blown up" and harder...but it doesn't need to feel Sore.
Now this Beauty Walk activity...of going for a Walk for 15 to 45 minutes...allowing your arms to naturally swing at your side...taking full breaths...clearing your mind & noticing Beauty around you...
And if you can...go for Walking up and down some DIRT PATHS...or Hills...
It truly feels fantastic!
It's my favorite way to Dynamically Stretch my muscles...and through sharing this technique with many dance students...many people have LOVED the gentle release this has brought them.
In this video I'm walking my favorite Beauty Walk partner...my dog Bear...up a gorgeous rocky dirt path in a park here in NYC.
Please enjoy trying out this Beauty Walk idea...
I can't stress enough how important it is to Care For Your Body as a Dancer...when you're Dancing, lifting weights...and every day!
Walking...and Beauty Walks specifically :)...are a great form of Pleasurable Fitness...that's accessible to most fitness levels!
Also, if you're out of a habit of moving & playing in your body...and/or if you're focusing on improving your nutrition for 2 weeks...then I highly recommend JUST going for a Beauty Walk 3 - 5 days a week as your main form of Pleasurable Fitness to get started gently and effectively...
Body Care #3: Yoga Booty Stretch
Stretch AFTER you Dance & Strength Train:
Click Here to Download the Stretch Cards...and enjoy!
If you enjoy Stretching--here is a nice full body routine for you
I believe that Static Stretching is entirely optional. I think that Dynamic Stretching (like the WarmUp & Beauty Walk Cool Down above) are the BEST ways to prepare your body before & release your muscles afterwards--dynamically.
It can feel good to stretch though!
When you do yoga or stretching moves, you absolutely want to make sure that your muscles are nice and warm before you complete any stretching exercises. If you try to stretch your muscles when they are "cold" you can really injure yourself.
**Also, it's important to only do static stretches (like the ones below) AFTER you strength train or dance...because it reduces the "responsiveness" and essentially the strength of the muscle itself...according to many, many different research studies...**
So you want to avoid unnecessary potential injury...and missing out on getting muscle building results from your efforts too...and save your stretching for AFTER you strength train/dance.
You can foam roll before you strength train...as this has been shown to increase muscle/brain neural connectivity & not decrease muscle strength. Foam Rolling video here if you want to learn more...
So, it's very important to only do this type of Static Stretch below...AFTER you strength train, do a section of my "How to Shake Your Booty in 30 Days" dance video, or after a mini dance party in your living room.
Also, understanding the correct body alignment for each stretch is essential. In my Stretch Guide below, I give tips on how to check if your pelvis, knees, and hips are in alignment before you complete a stretch…
I've seen through many years of teaching dance...and my own experiences with dance classes too...that it's all too easy to do a Static Stretch...like a side bend or yoga pose...in an incorrect way...that can actually cause more problems...than solve them. So I highly recommend Static Stretching only if you already have a good understanding of body alignment!
Now with that caveat being said...
Stretching can just plain feel good! I recommend playing some fun, relaxing Music while you stretch. I love listening to music on www.Pandora.com! You can create your own Radio Station based on a music artist you already love and hear similar music, all for free.
Some great Pandora radio stations are Olodum and Sambada!
Yoga Booty Stretch Hot Tips:
- Be sure to FLOW from stretch to stretch
- Turn on some music
- Have a yoga mat or clean spot on the floor
- Wear stretchy clothes that feel good
- Don't lock your knees when you stretch
- And it is really important to stretch your butt muscles…if your butt muscles are tight from sitting a lot, they could be pulling on your back and hurting your knees too! Everything in your body is connected…
- Keep your Head Above Your Heart when you stretch, after you finish exercising. Let your heart slow down gradually...by doing a gentle "funky dance walk"... After you have slowed your heart rate back down, then you can go for stretching.
You can Download the Stretch Guide Below:
Click Here to Download the Stretch Cards...and enjoy!