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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Warming up to stretch or stretching to warm up


dancerloves

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I know you are supposed to be warmed up before you stretch, but I also commonly hear that you can pull a muscle if you exercise without stretching. So basically I was wondering what would be a good warmup to do BEFORE you stretch. Or should you just wear warmups to make your body warm and stretch like that?

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Young Dancers forum requires a Teacher Moderator response prior to member responses. Also, no Adult students or Parents allowed!

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Dancerloves, there is stretching and then there is stretching! :wink: Seriously, there are some stretches that can be done before warming up, and some that should not. Eventually, advanced and professional dancers will discover what their body needs to do to be ready for class.Some may like to jog around the room in warm up clothing, and some like to sit on the floor and use a theraband to stretch their feet and ankles, and maybe do gentle rotation and hamstring stretches. Standing up, calf stretches and quad stretches are good. The things you DO NOT do are splits and all other flexibility stretches.

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Ok! Thank you for the advice. I guess I will have to figure out what my body needs to do before class.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've always been told to do splits before class...I've never pulled a muscle and splits help me feel more warmed up. Should I continue to stretch this way, or is it still wrong?

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We do not recommend it, especially if you are not one of those super flexible "gumby" types. And, if you are one of those, with all natural rotation and flexibility, then you don't need to do splits at all because they probably are not doing anything for you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I am very flexible, but I do find that my hamstrings are fairly tight. Is it okay to stretch my hamstrings before class, or should I wait until after barre or after class altogether?

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Hamstrings can be stretched sitting on the floor, but just do it slowly and carefully. The last thing you want to do is pull one of those muscles, as they are a major nuisance to heal. Stretch them, yes, but don't over stretch them!

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