Hip-Hop Stretching Tips From A Dance Place In Windsor
Stretching is a key component of any form of rigorous physical activity or exercise, including dance. Hip-hop dance, in particular, with its athletic, high-energy, and dramatic movements demands proper stretching in order to avoid injury and reduce the strain on the body. Failing to stretch is one of the most common mistakes made despite its undeniable benefit.
A Dance Place in Windsor, Colorado recommends a variety of effective stretches that should be incorporated before performing any level of hip-hop dance. The benefit of stretching is undeniable and will not only help to limit the degree of post-dance stiffness or achiness, but it will also help to improve movement during the dance itself. Stretching provides a simple and beneficial way to warm up before a class, performance, or simply for when you just want to dance.
Hip-hop dance, in reality, provides a full-body workout that uses a large number of the body’s muscles in different ways. By stretching key areas of your body that are consistently put in motion during a hip-hop dance, you can prevent injury and reduce soreness. The main areas to be sure to stretch include your neck, shoulders, feet, legs, hips, lower back and even your rear end, which are all crucial for performing the movements unique to hip-hop dance.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of your stretch, remember to take long, deep breaths, keep yourself relaxed, and stretch both before and after dancing.
check out this tutorial outlining a basic stretch and warm-up routine from Mihran Kirokosian.
Basic Dance Stretches
Here are some basic, but beneficial, stretching tips for hip-hop dancers from our team at A Dance Place in Windsor:
- Stretch your neck by placing arms loosely at your sides with legs shoulder-width apart, then slowly pick up your chin and roll your head back, holding this stretch for 2 to 3 long breaths. Then repeat the process, this time rolling your head to the left, and then repeat to the right.
- Cross your right arm across your body, grasping your elbow with your left hand, and hold this stretch. Then mimic the same with your left arm. Try to press out with the primary arm in order to extend the stretch into the shoulder blade.
- Lift your right arm, bend at the elbow, and place the palm of your hand behind you between your shoulder blades. Take the opposite hand and gently push on your elbow to deepen the stretch. Then repeat this stretch with the other arm.
- Place your hands on your hips and slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch in your lower back and hold. Then roll your torso to one side, hold, return to the back, hold, and then repeat the motion to the other side.
Hips and Lower Back:
- Sit on a foam roller and cross one leg over the opposite knee holding for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side
- Lay flat on your back with bent knees and place one ankle on the opposite knee. Grab the lower thigh from behind the knee and gently pull towards your chest until you feel the stretch in your rear end. Hold for 30 seconds and the repeat on the other side.
- Kneel into a lunge with your back leg flat on the floor, flattening your back and tucking in your pelvis to feel the stretch in front of your hip. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
- Grasp one foot with the same-side hand – you may want to hold onto something to help provide balance. Keeping a flat back, gently pull your heel towards your body keeping your legs close together. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Place one foot behind you and the other in front of you. Keeping your heels flat on the floor, bend your front leg, place hands on a wall and lean forward. Keep your arms straight and go forward until you can feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Place feet together and then extend one heel forward a few inches. Place your hands on the extended leg and push forward to feel the stretch in your calves and hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.