How Ballet Dancers Improve Back Flexibility

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In ballet, back flexibility is everything. If you are not naturally flexible, the journey towards total flexibility can be frustrating at times, especially since achieving this skill simply cannot happen overnight. However, it is important to keep in mind that everybody type is unique. This means that some people may be born with a higher level of flexibility than others thanks to less restrictive joints that facilitate a better range of motion, as well as longer muscle fibers that allow muscles to be stretched further and with greater ease. Fortunately, for the rest of us, there are several exercises that dancers who are looking to improve their back flexibility can perform. No matter what your level of dance experience might be, our dance academies in Edmonton and Calgary are safe and encouraging spaces for you to explore your body’s limits as well as its unique capabilities through dance.

4 Effective Exercises for Improving Back Flexibility

While the road to flexibility can be challenging at times, learning this skill will ultimately help you to become a better ballet dancer. Stretching your back to its furthest point may cause some discomfort at first, and while it’s important to listen to your body, a little pain usually indicates that it’s doing the job.

Here are a few simple exercises you can do on a daily basis to improve your back flexibility:

    • Stretch Your Back Muscles: The most important thing you can do before engaging in any type of workout is to stretch out your back muscles. An easy way to do this is to get on your hands and knees while you arch and curl your back. Another way is to lay flat on your stomach and with your hands on the ground, use your strength to lift just your torso off the ground. Hold the position for a few seconds and then gently release yourself back towards the ground until your forehead touches the floor. Repeat these movements a few times to make sure your body is warmed up which will prevent your muscles from seizing and causing an injury.
    • Work the Upper and Lower Back: Stretch out the upper and lower back by performing the following exercises. First, lay on your stomach with your legs stretched out and hands on the ground at either side of your armpit. While keeping your hips firmly on the ground, push your torso off the ground and gently stretch away from your hands. Bring yourself back down to the neutral position and this time, bend your knees far enough into your body so that your toes are pointed towards the sky. Reach your hands back, grab hold of your ankles and pull your legs towards your head as you lift your torso back off the ground in an upright position. To stretch the upper back, kneel on your knees while keeping the tops of your feet flat on the ground. Making sure that everything is vertical, begin leaning backward over your hips as far as you need to feel the stretch through your upper back.
    • Practice Your Arabesque: Practice your arabesque using a barre or chair for stability. Standing with your hips square to your prop, point your toes and slowly lift one leg up into the arabesque position. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and then repeat the movement on the other leg. Regardless of whether you’re a dancer or not, it is one of the best movements you can do to improve your overall strength and flexibility
    • Use a Foam Roller: At the end of your workout session, roll out your entire back using a foam roller. Facing upwards, gently glide the roller from your lumbar region to the cervical section of your spine. If you come across a tighter area along your back, hold the position for 5-10 seconds before moving on. Doing this after performing various stretching exercises will help loosen any tense back muscles.

Foster Your Love of Dance—Enroll in our Dance Academy in Edmonton and Calgary

Take your training to the next level by enrolling in dance classes at Alberta Ballet School where you will learn everything there is to know about dance from our highly educated and qualified teachers. While we expect our students to adhere to specific standards established by the faculty in addition to the expectations of the art form, we also know how important it is to learn how to dance or grow your professional career in a fun, creative, and supportive environment. Whether you are interested in our open division or professional division programs, every dancer can expect the same degree of thorough and attentive instruction to ensure your personal dancing aspirations are within reach.

For more information about any of our dance programs, please give us a call at 403-245-2274 ext. 722 or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to assist you. Everyone is welcome to train and take dance classes at our dance academy in Edmonton and Calgary.