Graham Kenneth Short Photography

Hands up – who wants to get more flexible in 2014?

Whether it’s legs, back or shoulders many of us are working on getting flexy!

Improved flexibility makes any dance move look better and is even required for some moves!

Benefits of stretching:

Increased flexibility and joint range of motion: Flexible muscles can make daily tasks less strenuous, such as bending to tie your shoes or reaching for objects. Whilst dancing, flexibility helps moves look more gracefully and allows you to learn a bigger repertoire of moves such as dove, cocoon, splits up the pole and crab in the hoop.

Improved Circulation: stretching increases blood flow to your muscles, this nourishes your muscles and can reduce recovery time if there are any muscle injuries.

Better posture: frequent stretching helps keep muscles from getting tight, aiding good posture and minimising aches and pains.

Stress relief: stretching relaxes tense muscles which accompany stress. The relaxing music used in class also has a de-stressing effect.

Enhanced coordination: maintain a full range of motion through your joints helps aid balance, helping you to stay more mobile and reduce risks of falls. Good coordination is vital for any dancer.

But How Do I Get Flexible?

Work at it: You wouldn’t expect to get stronger or fitter without working at it! Start small – add 5 mins of additional stretching to your cool down. Then add 10mins. Then schedule flexibility training as its own session.

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Set your Goals! Make them time bound (eg: a month) measurable (by then I would like to be X amount closer to splits/able to do X move) and achievable (aim for splits before your over splits).

Hold it but don’t hurt it: It takes time for your body to adjust to a stretch, ease in, hold and listen to your body – can you feel the muscle relaxing? Then see if you can deepen the stretch.

Work to your own limits: Everyone is different! As a rule of thumb on a scale of 1-10 of pain (10 being the worst pain you can think of) work to a 7 – as you relax work to find your 7 again.


Use props to help with form: Yoga blocks, belts, knee pads, cushions – the more you can relax the more you can focus on the muscles you’re aiming to working.
Listen to your body: All of your body – so your hamstring is a 7 – but how are you hands, arms and neck as you support yourself in that stretch? which brings us to:

But how do I stay motivated?

Join a Class:

At Tempest Dance Studio we have Aerial Yoga on a Tuesday 6-7pm and 7.15-8.15pm and workshops throughout the year.

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Find a Friend:

As with many things in life a friend can make it all a lot better – encourage each other, support each other and work together!

Plot your progress:

Measure, photos, moves find the way you like to keep track.

Vary your routine:

Join a class, try a workshop, how about a DVD? Have a look at Cleo The Hurricane Rock N Pole and Alethea Austin Pure Splits

Suppliers in the UK include Everything Pole Dance and X Pole.

SHARE YOUR PROGRESS with US

Send us your pics – share you pics with us on FB – tag us in your pics on Facebook

And we’ll share our progress with you!

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Photo Credits:

Graham Kenneth Short Photography – Check out his Blog

and Maelstrom Photography