Stretches for Ballroom and Latin Dancers

When you watch a latin dancer, such as Yulia Zagoruychenko, one thing that you instantly notice is now flexible she is.  When you watch a latin dancer, such as myself, you instantly notice how much flexibility I lack.

Time and time again I’ve been told, lectured, reminded, how important it is for ballroom and latin dancers to be flexible and the only way to increase flexibility is through stretching.  Yeah, well, I hate stretching!  I’ve never been flexible, I’ve never been able to do a split, and I have a very hard time bending over and attempting to touch my toes.  It hurts and I don’t like it.  BUT…it’s time to change all that!!!

It wasn’t until recently when I felt really challenged to increase my flexibility to help me become a better dancer.  I finally decided to take my dance instructor’s advice (yes, I know, he’s always right) and start stretching daily.  Since I get bored just sitting/laying there and stretching, I listen to my iPod to make the time pass faster.  My goal is to do about 30 minutes of stretches a day and be able to do a split in about a month…we’ll see how that goes.

Below are some stretches that I like to do.  I love the stretches for my back, because they ease my back pain.  My least favorite are the hamstring and inner thigh stretches, because they hurt the most.  The corpse pose is just a relaxing way to finish up :)

So, here’s to the next 30 days of torment, um, I mean, pleasure and a lifetime of good habits.

Oh, and thank you, Travis, for taking the pics!

1.  Stretches for the lower back

2.  Outer thigh stretch

3.  Inner thigh stretch

4.  Inner thigh stretch against the wall (recommended by my dance instructor)

5.  Hamstring stretches

6.  Calf stretch

7. The rag doll stretch

8. Leg lifts to strengthen core

9. Holding the plank position to strengthen core

10. Rib isolation to help with hip action

11. Rumba hip rolls – for a lack of the correct term :)

12. Child’s pose

13. Corpse stretch (you just lay there for a minute and relax every muscle in your body…it just feels good!

****CAUTION:  I am NOT a medical professional of any kind and I am NOT an expert in stretches.  These stretches are tailored to me and my needs.  If you choose to use these stretches, use them at your own risk****

One Response to “Stretches for Ballroom and Latin Dancers”

  1. Liv 06. Aug, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Thank you for these!

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