One of the first things I noticed when I began ballroom dance training (after several years of not being active in dance) was how stiff and inflexible I had become. In addition to strength, flexibility is important to looking smooth on your feet.
I also noticed that for proper hip movement, I needed to increase my flexibility, especially in my lower back. So I began doing research to find some of the best stretching exercises possible. What I came across was an entire website devoted to stretching, that had information specifically for ballroom dancers. According to the site:
“For proper execution of the dance moves, both partners need to have good coordination, as well as an all-over good physical tone. Muscular strength and muscular endurance are essential in the upper body, especially the back and arms as well as the lower body, primarily in the core section as well as the legs and calves.
The major muscle groups that will get a workout with ballroom dancing include:
- The hip abductors, hip adductors, quadriceps, calves, the hamstring and gluteals.
- The upper back muscles, especially the area around the shoulders and upper arms including the triceps and the girdle and deltoid muscles.
- The abdominal and obliques, collectively known as the “core,” which includes the abdominal wall muscles and the spinal erectors.”
You can read the entire article which includes sample stretching exercises to work on the chest, stomach and quads, which will help anyone with their ballroom or social dancing at The Stretching Institute’s website. It is full of excellent information for anyone interested in becoming more flexible no matter what sport they are interested in, and includes a wealth of information.
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