STRETCHING: OVER-SPLITS AND MORE

Updated: Jun 15


Over-Splits

Over-splits can be useful for getting higher battements, improving your standing splits, improving splits in aerial skills, higher jumps and more! Start small, a step, a book, or yoga block. Place your forward foot onto it. Make sure your hips are squared (facing directly forward). If you cannot touch the ground let your hands go and raise them above your head if you are able. Let yourself sink down into the stretch as far as possible. If it hurts too badly stop! After you’ve accomplished that height, add another book and keep progressing as long as you’re comfortable!



Bridge:

Bridges are a great way to increase back flexibility and build core muscles.

Start by lying on your back, bend your knees up and keep your feet flat on the ground, place your hands by your ears with palms facing the ground.

Push your body up until only your hands and feet are touching the ground, and your back is arched. Once you’re up in a bridge, straighten your arms and legs and push your shoulders over your head. Your wrists to your shoulders should form a straight line to the floor. Keep your fingers and toes lined up with your body, not turned out. Keep your knees together.       


Slowly lower your body back to the floor, tucking your chin toward your chest as you come down to relax your back. Once you’ve gotten your bridge, an elbow bridge can also help target shoulder flexibility even more as well as pushing forward and straightening your legs.

Feet:

Maybe you weren’t born with gorgeous, overarched feet, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with what you’ve got. Strength and flexibility can improve with training, within the limits of your individual anatomy.

Strengthening:

Hand towel, for scrunching toward you as you actively curl your toes. For a challenge, add weight, like a book, to the end of the towel.


Thera-Band, for slowly pointing and flexing in parallel. Then, sickle with a point, return to neutral and repeat; and wing (in both flexed and pointed positions), return to neutral and repeat.

Tennis ball, placed at or above the ankle bones, as you slowly relevé and lower in parallel.

Piano toes, From tendu second, flex the foot off the floor and articulate the toes into a pointe one at a time.

Sitting on the floor, place the foot you want to stretch over your other thigh to create a figure 4 with your legs. With the hand closest to your heel, push into your heel.  Be sure to relax your Achilles!  (the large band coming down from your calf that attaches to your heel) With the hand closest to your toes, place it over your toes and up your foot a couple inches and pull back so that your foot arches, feeling a nice stretch on the top.

For the top of your instep, standing in pointe shoes, cross one leg over and press the top of the foot into the floor. Plié to increase the stretch.

Grab a yoga block or foam roller, place the front of your foot on it and sit on your knees with your feet under your butt on your foam roller/yoga block. Stay there for about a minute to stretch your instep and increase your ankle flexibility.

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