Do you want to help your child get the most out of their dance classes? You’re not alone. One of the main goals for many in ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip hop dancing is achieving higher leg extensions. While all dancers strive for perfect lines and turns that would make any instructor swoon, executing them with flexibility and strength is what truly makes something special. Striving for better technique can often feel like a daunting task—but it doesn’t have to be! Read on as we provide useful tips on how you can support your little dancer in reaching those remarkable high leg extensions.
The Importance of High Leg Extensions
Leg extensions are a fundamental movement in dance, where the dancer lifts one leg to a certain height and holds it for a period of time. Leg extensions can convey grace and fluidity to a routine, and they are often used in ballet and contemporary dance styles. Dancers utilize this movement to create a visually stunning effect, as they extend their legs with pointed toes and controlled movements.
Leg extensions require training and practice to perfect, as well as core strength and balance and extensive flexibility in the legs. Some people are lucky to be born with natural flexibility but for most dancers, it takes years to train the body to be flexible enough to perform proper leg extensions. Stretching exercises are the best way to improve flexibility. Below are some exercises that can help your child improve their leg extensions.
Stretches for Hip Abductor, Quads, and Hamstrings
Abductor stretches like the butterfly and the frog can help to open up your hips and improve flexibility in your inner thighs. For your quads, try the standing quad stretch or the pigeon pose. Your hamstrings can be stretched with poses like the seated forward bend or the supine hamstring stretch.
Incorporating these stretches into your child’s dance routine can help them gain increased flexibility in these important muscle groups.
While leg extensions are stunning when executed properly, they can also be strenuous on your muscles. By incorporating effective warm up techniques, your child can reduce the risk of injury and open up new possibilities for their dance routines.
A few key exercises to incorporate into your child’s warm-up routine to improve their leg extensions might include lunges, squats, and leg stretches. They might also want to engage in light cardio, such as walking, jogging, or jump rope to get their leg muscles warmed up.
Strength training goes hand-in-hand with stretching exercises for all muscle forms, especially for leg extensions. Including exercises that target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts can help build the necessary strength in your lower body.
Additionally, incorporating exercises that engage your core and balance will also aid in controlling and extending your legs.
Resistance Band Exercises
Resistance bands are key in strengthening the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in a variety of safe but effective performance techniques. Focusing on the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes, using the bands to perform deadlifts without the use of weights can be implemented into all strengthening exercises.
These bands can be used for regular leg extension exercises such as reverse lunge, standing and seating leg extensions, standing and seating leg curls, and the glute bridge position. Stretching can be improved by performing the lateral band walk, rear leg lift, and step-out.
How Performing Dance Arts Can Help to Improve Your Leg Extensions
If you’re looking for a fun and affordable way to learn how to dance, look no further than Performing Dance Arts! Our dance classes in North York are designed for children of all experience levels, and our instructors are patient and supportive.
In addition, our dance classes for kids in the Yorkdale area offer a comprehensive training of the dance arts, so students learn more than a simple routine. They’ll learn about technique, exercises to boost their strength, flexibility, theory, and more. Our studio inspires creativity, and our instructors will motivate your child to dance with passion, creativity, and excitement.
Contact us today to learn more about our packages and register your child for the best dance lessons in North York!