4 stretches for leg pain, straight from a dancer


“I’m a happier and more confident person when I dance,” said Sadie Kurzban, founder and CEO of 305 Fitness, a dance-cardio concept with venues in New York and Washington, D.C. that feel more like nightclubs. (Do you remember them?) These days Kurzban spends seven days a week dancing, teaching, and then dancing again in his high-energy studios. And as a person who spends mainly everything day on her legs, she has an inner spoon for the best sprains for leg pain, a common symptom of immediate conditions such as plantar fasciitis caused by repeated use.

4 of the best leg pain stretches that a full-time dancer swears by

1. Foot rollers with lacrosse ball or tennis ball

The first Kurzban stretch is simple, which you can do under your desk while inspecting your inbox (seriously). Just take a lacrosse ball or a tense ball and roll it on the foot of each foot, from heel to toe, moving up and down from side to side until they feel brand new. Or, well, at least a little better.

2. Exercises for bending the ankle

Then sit on the floor and stretch your legs straight in front of you. You can put your hands behind your hips for support or find a wall. Aim and bend your legs and rotate your ankles in both directions until you feel well.

3. Lifting the calf

“Lifting the calves strengthens the muscles that help maintain the feet and ankles,” says Kurzban. To perform, simply stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your heels up to balance on the balls of your feet, then lower back down. Repeat for a minute.

4. Dog down

The dog stretches the hamstring, calves, ankles and feet down. To enter a yoga pose called Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, simply unroll your yoga mat and stand on your hands and knees. Push your palms down to the floor, pull your navel toward your spine to support your waist, and lift your hips up in the air to form an inverted V-shape, allowing your chest to sink down to the ground. Ideally, your arms and legs should be straight, but you can bend your knees as needed, depending on the flexibility of the hamstring. Pedal your legs to feel a little extra stretch in your calves and feet.

Now that you know how to take care of your feet, let’s dance:

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