Stretching After Exercise For the Long Leg, the Straight Leg
Posted Jul 20 2010 10:46am
You are a ballet student, in contemporary dance classes, or cheer leading, and you cannot get the straight leg look. You know about stretching after exercise, and you want the long leg, straight leg look. You have learned all the good stretching exercises, yet your knees still look bent. The following tips will help you understand whether you have a structural problem or simply need to know more effective ways to release muscle tension.
You can learn a tension release technique using a sports ball, and start with the hip area. Relaxing the piriformis muscle (your turnout muscle) increases your turnout and enhances relaxation of the hamstrings.
Kneading down the back of the leg while sitting on the floor, roll around to get at the tense spots on both the inside and outside of the hamstrings.
Rolling to the outside extreme, you can get into the side of the quads, muscles that will pull on the knee joint when holding chronic tension.
You can massage the lower thigh muscles above the knee, and at the sides of the knees. Don't get into the back of the knee area. It is a very delicate muscle that can be worked on by a chiropractor, physiotherapist or massage therapist.
Learning how to release tension in the feet and calves will contribute to your overall muscle relaxation as well.
If a professional therapist tells you that you have tight ligaments around your knees, please do not plan to go home and stretch your ligaments. They are not elastic like muscles.
Take careful note of the professional advice you get. Ballet dancers especially are known for trying drastic and forceful measures to get a straight leg. Please don't!
Keep stretching after exercise and be patient with your muscles. Improvement is gradual with daily application. You can make your routines even more highly effective by learning expertly taught and professional good stretching exercises .