Exercises for all

Whether you are a dancer, an athlete, a musician or someone that enjoys being the spectator of a physical extravaganza, health and well-being play an important role in how we go about our daily lives.

We hope these exercises give you some insight into how our dancers look after themselves and how this might also help you. The ballet dancer requires a combination of physical attributes, including good cardiovascular fitness, strength, power, endurance and flexibility as well as skill. The range of movement patterns demanded in ballet performances requires the dancer to have good muscle motility in order to achieve these aesthetically pleasing movement patterns in the safest way possible. The dancer uses his/her muscles through a full range of movement and any restriction could increase the potential of sustaining injury.

Stretch exercises
Click the images to the right to see the exercises and photographs. A new stretch exercise will be added on the first of every month.

When carrying out the stretch exercises, please consider the following:
• Two to three repetitions per leg
• The stretch should be passive in nature with no bouncing or force and held at the point where you begin to feel tension within the muscle and not forced past this range.
• Pre-activity stretches should not exceed 20 seconds duration and be performed as part of a more inclusive warm-up.
• Post-activity stretches should be held for 30 seconds or longer as part of a cool-down (once heart rate has returned to normal resting heart rate following an appropriate cardiovascular cool-down), you may wish to hold until some of the tension subsides then move into a slightly greater stretch where the tension increases again.

Please note Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries do not take any responsibility for any injury caused in trying to replicate these exercises. If you are not used to exercising it is always advised that you seek guidance from an appropriately trained professional and seek initial medical advisement if you have been unwell or have any health concerns or conditions.

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Click here to find out more about the Jerwood's recommended exercises

Stretch Exercises

Exercise 1: Calf muscles
(posted 11/2013)

Exercise 2: Hip Flexors
(posted 12/2013)

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