Tight Hips After Dance Class? Try These Stretches!

flexibility stretching Jan 27, 2020


Do your hips sometimes feel tight after dance class? If so, you’re not alone.

Intensive dance training can cause tiny tears within your muscle fibers, which can produce that tight feeling you are all too familiar with.

This is what we call 'muscle damage' and it is actually a good thing. That’s because when you rest, your body will repair and strengthen those muscle fibers, so that you’ll be fitter and better prepared for your next workout.

That doesn't mean that we cant work on the tightness during the recovery however. In-fact there is lots that we can do, and so today I am going to show you 5 top stretches to perform after dance class to get rid of those tight hips!


1. Kneeling Flexor Stretch

Stretches: hip flexors


Your hip flexors, which lie at the front of your hip bone, are highly active while you dance. You contract this muscle every time you lift your leg, which is why this muscle may feel tight after class.

  • Kneel on your right knee.
  • Push your hips forward.
  • Keep your upper body upright.
  • Squeeze your glutes.
  • Hold for thirty seconds to a minute.
  • Do the same for the other side.

This stretch is also great after a day at school or at work. That’s because prolonged sitting can shorten the hip flexors, something you can avoid by doing this exercise regularly.


2. Figure Four Stretch

Stretches: glutes

 While you dance, your glutes often contract to catch your body. An example of this is when you absorb the force during a side step. 

 It is such absorbing contractions that tighten your muscles the most. That’s why it’s helpful to stretch your glutes after a workout.(1)

  • Lie on your back.
  • Put the outside of your left ankle on the top of your knee. 
  • Pull your right leg towards you until you feel a comfortable stretch.
  • Hold the position for thirty to sixty seconds.
  • Do the same for the other side.


3. Reclining Angle Bound Pose


Stretches: Inner thighs

While everyone can experience tight inner thighs after exercising, it’s particularly common in women. That’s because they have wider hips, which often causes their knees to be pointed more inwards, leading to more tension on the inner thigh muscles.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place the soles of your feet together.
  • Allow your knees to move out towards the floor.
  • Push your knees down slightly with your hands to get a deeper stretch.
  • Hold the position for thirty to sixty seconds.


4. Child's Pose


Stretches: Spinal muscles, latissimus dorsi


Tightness in the lower back can be particularly uncomfortable. The following stretch can help you reduce this tightness. It’s also a good movement to relax the muscles of the spine if you suffer from lower-back pain.

  • Kneel with your shins on the floor.
  • Hinge forward and extend your arms in front of you on the floor.
  • Move your hips back and rest your buttocks on your heels.
  • Round your back and bring your head to the floor.
  • Hold the position for thirty to sixty seconds.


5. Lower Back Rotational Stretch

Stretches: Abdominals, lower back


Just like the Child’s Pose, this stretch also reduces tightness in the core. That’s why this is a particularly good exercise if you suffer from lower-back pain.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Bend your hips and knees so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Rotate your legs towards the left while you keep your right shoulder on the floor.
  • Hold this position for thirty to sixty seconds.
  • Do the same for the other side.


Aside from doing this stretch after dance class, you can also perform it if you experience lower-back tightness or pain during the day. Doing so can offer relief, especially when combined with the Child’s Pose.


The Bottom Line


While it might be tempting to skip the stretches after dance class, it's a good idea to do them. Not only does stretching support your flexibility, but it also reduces soreness after your dance session. 

To get the most out of the stretches, do each of them for at least thirty seconds. Also, don’t force the exercise. While you should feel the stretch in the target muscles, it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable.

It’s not ideal to stretch with a lot of intensity because doing so causes the target muscles to contract, which leads to a less effective stretch. That’s why it’s best to keep your body relaxed during the stretches.

Now, put the stretches above into action after your next dance class and notice the difference. Your hips will feel less tight both immediately after your session and the day after.


Good luck!


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