Everything You Need to Know About Stretching After a Dance Class

Everything You Need to Know About Stretching After a Dance Class
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Before you hit the gym for your next studio class, follow our series with Pilates instructor, studio owner, and stretch specialist Erika Bloom. She's breaking down the moves that'll help your body recover after a workout—and keep you in prime condition for your next sweat sesh.

Grooving at a hip-hop dance class for an hour can help you burn over 500 cals. But, there's a cost, says Bloom. "Club dance workouts involve a lot of spinal undulations and pelvic shifts which can lead to instability in the pelvis," she warns. "This instability can cause misalignment and inflammation that can result in pain." After you cool down, regain stability with these two exercises:

Marching Bridges

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Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Find a long, neutral spine. Exhale to engage your deep abdominals, like you are wrapping a corset around your low waist. Press in to your feet to lift to bridge your hips up, keeping your spine neutral. Hold the bridge at the top and begin the marches. Keep your deep abdominals engaged as you bring your right leg to chair position, folding the right thigh 90 while keeping the knee bent to 90. Lower the right foot back down then lift the left leg to chair position. Your goal is maintain a completely square level pelvis by keeping your deep core and the backs of your thighs engaged. Go as slowly as you need to and continue to focus on drawing your low belly in and up as you exhale. Perform 10 on each side, alternating, then lower to finish.

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Knee Stirs

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Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feel flat on the floor sitz bone width apart. Find a long, neutral spine. Exhale to engage your deep abdominals, like you are wrapping a corset around your low waist while drawing your belly button in to your spine. Lift your legs one at a time to a chair position while maintaining your abdominal connection. Start to make a small slow circle with your right knee, stirring your thigh over your hip. Your goal is to maintain a completely square, still pelvis as you do this so keep connecting to your deep core to anchor and stabilize the hips and low back as you circle. Perform 8 reps on each leg.

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