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Question: what is the best way to increase flexibility in your back and legs for ballet?

Asked by isabellewahanda

3 answers

I've been dancing for many years but looking get a bit more serious. What are some good ways to increase flexibility if you're older?

Ballet, Barre Work

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Hi Isabelle,

With me, I find old habits die hard, and so I find myself doing the same stretches that I did when I was at ballet school about 100 years ago! (I'm exaggerating on the years, but it was a very long time ago). I'm nearly 56 and still as supple as when I was in my teens.

I find the best way to gain and maintain flexibility in the legs is to sit on the floor, legs stretched out in front of you. Then bend at the waist and try and touch your toes. Start small (and make sure you do this at the end of your ballet class, while you're still warm). You'll feel the stretch in your hamstrings for sure. You can spread your legs for further depth and to stretch your adductor muscles.

For the upper back, one simple stretching technique is: from a standing position, interlace your fingers out in front of you at shoulder height. Turn your palms outward and extend your arms, pushing out with your hands. You should feel the stretch to your shoulders, middle of the upper back, arms, hands and fingers and wrists. Hold for about 15 seconds, relax, then repeat.

There are many stretches you can do, even whilst watching television! If you'd like more information, do feel free to email me -

Best wishes,

Other answers (2)


Hi Isabel,
Pilates is a great to increase flexibility, and it is used by many dancers as a complementary discipline to their ballet training.
Also yoga is great for flexibility.



contact your local osteopath they have the clinical skills and knowledge to assist you in improve your flexibilty through nutrition, stretches and manual therapy.


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