In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?
Stretching can help your flexibility—but not if it's the only thing you're doing. Make sure you're rolling out, too. Breaking up muscle fibers with a roller or a tennis ball helps loosen and relax them. Rolling out before you stretch will make your muscles that much more pliable.
When you do get to the stretching portion of your daily routine, make sure you hold your stretches long enough. You want to do each one for at least 20 to 30 seconds, allowing your muscles to release into the stretch. And you should be warm when you stretch. Stretching while cold can actually have the opposite of the intended effect, tightening rather than loosening your muscles. The best time to stretch isn't before class, but immediately after.
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