s Rockettes, our fitness routine doesn’t take a break—we need to be in tip-top shape year-round for our athletically-challenging show, the Christmas Spectacular. If you’re a dancer, then you know that maintaining and improving your flexibility through stretching is very important. Our Wellness & Athletic Trainer, Elaine Winslow-Redmond MS, ATC, EMT-b, CKTP, ART, recommends dynamic stretching as part of the warm-up. Dynamic stretching prepares the whole body for exercise by using controlled movements that increase heart rate and increase overall blood flow to the muscle while also increasing flexibility.
So without further ado, learn what it really takes to train like the Rockettes with these dynamic stretch warm-up exercises created by Elaine Winslow-Redmond:
1. Heel Flick Walks:
Step on the heel of your left foot and exchange the weight when you’re walking and flick your right foot to your butt. Repeat stepping onto the right heel and flicking your left foot to your butt. Continue across the room in a walking pattern. Return across the room using the next exercise (butt kicks). Repeat this series.
3. Power-Up (Lunge Knee-Up and Step):
Step forward into a lunge; head and chest up. Push up from your legs and hips and lift your back knee up and step forward. Repeat on the same side and continue across the floor. Repeat back across the floor using your other leg.
4. Kick Start (Hamstring Scoop):
With the weight on your back leg, extend the other leg forward and reach toward the toe scooping down and return to standing. Step and repeat with the other leg in a walking motion across the room. Return across the room using the next exercise (back pedal).
6. Soldier Walks (Monster Walks):
Begin by kicking the left leg up and reaching for the toe with the right arm. Repeat by kicking the right leg up and reaching with the left arm. Continue across the floor with a swinging motion. Repeat this exercise to return across the room.