When the body feels a chill, your neck, back and shoulders tense up and tighten. With enough exposure to colder weather, your body can start feeling tired and sore. This can cause some serious problems for your body in the long run. Seeing as this is a blog dedicated to the betterment of the dancer’s life and the love of all things ballet, we’re going to discuss some of the best stretches and exercises to help relieve tension from your muscles this autumn/winter. Shall we begin?
Foam Rollers & Tennis Balls
Foam rollers are best, in our opinion, for loosening up your back after coming in from the cold and warming up. Loosening up your muscles will help relieve any tension you feel after being out in the cold. It’s best, when using a foam roller, to relax your muscles. Not only would the foam roller have no positive effect on flexed muscles but, it can also cause minor bruising, much like receiving a vaccine with a tense arm.
Tennis balls are best used to target small, specific problem areas. It may be that your back, overall, feels fine except for one small knot in the upper left side of your back. Rolling that spot on the tennis ball on the floor is an amazing way to work out that kind of kink. The same goes for other areas like the neck, lower back, legs, even hands!
Aside from working out the kinks, let’s see what else can be done to fix yourself after that cold weather!
Yoga, Yoga & More Yoga!
Like I said before, the cold weather effects the way your muscles respond to the temperatures. Your neck will most likely stiffen, your shoulders tend to raise and all of this wears out your back. So, doing these stretches/poses will help you to loosen up your stiff and tense areas. But what’s so bad about stiffness? Well, down the line, it can cause problems like osteoporosis, severe knots, even (in some BAD cases) minor nerve damage.
In all honesty, these are stretches that should be done ALL year around, not just in the winter. But, the winter will definitely be the most effective time to do it. Just make sure that you’re not over doing it. The last thing you want to do is cause further damage by over extending yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. If it’s in pain, figure out what you can do to fix it. If you need to work it out, work it out! If you need to take it easy, take it easy!
No matter the case, take care of yourself and enjoy the seasons.