Stretching your calf . . .
knee folded at a right angle*
is best done by lying on your back.
The calf is a shock absorber, vital to absorbing shock to the foot, ankle, and the entire body. The calf muscle, when kept toned and flexible, also helps prevent stress fractures to the bone.
The dancers' secret
to doing this exercise correctly . . . is the constant pushing forward of the heel while pointing and flexing the foot . . . and that is made easy by using a sling to push your heel against. The sling can be a necktie, scarf, or kitchen towel . . . something soft and not bulky.
Keep on pushing your heel forward into the cloth and eventually you will be able to do that without the aid of a sling.
Do this without shoes, and you will create
•• a lengthened, toned and supple calf that protects you from the impact of your foot hitting the ground.
• an increased range of motion in your ankle, necessary for a softer landing of your foot.
There are two different kinds of calf-stretching-exercises.
One is with the leg bent, as we are doing here, and the other is with the leg straight, which we do in the next mini-video.
At first when we practice certain movements, we have to apply extreme deliberation to the process.
But after a while, muscle memory kicks in, and the various part of your feet will naturally move and be more reactive to stimuli-- becoming less stiff -- and you won't have to give your feet such conscious thought.
modern dancer, teacher, speaker, author
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your body is
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Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and this or any exercise program may result in injury. Consult with your doctor before you do DanceForMyLife™ exercises.
Never force or strain yourself during exercise. If you feel pain, stop and seek medical attention if necessary.
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• Knee, at a right angle.
• Keep pushing your heel forward as you point and flex.
• Use a necktie as a sling to keep heel pressing forward.
Before exercising, be relaxed, in the moment and warmed up. Otherwise moving cold is like stretching a dry sponge.
F-R-E-E Exercises to Do Now
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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
I would just like to say how much I appreciate the body movement exercises that you have taught me.
Each one has helped me improve my balance and my stamina.
Thank you for your understanding and willingness to teach what you have mastered.
Modern dancer, teacher, speaker,
Nesta Certified: Pilates Specialist,