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 How to Stretch for Hip Hop Dancing

Stretching is extremely important both before and after physical exercise and activity, hip hop dancing not excluded. Although dance may not be considered a typical fitness exercise, it works the body hard. In order to prevent injury as well as stiff tired muscles after your hip hop routine, stretching is essential. A few basic stretches will get you started.


  • 1

Stretch the neck and shoulders before your hip hop dance routine. Place your arms loosely at your sides and spread your legs shoulder length apart. Relax, allowing your chin to rest on your chest and breathe long and deep, feeling the inhale extend the stretch. Remember that in order to be effective your stretch should be held for a minimum of 10 seconds, or 2 to 3 long, full deep breaths.

  • 2

Pick up the chin slowly and roll your head back, keeping your mouth closed to accentuate the stretching of the front neck muscles and chest. Pick up the head again and roll the head to your left shoulder, keeping your arms and upper back relaxed. Repeat on the right side.

  • 3

Move to the arms by crossing your right arm parallel across your body and grasp just above your elbow with your left hand. Press slightly out with your right arm to accentuate the stretch in your shoulder blade. Repeat on the other side.

  • 4

Bend your right arm at the elbow and place your palm flat against your back between your shoulder blades. Use your right hand to push down slightly on your elbow for a deeper stretch. Hold and repeat on the opposite side.

  • 5

Stretch your torso, an important area as hip hop dance uses the abdominals and hips a lot. Rest your hands gently on your hips and lean forward, feeling the stretch in your lower back. Roll your body to the right side and hold. Roll to the back and hold, and finally, roll to the left and hold before coming front again. Change direction and repeat once more on each side, picking up the pace a bit.

  • 6

Spread your legs about 3 1/2 feet apart to begin stretching the legs. Bend the right knee and lunge, making sure that you knee never extends past your ankle. Hold and repeat on the opposite side. Bring your legs together and bend your right knee so that your heel is pressed into your buttocks. Hold your ankle with your right hand, hold, release and repeat on the left side.

  • 7

Hold your feet together and extend your right heel in front of you a few inches. Support yourself by placing your hands on your right knee and extend your body forward, feeling a stretch in your calves and hamstrings. Hold and repeat on the left side.

  • 8

Perform these stretches both before and after your hip hop dance routine.

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