Stretching exercises The exercise that Beverley is showing will warm and stretch different parts of her body—her back and shoulders, her feet, ankles, and legs, especially the big muscles that go up the back of the legs and into the hips. These are what we call hamstrings. Stomach gently pulled in. Toes and insteps fully stretched Soft stretch behind knees at first. Shoulders and neck relaxed Hip stretch.
All the positions and steps in ballet are danced with the legs turned outward. This turnout must start from the hip joint at the top of your leg. Many of the exercises that you will learn are to help make your hips flexible and strong. This is a good stretch to put in your warm-up, and then to repeat at the end of class. Back and neck straight Shoulders relaxed Hip joints. warming up and opening. Knees stretching outward toward floor. Hands lightly resting on ankles. Foot and ankle stretch. A correct foot position is not just stretching your toes; it starts from above your ankle.
Do this slowly, counting to three for each movement: Stretch your ankle, the top of your foot (the instep), and finally your toes. Reverse the movement, pulling your toes as far back toward you as you can, feeling the stretch behind your ankle (Achilles tendon). Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front and your back straight, arms stretched over your head. Start stretching forward from the bottom of your back. Your head is the last part to come over your body. Relax your arms and stay there for 10 counts. Slowly curl your back up until you are sitting straight again. Stretch forward from the bottom of your back.