I recently started back in modern dance after a long hiatus—I stopped dancing at age 11 and went back two years ago at age 24. I've found that when I'm on the floor, I can't open to a very wide second. Also, if I'm sitting in butterfly on the floor with my feet together, my knees are some distance from the ground. What can I do to loosen my hips?
Sounds like your inner-thigh muscles, or adductor muscles, are super-tight—I would suggest stretching them one leg at a time. Try standing and putting your right leg on a low surface such as a chair, so that the leg is at a comfortable diagonal. Let your right sits bone drop toward the floor as you start to bend forward slightly at the hips. Then try tweaking your stretch by moving further over the leg, and/or by rotating that right leg into more of a turned-in position. You're trying to find all the tight inner-thigh areas, and you should feel the stretch somewhere in the upper two-thirds of the inner thigh. If you feel pain at your knee or groin, the pull is too great, and you should try putting your leg on a lower surface. Remember to work slowly as you stretch and breathe through the tight spots!
To your success,
Director, The Body Series
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