Health & Body

Simple Warm-Up Exercises to Help Prevent Shinsplints and Stress Fractures

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Alison Deleget, athletic trainer at Harkness Center for Dance, says dancers can use these exercises as a warm-up to help prevent shinsplints and stress fractures. For each exercise, perform 10–15 reps, two to three times. The goal is not to fatigue the muscles, but to activate them.


The Clamshell

Purpose: Strengthens deep rotators in the hips, stabilizing turnout.

Exercise: Lie on one side with legs bent at a 90-degree angle, feet in line with your hips. Keeping your feet together, rotate your top knee toward the ceiling, engaging turnout muscles, and return to parallel.

Arch-Doming

Purpose: Strengthens the feet, so that they properly interact with the floor during jumps.

Exercise: Sitting with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, contract the arch muscles of your feet so they create a dome with the toes still touching the floor. Release to neutral.

Thera-Band Warm-Up

Purpose: Strengthens the feet, ankles and calf muscles that control ankle alignment.

Exercise: In a seated position with legs extended, grip the ends of a Thera-Band, looped taut around one foot. Slowly point and flex the foot, circle the ankles and move through sickled and winged positions.

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