In this post I've laid out a few simple and gentle stretches to warm-up and prep the feet (especially if you are going to be doing something barefoot or with with minimal foot wear like ballet slippers), the ankles and the lower legs and even up into the hamstrings and glutes. I show them while holding onto a chair, but you can easily do them with hands pressed against, say a wall or a counter. You can even do them without your hands on anything but your hips or stabilizing you on your non-gesture leg (the support leg).
Before you begin take a moment to get in touch with your core.
Imagine pulling your belly button to your spine.
Imagine pulling on a very tight vest or corset made of muscle around your ribcage. Yes, exactly like something Lady Gaga would wear.
Feel the area of your lumbar spine lengthen. Not by tucking the pelvis under, but rather feeling the lower back region elongate.
Feel your collar bones open up as if someone has pasted the backs of your shoulder blades to a coat hanger. Don't forget your ribs. No popping!
Exercise #1; waking up the achilles tendon.
Do a few rounds, 4 to 8 reps.
Exercise #2; working through the foot.
In the video below there is a section where you can add some ankle rotations while also engaging the glutes of the gesture leg and quads of the support leg.
Exercise #3; gentle hamstring stretch.
4-8 reps. It is important to continue moving through the two foot placements rather than holding each one for an extended period, as this is a warm-up.
Do as many as you feel are needed.
Be sure and switch sides. You can switch sides in between exercises or do the series one side at a time. Just keep track of how many reps you do on each side.
Below is a video of all exercises together. I'm still trying to master Movie Maker for Windows. An old dog can learn new tricks, but in my case, really flip'in slow! Its a bit dark and somehow the music continues to play to 5:00, although the action only goes to about 2:00. Ugh. I'll nail it down eventually. But our family dog Mia decided to help out and forage for table scraps!
I hope you find these exercises useful.
Thanks for reading and watching.
Enjoy the dance that is life!