The pole V stretch is so named because of the shape your legs will make. It is a particularly great stretch that helps to improve the flexibility in your lower back, hamstrings, and adductors, or inner thighs. Additionally, if you are interested in being back to do a side split, the pole V stretch is a great place to start!
How to do a V stretch
To begin the pole V stretch, sit on your buttocks facing your dance pole with your legs in a wide V. Your legs should be as far apart as you can comfortably split them while keeping your knees straight. Be sure to sit close enough to the pole so that you are able to reach for it without rounding your back; once you find this position, lean forward with your back straight and grasp the pole at around your chest height with both hands.
Now sit tall with your shoulders quite relaxed and imagine that your tailbone is being pulled towards the ceiling, but don’t actually move it. You should now be in a good, comfortable starting position, and can begin slowly pulling your upper body towards the pole.
To be successful at this stretch, you must focus on a couple of things: first, keep your back straight and your shoulders down. Then remember to bend from your hips so that your body will fold forward instead of down to the floor.
What you can expect?
You may feel the stretch in different areas than others; it all depends on which of your muscles are tighter than others. You might, for example, feel the pole V stretch more in your back and hips, or your inner thighs, or your hamstrings (the muscles located in the back of your leg)!
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Wherever you feel the stretch the most, it is important to keep in mind that stretching should make you feel good. You will want to go a bit easier on yourself if you feel pain or if you find yourself holding your breath. Remember that as with anything in life, becoming flexible is a gradual process that takes time, practice, and patience to develop.
Once you are in a comfortable stretch, try and hold the position for about 30 seconds. Then slowly release yourself and rest for about 15 seconds before repeating the exercise. Your goal will be to bring your body as close to the pole as possible but don’t be too hard on yourself if this is not the case right away! You will soon see improvement if you continue to practice.
If you find that you are quite flexible, try moving your body a little further from your dance pole so you will have a larger area to move your upper body forward. Eventually, you will be able to lower your upper body towards the floor itself.
Having a dance pole is an asset to this stretch because you will be able to maintain good form such as a straight back the whole time. It can be difficult for some people who don’t have a pole to pull themselves forward.
Before we end, here are some reminders about the pole V stretch:
Do not overdo or overexert yourself; flexibility will come with time and practice. Stretching should feel comfortable and good so don’t try to pull yourself forward if you know you are unable. Always remember to relax your shoulders and breathe through the stretch to get the most from it; also, keep your back straight and fold from the hips. Lastly, always take a breather and relax a little before repeating the stretch to ensure your muscles will lengthen gradually and to prevent overexertion!