As an Athletico physical therapist, I have been supporting The Joffrey Ballet for more than five years. I usually work with the dancers while they are rehearsing and performing in Chicago, where my job is to triage, evaluate and treat issues that may arise from their rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule. Recently, my career with The Joffrey Ballet took me beyond Chicago, when I traveled with the company to three different cities across the country. We started in snowy, cold Minneapolis for two performances of a full length ballet called Anna Karenina, then off to Santa Barbara for two mixed repertory shows, and finished with one final performance in San Diego.
Coaches, parents and athletes often ask me, “What is the best way to learn or improve upon doing the splits?” Gymnasts, cheerleaders and dancers are often the population that is interested, but lately this has become a great topic for baseball players, hurdlers and hockey players. Below are three great stretches to assist in gaining flexibility to improve your splits with some good reminders on how to stay safe while stretching.