February 26, 2024

8 Exercises to Get Your Leg Extension Higher

Exercises to Get Your Leg Extension Higher

Do you dream of achieving a higher leg extension but feel like your flexibility is holding you back? Well, you’re not alone! Many people struggle with limited range of motion in their legs. The good news is that with a bit of dedication and the right exercises for dancing, you can improve your leg extension and unlock a whole new level of flexibility. In this blog post, we’ll explore eight easy-to-follow exercises that will help you on your journey to higher leg extensions.

Exercise 1: Hip Flexor Lift Off

Purpose: To achieve a higher lift, you can strengthen both the muscle and the mind-body connection. The more you work within your range of motion in these exercises, including at the very end, the more you will be able to increase your leg height during class!

Exercise: Look for a box, bench, or stool higher than your knee level. Place your working leg on top of the box, and your foot flat on the surface. You should have a crease in your hip and knee that is less than 90 degrees. If your thigh is parallel with the ground, your box is too low! If you can feel your hip flexors working to raise your leg onto and off the box, you’re probably at the correct height for doing top leg extension exercises.

Exercise 2: March to Pelvis Tuck

Purpose: The only way to achieve a high leg skeletally is by extending the hip flexors of the supporting leg. Perhaps that is why we call them extensions! 

Exercise: Stand with your feet parallel and raise your working knee as high as possible, holding for a few seconds before squeezing both glutes to propel your hips forward and into a tuck. This may feel unnatural, but you’re going for an over-tuck to properly activate the glutes, core, and hip flexors in this extended position. If you have light to medium dumbbells, rack them on your shoulders. Alternate side to side, keeping your supporting leg as straight as possible. Repeat 5–8 times per side. This is one of the best exercises for dancing.

Exercise 3: Stability Ball Scissor

Purpose: To improve stability (control) in your extensions, you must be able to activate your quad muscles throughout the entire range of motion of your leg extension. 

Exercise: This requires a steady surface and an exercise ball! Lay on the ground, with your head near the wall or ballet barre. Using both hands, bring the exercise ball up against the wall. Now, bring one of your legs up to meet the ball and stabilize it against the wall. Then, raise your other leg to meet the ball and return it to the ground with control. Continue to scissor that leg up and down as far as you can while maintaining proper form. Repeat 5–8 times per side.

Exercise 4: Ballet Barre Lift Off

Purpose: Continue the hip flexor work from exercise 1. You can now exercise your hip flexors with a straight working leg. This is more difficult than the bent leg exercise and will be similar to what you do in dance class. 

Exercise: Use a ballet barre or a surface that is high enough for you to extend your leg to or above hip height. Place one leg on the barre and align your hips with the extended leg. Lift your leg off the bar and hold it for 3–5 seconds. Remember to maintain proper alignment by distributing the work through your supporting leg and stacking your ribs over your hips. Make use of your core muscles! Repeat 5–8 times per side. This is one of the top leg extension exercises.

Exercise 5: Single Leg Deadlift

Purpose: The goal is to load your muscles both concentrically and eccentrically. Eccentric loading occurs when a muscle lengthens “under load.” 

Exercise: Begin with your legs parallel. One medium dumbbell is optional. Hold one dumbbell horizontally straight in front of you, grabbing both ends with your hands. Shift your weight onto one foot and carefully lower it (or your hands) to the ground, aiming for your heel. To make the leg extension dancing steps more difficult, move beyond your see-saw to a standing split. Repeat 5–8 times per side.

Exercise 6: Kneeling Hip Hinge

Purpose: Reducing the stress of standing can help you isolate the pelvic muscles. 

Exercise: Position your body on top of your supporting knee, square your hips, and imagine squeezing your legs together. Slowly hinge forward over your extended leg, activating your hamstrings as well as the hip flexors and glutes in your kneeling leg. You can repeat this exercise with the leg out to the side in “second position”. Repeat 5–8 times per side for best dancing steps.

Additional 2 Exercise Are: 

  • Toe Taps (Seated):
    1. Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor with your legs stretched out in front.
    2. Gently tap your toes on the floor, reaching for a comfortable limit.
    3. Repeat this motion, gradually trying to tap your toes higher each time.
  • This exercise helps warm up your leg muscles and prepares them for more extensive leg extension dancing steps.
  • Seated Leg Raises:
  1. While still seated, lift one leg off the ground, keeping it straight.
  2. Hold the raised position for a few seconds, then lower it back down.
  3. Alternate between legs, gradually increasing the height of your leg raises.
  4. Focus on engaging your core for better balance and carry the best dancing steps.

Ready to dance and have fun? Join Sumeet’s Step2Step Bollywood Dance Academy! Let’s learn cool Bollywood movies and best exercises for dancing together. Click to sign up and let the dance party begin!

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