Over the last few weeks I have been asking the 5-8 yr class why they love coming to Albion Park Physie. Here are some of their adorable responses so far.
“I like dancing, marching and pointing my toes”
“Because my mum does Physie”
“Because people do my hair”
“Because I love dancing, it is close to my house, we have awesome teachers and we get flexible”
“I love all the dance moves”
“I love doing star jumps in the dance”
We are all envious of the girl that manages to kick so high she almost smack herself in the face. But there is more to the perfect kick than trying to break your nose! To improve our kicks in physie we need to take at least 3 elements into consideration; height, control, posture
Photographed by Heidi Boardman
1. Height: Flexibility
Lots of people are only concerned with how high they can get their kick, although important, it is by far the only important element to a perfectly executed kick.The height of your kick is essentially relative to your flexibility. Like the splits, kicks involve the hamstrings, hip-flexors and quadriceps.
Look back at the previous post ‘Physie how to: The splits’ for some great stretches for these muscle groups.
2. Control: Strength.
Having strength in your legs allows you control your kicks and make them look effortless. I find kicks are best executed when you are able to get to the peak of the kick quickly, then slowly lower your foot to the ground.
Exercises to increase the control in your legs include:
- Ankle weights: Practice your kicks with ankle weights (around .5-1kg). Try doing a whole class with your weights on.
- Use a friend: Have a friend hold your leg as high as you can (without hurting). When they let go try and keep your leg where it was for 5 seconds. Then lower slowly.
3. Posture: Core
Posture is all about core strength. It is important to keep your back straight, shoulders down and abs switched on. Some simple core exercises include:
- Toe Taps:
- Lay on your back and lift your legs into a table top position
- Lower one leg at a time and tap your toe to the ground (to increase difficulty stretch the toe out further)
- Bring leg back to the table top position
- Lower opposite leg.
- Repeat at least 10 times on each leg.
Photo Credit: Cate Norian
Try stretching straight after a hot shower. Your body will already be warm so it will help you get into the positions that may usually be quite tough. And, if you stretch after every nightly/morning shower you will be stretching every day!
We should all be planking!
Planks are fantastic for physie girls because they target our core. A strong core will help protect your back, and other parts of your body from injury. It also improves postural control making your Physie look neat, strong and effortless. Planking also works the muscles in your arms, back, glutes and thighs. So it’s a great all over exercise.
How to Plank correctly
- Plant your palms firmly on the ground, directly under the shoulders
- Ground the toes into the floor. Squeeze your abs, glutes and thighs to stabilize the body.
- Neutralize the neck and spine. Do this by drawing your belly button into your spine and keep your body in a straight line. You should focus on a spot on the floor about ½ metre from your hands (similar to a trunk forwards bend). Your head should be in line with your back.
Make sure NOT to
- Dip your lower back
- Lift pelvis too high (i.e. above your shoulders)
To avoid both these mistakes try and imagine balancing a glass of water on your lower back. If you dip or lift your pelvis the glass will fall off!
So here is the challenge
2 Min 30 Seconds
2 Min 30 Seconds
2 Min 30 Seconds
3 Min 30 Seconds
3 Min 30 Seconds
4 Min 30 Seconds
Make it easier
If the plank challenge is a bit daunting, or if you have any wrist issues, start out planking on your elbows. Support yourself on your forearms rather than your hands. This will give you more surface area to distribute your weight, putting less strain on the body.
Of course I wouldn’t recommend any exercises that I don’t plan on doing myself. So I will be joining you all starting today!
Comment below and let me know how you go!
As physie girls, we can almost predict what counts ‘5 & 6’ of the floor drill will be each and every year. The Splits!
The splits are incorporated in every floor drill from the 5yrs to open seniors, and this year they have even snuck their way into the open senior dance!
However, we are not going to get down flat by doing them once a week at class. So Ive listed some of the best stretches you can do at home (and before class) to help you improve your splits.
As always, make sure you nice and warm before attempting any of these stretches. And do them all on each side!
1. Square Kneel
Start in a square kneel and push your hips forward and up.
Move your foot forward to move into a hip flexor stretch. Making sure you keep a gap between your calf and thigh.
Straighten your front leg and flex the foot. Stretch forward and reach your arms as far as possible.
Change weight to your front leg and bend your back leg, grabbing it with your opposite hand.
Finally slide down into the splits. Try and hold for at least 15 seconds.
The splits are a great demonstration of your flexibility and strength. They can seem very difficult, but we all have the ability to master them.
I challenge you all to do these stretches once a day! I’m positive you will notice a difference, and be down flat in no time.