The Bicycle is an exercise that both works on stabilizing the core and coordination. It is valuable to train coordination and gain a greater sense of proprioception states the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. Proprioception is a sense that is more than just a feeling of movement. It is intimately tied to our feeling of muscle tone, perceptions of effort and of balance. Specialized nerve endings originate in our muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, joints, and some scientists even include the skin.
Flexibility exercises should be incorporated into dance-specific training with real space-time values in order to gain greater proprioception. Such exercises, like the bicycle, include making sure to achieve motor programming through repetition of goal-directed movements. In these movements dancers utilize multiple degrees of freedom to stimulate different neuromuscular pathways. In other words, practice a variety of moving positions, taking all muscles from full shortening to full lengthening, and returning to the neutral resting length of the muscles and joints during an embedded rest period (constructive rest).
Something as simple as the bicycle can really make a difference in your overall coordination!
SETUP: Lying supine on the floor, place the FLX Ball under your sacrum at your lower spine. Legs are bent with feet flat on the floor and arms are long by your sides with palms face down.
- Lift one leg to tabletop then the other and extend both legs straight up towards the ceiling.
- Begin by lowering one leg and then bend it in, feeling heel pull towards your sitz-bone,and straighten leg up towards the ceiling.
- As the first leg bend in, begin the same movement pattern with other leg.
- Keep switching legs as if you are riding a big bicycle.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times
To finish, bend both legs in towards you and rest feet on the floor.