Ah, stretching. It seems so straightforward and is yet so complicated.
You don’t want to stretch too much, but not stretching enough will also have no effect. While you should concentrate on your tight spots, you also shouldn’t ignore other regions or you risk becoming unbalanced. Growing up, you were taught to hold static stretches, but now everyone is urging you to only hold a stretch for a short period of time.
Given how crucial proper stretching is for dancers, it’s simple to become overwhelmed or perplexed. As a result, we came up with some common stretching scenarios and provided you with the inside scoop.
If your upper back is tight
You might not believe that your upper back’s flexibility affects things like the height of your extension or your capacity to perform a full split. A tight upper back could significantly affect your neurological mobility. The nerves and fascia that run along the spine may become constrained if your upper back is really tense. Dancers should make it a point to abundantly stretch their upper backs and to assist further use a foam roller.
In Order to Have Better Feet
Dancers have long used extreme techniques to try to increase the arch and stretch in their feet, such as foot stretchers and making people sit on their feet. It turns out, though, that there are safer approaches to obtaining better lines—some of which don’t even require you to extend your feet. It is recommended dancers stretch their calves instead, as tight calves can restrict the movement of the ankle joint.
Use the tried-and-true technique of working through the foot using an exercise band to focus on strengthening the feet rather than stretching them. (Try writing your whole name or the alphabet with your toe.) Use your body weight to push over your pointe shoe if your feet are truly hurting; this is a safer stretch because it also requires foot strength.
If you’re warming up by stretching
Let’s discuss it.
Stretching when stationary is not regarded as warming up. Walking or engaging in any other activity that increases heart rate is more preferable. Not what you want before a lesson or rehearsal, static stretching can temporarily weaken muscles, impede coordination and limit balance and jump height.
Instead, the goal of your warm-up should be to increase your heart rate. This can involve engaging in dynamic stretches like lunge transitions or a yoga flow. Save the 30-second maximum brief static stretches for just after class or rehearsal, when you’re already warmed up.
If Pain Is Present
Stretching shouldn’t hurt and pushing yourself too far may actually make you less flexible. Some stretch therapists and former dancers claim that the reason a muscle won’t relax is likely because it’s trying to protect itself. The brain perceives pain as a message that something is amiss.
It can be challenging for dancers to determine what truly hurts. It’s alright if you detect a line or a muscle that feels taut. However, if you have any pain in a specific area, such as your kneecap or hip socket, this may be a sign that you are pulling on a joint or that there is scar tissue.
When stretching beside a partner
You may stretch yourself further when you collaborate with a friend. But it’s simple to go too far. One pound of pressure from a partner is all it takes to give you that extra stretch. Sensors can be activated by light pressure, allowing the muscles to contract and relax. The sensors will tighten to protect the muscle if you apply too much effort or move the limb too quickly, which will stop the stretch.
If Your Hamstrings Are Tight
You might not be considering the fact that there are actually three muscles working together if you’re having trouble getting your hamstrings to move. Dancers frequently don’t extend the outermost muscle properly.
Once you’re warmed up, roll a foam roller or lacrosse ball down the entire length of the outer hamstring, holding on to the tight spots for around 30 seconds until you feel them. After four to five minutes of rolling the entire muscle group, proceed to dynamic stretches.
A physical therapist or massage therapist will be needed if your medial and lateral muscles have stuck together to one another as a result of excessive hamstring tightness.
REACH’s 2 STEP APPROACH TO RECOVERY THERAPY
RELAX – RESTORE – RECHARGE
Step 1: Identify Your Problem Areas
- It all starts with your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment called .
- This helps us identify the root cause of your current problem areas due to:
– Life’s Daily Wear & Tear
– Your Aches/Pain
– Muscle Imbalances & Weakness
– Flexibility/Mobility Limitations
– Posture Issues
- A Mobility Risk Factor Assessment is a MUST before starting any Stretch & Recovery Therapy Program.
Step 2: Targeted Recovery Therapy
- Your Mobility Risk Factor Assessment helps us create a Personalized Recovery Therapy Plan that targets your problem areas which will Shorten your Recovery Time.
- Each of our Stretch & Recovery sessions are a balanced blend of Corrective Stretch, Percussion, Compression, CBD and Heat
- Risk Factor Re-Assessments:
– Suggested every 30-60 days
– See your improvements
– Realize the benefits of Stretch & Recovery