Stretches for Dancers

CANI

Active Member
as for whether and how good it feels, that's a separate matter altogether -- you actually feel tighter at first when you do it this way. but it sounds like you already must know that.
I haven't worked with a trainer, nor do I have plans to, but my experience with the book descriptions is I don't feel pain...and working with the descriptions feels good...may be a matter of semantics...
 
Need to stretch!!!

So I need some help, I reeeeaaaaalllllllyyyyy want to be a good dancer...Ive had a tiny bit of experience so far, but by tiny I mean....not much AT ALL, but I have what looks to be like a natural "gift." I want to learn contemporary, modern, ballet, all that I can, but I cant take classes until next year (green card makes everything cheeper...im canadian) so I want to prepare my body. Ive started working out, but I cant seem to advance much with stretching. I would love to be flexible as fast as I can so I can be better prepared for jumps/splits ext. any stretching tips would be really helpful.....im 20 by they way so you can see why im in a little bit of a rush haha
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
Gym for Dancers

Hi r0yal7y, welcome here!

If you seek a training method especially for dancers, take Pilates into account.

(Everyone here has found the best method, and will give you good advice :p )

But, Joseph Pilates invented his training system for the ballet dancers of my hometown in peticular. When he moved to NY, he trained the best dancers around.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Pilates

Be aware, what is offered as Pilates in the fitness centres rarely is worthy of the name. Bthw, he invented the mashines which are typical for body building centres, today. But he used them to train dancers, only.
 
I am currently working on trying to increase my hamstring flexibility. I have started reading through this thread and the Brad Appleton document looks really useful, but I haven't found an answer to my problem yet...

I'm having a particular problem, and wondered if anyone else has experienced this. The stretch I normally use, is to place one foot on a table/step about hip height, try and touch toe with opposite hand while keeping hips square.

My problem is I get really uncomfortable in the muscle down the front of my shin of the stretching leg (tibialis anterior) and in the muscles over the top of my foot. I can't even see that these muscles are being stretched as they are on the opposite side to the muscles being stretched, surely they should be relaxed?

I also feel like it takes a good 20 seconds before any stretch starts to effect my hamstring - everything else has to go through hell before it even notices the stretch!

Any shared experiences welcomed!
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
a) make sure you warm up for about 5 minutes, walking or on an elliptical or do step touches or grapevines...before you begin to do stretches...your muscles must be warm first

b) as to the top of the leg...anterior fib (?)...I find that it hleps to actually tighten the muscles first and then deliberately release it...calve raises and toe points can achieve this

also helps to massage the area prior to the stretch
 
a) make sure you warm up for about 5 minutes,

b) as to the top of the leg...anterior fib (?)...I find that it hleps to actually tighten the muscles first and then deliberately release it...calve raises and toe points can achieve this

also helps to massage the area prior to the stretch

Hi Fascination,

Thanks for the reply. I do warm up before stretching as I always stretch after cycling.

I will try the massaging first on the hamstrings, see if this will help them to start stretching quicker and relieve the stress on everything else.

I got the muscle name off Wiki, Human_leg (I can't post URLs yet), it is the biggest muscle down the front of the shin and apparently called the tibialis anterior. I just can't understand why this should hurt when it's the back of the leg being stretched.

Thanks,
Tangos
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
lolz...anterior Tib....I was close... :)...anyhow, it is not uncommon tfor the opposing muscles to the one you are stretching to become tight...so if you are stretching the back of the leg things on the front may compress...which is why you need to make sure that you do opposing stetches...it would not neccessarliy be a problem or uncommon to feel the front of the leg tense a bit
 
lolz...anterior Tib....I was close... :)...anyhow, it is not uncommon tfor the opposing muscles to the one you are stretching to become tight...so if you are stretching the back of the leg things on the front may compress...which is why you need to make sure that you do opposing stetches...it would not neccessarliy be a problem or uncommon to feel the front of the leg tense a bit
Ahh, ok then, so I will try toe points as well. Thanks again :)
 
:banana:Wow, that advice helped immediately! Did some rubbing of my shins and hamstrings, and some toe pointing, then did my full hamstring stretch - so much more comfortable!

And after that I was able to touch my toes and hold the position for the first time ever! :D Held it for about 20 seconds - could have stayed there, but thought I wouldn't push my luck.

Thanks Fascination!
 

samina

Well-Known Member
I am currently working on trying to increase my hamstring flexibility.
Any shared experiences welcomed!
here is the classic "resistance stretching" hamstring exercise, with bob cooley, the creator of meridian stretching. this is an assisted stretch demonstrated, but you can also do it yourself by creating some resistance drawing your foot toward your buttocks while you stretch your heel to the ceiling...or however high up it goes.

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here's a stretch for the central hamstring ("brain meridian")

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the medial hamstring ("pancreas meridian")

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and the lateral hamstrings ("bladder meridian"), which addresses the part that connects the glutes with the hamstrings and may help you as well

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you can do the resistance portion of the exercises first, to warm up your muscles very specifically, and then add the stretch part in.

for me, after my muscles are warmed up, either stretching in pike positin or on a V on the floor, or standing up and bending over to stretch in pike or in a V, helps -- the intention being to lay my torso onto my legs (or the floor), and i tip my tuckus up in the back at the same time to create a longer stretch.

happy stretching!
 

samina

Well-Known Member
it is not uncommon tfor the opposing muscles to the one you are stretching to become tight...so if you are stretching the back of the leg things on the front may compress...which is why you need to make sure that you do opposing stetches...
i agree with this, definitely.

to oppose the hamstrings, do a youtube search for exercises stretching the "stomach meridian", which is along the front of the body, those quads in particular.
 

laucy.my

Active Member
I have one that I love doing but to be frank I don't know what muscle it stretches. I just like doing it. I sit down with the soles of my feet facing each other and I pull it as close to my body as possible, making sure that my knees are as close to the floor as possible. If not, I push them down. Then, I lean back a little before stretching my hand out to the front and pull my body as low as I can. Try to get your tummy or chest in contact with your feet. I don't know if it makes sense, what I am talking now.
 
I have one that I love doing but to be frank I don't know what muscle it stretches. I just like doing it. I sit down with the soles of my feet facing each other and I pull it as close to my body as possible, making sure that my knees are as close to the floor as possible. If not, I push them down. Then, I lean back a little before stretching my hand out to the front and pull my body as low as I can. Try to get your tummy or chest in contact with your feet. I don't know if it makes sense, what I am talking now.
Sounds like a butterfly stretch.
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
I mentioned having "night cramps" in my legs on another thread. I'm not so sure about the term cramps as it is not in the form of pain, but rather a very tight feeling; best way I can explain it. What I actually suspect is that the problem could be from having very tight muscles in my legs and am going to try using stretching exersizes to see if this helps.
 

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