Stretches for Dancers

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
A hot bath will probably help with the insomnia, either way. If it's a muscle thing, it will loosen them. But if it's just about insomnia, a hot bath should help too.

This thread isn't about insomnia, but ... have you tried those lavender bath salts or tablets? I'm pretty sure that Wal-Mart, Target and the dollar store all sell lavender bath thingies. Hot bath = good for stiff muscles. Lavender is supposed to help you sleep. Two birds with one stone. :-D
 
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.

Tight muscles do result from exercising without stretching, so do try it. Also I find giving my calves/quads etc a good deep massage by pushing my thumb in where it is tight really helps release the knots.
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
Tight muscles do result from exercising without stretching, so do try it. Also I find giving my calves/quads etc a good deep massage by pushing my thumb in where it is tight really helps release the knots.
Did stretching the last two nights before going to bed and no problems so maybe this is all I need rather than taking medications. It probably also helps that I was dancing last night.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
Did stretching the last two nights before going to bed and no problems so maybe this is all I need rather than taking medications. It probably also helps that I was dancing last night.

That's good to hear. I was wondering. A big bag of bath salts is never a bad thing, though. :wink:
 
I'm pretty flexible in the sense that I've been able to achieve my goals of doing splits, straddles, etc., however, there is still one goal that I have yet to attain.

I think it's so gorgeous when a lady slowly extends her leg so that her foot is in the air and her legs make a straight line, perpendicular to the floor. I've seen it done on youtube videos of pros dancing Rumba and Bolero.

I can lift my ankle to the desired position for a second or 2, but then I need to release it. Unless I kick or pull my leg up, I can barely get it above parallel to the floor!

What do I need to do to accomplish this feat?
 
OMG BreAna .. I've seen people get close to it ...

I think you'd need a stunt double. If I tried anything remotely close to that I'd need a doctor!

GL trying to achieve that though.
 

leee

Well-Known Member
I've hit a plateau as far as my hamstrings go (though tbh I've been stretching them less as well) -- I can't do the basic "lie back and pull your leg till it's at 90 degrees to the floor" stretch without bending my knee. I saw on the previous page that @samina mentions stretching opposing muscles, which I've (re)started doing -- anything else I should try to work on?
 
I've hit a plateau as far as my hamstrings go (though tbh I've been stretching them less as well) -- I can't do the basic "lie back and pull your leg till it's at 90 degrees to the floor" stretch without bending my knee. I saw on the previous page that @samina mentions stretching opposing muscles, which I've (re)started doing -- anything else I should try to work on?
Think about activating opposing muscles when stretching a muscle - for example, activate, but don't clench, your quads while stretching your hamstrings. It's an instruction often given in yoga classes that I've personally found helpful (even if it takes some work to develop staying on the non-clenched side of the line - whoops!). Also work to coordinate your breathing with the stretch so that you can release tension (deepening the stretch) on the exhale while you're holding or moving into the depth of your stretch. Are you doing mostly passive stretching or are you mixing in active stretches as well?
 

leee

Well-Known Member
@Dancing Irishman, I'm mainly doing passive stretching, even though I do yoga -- thanks for the reminder about coordinating with my breathing! The bit about engaging the opposing muscles during a stretch sounds like something I'll have to work on, I'd never heard it before.

What's the word on bent knees during hamstring stretches? I assume that locked == bad and avoid at all costs, but should there be a microbend, or should it be straight, or...?
 

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