Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Stretching while COLD


thedancingj

Recommended Posts

Here's a question I've had for a while! Maybe somebody on here will have some good advice.

 

I KNOW that the best time to stretch is when your muscles are warm, and I try to always stretch after class or exercising. But my daily dance schedule tends to have a LOT of downtime, during which my muscles can get fairly cold (due to not dancing and sometimes due to the temperature of the room!) However, I still always am trying to use this down time to improve my flexibility, since that seems like a constructive use of time.

 

So the question... what are good techniques for stretching effectively with a cold body, a Theraband, and a lot of free time?

Link to comment

Use the downtime to work on the smaller aspects of flexibility, as articulation of the foot, and developing rotation. The best time to stretch is right after class, when you are completely warmed up. Take up that time after class to work on the larger stretches, as straddle splits and the like. When you are cold, use passive stretches and tendus to get your muscles working. I suggest that flexibility is not the only thing you have to work on.

Link to comment

nicolette,

 

Erm, for me personally, my body needs a different type of 'warm' than that, not just a superficial warm temperature, but a deep down, internal, warm and ready-to-go....

 

ETA: Mr. Johnson and I were posting at the same time. This is the Adult Ballet Students board... maybe it takes us a bit longer, but I'd bet my money that Mr. Johnson feels that way about all levels/ages and stretching (as do I!)

Link to comment
I suggest that flexibility is not the only thing you have to work on.

 

Haha... well said. Very very true. :innocent:

 

Running in place DOES help me FEEL warmer when the HEAT IS OFF, but it doesn't do much for my extensions and it'd sure get me some strange looks for my director... :innocent:

Link to comment
Guest belle

My flexibility seems to improve only when I push it to the limit (muscles must be warmed up properly of course) on a regular basis. But i just love to stretch anyway, it feels good and I do simple stretches all the time, but not to improve flexibility. It just makes me feel relaxed :D

Link to comment

Many yoga gurus recommend doing asanas (their stretching) first thing in the morning, right when the body is cold and not warmed up. Personally, I hate that thought as I like to be sweating when stretching. But that’s just me. Other people obviously can stretch when cold. If you are concentrating of the feel of the stretch, there should be no physiological problem in stretching cold. The mental problem (for me exercising first thing in the morning) is something else.

 

Nevertheless, when I’m feeling “good” and watching television, I often do a stretch or two during commercials. The stretches vary and are at my whimsy. Body is certainly not warm when doing these stretches.

 

My advice is to do whatever stretches you like during your down time and to concentrate on the feel—i.e., feeling the muscles you want to stretch being stretched and all the other muscles completely relaxed. In my opinion, having a lot of down time where you can do some stretches is a wonderful opportunity.

Link to comment

In my dance kinesiology class we were learning about this. I am no expert, but this is what I have picked up. The reason why it is bad to stretch while cold is because there is a connective tissue called fascia that wraps up your muscles (kind of like seran wrap). When you are cold, the fascia becomes tough, but when your body temperature rises, it becomes pliable. If your body temperature has not risen and you stretch, this is often when muscle injuries such as tears occur. For any deep stretching, it is imperative that your body temperature is elevated so your fascia is nice and pliable.

When cold, it is safe to go through your range of motion. Doing small range of motion stretches (pointe/ flex, theraband, etc) gets your synovial fluid moving. Synovial fluid lubricates your joints, so this is very good for you!

 

I hope this helped a little bit...

Link to comment
Other people obviously can stretch when cold.

 

This one goes for me. I used to stretched warmed- up but when I warmed- up I don't feel my limits. I was totally overstretched and it even hurt me when I walked. I could not stretch every day, I had to take a break from stretching one or two days and my flexibility was not that good. After a year I started to stretch completely cold and now I can stretch every day, I became pretty flexible and I feel no pain anymore. I feel my limits now much better and I have only once overstretched since then. Even if I am over twenty now, my flexibilty becomes better and better.

In class we stretch after a proper warm-up but then I always have to be careful and I just do the stretches I know I won't overstrecht.

 

I hear a lot that this is bad but I just can't imagine that it will harm me (because I have pain after stretching warmed-up and not when I stretch cold)

Link to comment

Just a couple of comments from my point of view:

 

If I try to stretch while cold its useless, and the colder I am the worse it is. The hotter I am, the better. If I am cold, its worse than useless, because I can damage my muscles easily. I think most people find this is the case for them.

 

OK some yoga people are keen on doing yoga first thing in the morning - but let us consider - how much are they stretching? Are they really doing it to increase their range (as dancers would be) or are they just going back over positions they can do already and are well within their range? I suggest they might be doing the latter. Yoga has a heavy meditative aspect and maybe this is why they like doing it first thing.

 

And I would say Claude Catastrophique sounds pretty stretchy by most people's standards, so it seem she can only stretch under control when she has "stiffened up" a bit. In other words, her lessons may not apply to you unless you are similarly stretchy.

 

I wish I was so stretchy!

 

Jim.

Link to comment
The most important thing is to know your body and what it can tolerate. After a certain age, I believe it is even more important to listen to what it is telling you or else end up injured.

 

That's so true. Really listen to your body. It is the best way to find out what is good for you or not.

 

And I would say Claude Catastrophique sounds pretty stretchy by most people's standards, so it seem she can only stretch under control when she has "stiffened up" a bit. In other words, her lessons may not apply to you unless you are similarly stretchy.

 

He,he, that's true since I fixed the problem with the overstretching. In my legs I am rather gifted. When I was child I had all the three splits down without doint anything until the age of twelve (the I started to loose my flexibility :D and I had to work too and problems began)

My main problem is my back.....that's really stiff, I wish I had half of the flexibility from my legs in my back!

Link to comment
Many yoga gurus recommend doing asanas (their stretching) first thing in the morning, right when the body is cold and not warmed up.

 

That is not entirelly true. Before you even begin your asansas you're supposed to start with deep breating that is centered in the diapharm and is done to generate body heat, and is a very imprtant element of yoga as there isn't intense cardio to warm your body.

Link to comment
Guest pink tights

That (loud!) breathing does generate a lot of internal heat! My yoga instructor encourages going back to that breathing when we feel ourselves cooling off. I find it very helpful.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...