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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Shaking when stretching


Lidewij

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When I stretch a bit after class (even when not deliberately - for example taking off my pointe shoes when sitting on a chair - my hamstrings are quite short), my leg starts shaking completely, and I don't feel much stretch.

 

Is there anything I can do about it? Push deeper? Or not so deep perhaps?

 

 

Edit: perhaps this is more something for the medical forum? If you would be so kind to move the thread.. :sweating:

Thank you :lol:

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The exercise science literature and IADMS maintain that overly vigorous stretching can cause muscle spasms, or localized "shaking" in the muscles being stretched. This may be neurogenic since, when we stretch the muscle fibers we are also stretching the associated nerves, and their myelin sheaths, which are very sensitive. Muscles respond to rapid stretching by resisting the stretch, which is why ballistic or bouncing stretching can be harmful- the muscle is actually trying to shorten to protect itself in response to a too-rapid stretch, resulting in micro-tears.

 

Static stretching needs to be done gradually and gently, allowing the muscle time to "relax" in response to the stretch. Current exercise science knowledge also suggests that static stretching is most effective at the end of the exercise session.

Edited by Redbookish
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This may be neurogenic since, when we stretch the muscle fibers we are also stretching the associated nerves, and their myelin sheaths, which are very sensitive

 

Thanks for saying this. I noticed today my quads are spasming when doing port de bra forward at the barre- during only a very light stretch, it's like the muscle has been exhausted for hours. I'm going to a neurologist for other reasons, and wouldn't have thought to even mention this. Now I know it could be somehow related.

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And I would like to add that every muscle contains also blood vessels (can you say that?) and they might get injured if you stretch too much. Too avoid that, our body has a really clever system as they go through the muscles in the form of a wave, so if the muscle is streched, they do not get injured so easily but however we should be careful.

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The thing is, after class when I take off my pointe shoes sitting on a chair my legs shake. When I do the same movement just during the day, I don't even feel a stretch!

 

I understand what my body's trying to do now, but how can I make it not do that so I can stretch? :)

 

I do know the nerves in my legs aren't entirely loose - if I kick up my leg as high as I can with a flexed foot, I feel tingling on the sole of my foot.

 

Thanks for your replies :)

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My legs shake like that when they are highly fatigued. Could that be a factor?

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Quite possibly, yes.. It seems to be not a really bad thing, so perhaps I shouldn't worry too much about it. :)

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Are you new to pointe or have your recently increased your physical activity? If so, I would say your muscles are fatigued. However, that should go away once your body gets used to the increased activity. If it lasts longer than a month or so, I'd definitely get it checked out.

 

My experience: During my first few months of ballet, my legs would shake quite a bit during developpe exercises. I would then notice that same shaking during cool down and stretching and even during the drive home sometimes. But it wasn't consistent and it didn't last very long.

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Are you new to pointe or have your recently increased your physical activity? If so, I would say your muscles are fatigued.

 

I would agree with this. Sometimes, after we've had some pointe work at the end of class, one of my calf muscles just twitches and spasms like crazy - to the extent that it looks a bit like I'm quickly tapping my foot. It eases off after a while.

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Have to agree with the other posters on fatigue possibly playing a part! And even if you have been away from ballet for a short while or are doing more demanding work or or or.

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My muscles will also occasionally shake when they are fatigued and it's usually after a particularly difficult class.

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