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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Safety of back stretching


swan#7

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I'm trying to increase my back flexibility, and some of the stretches I have heard of are to grab the back leg in a split, bridges and bridges with straight knees, and using the flexistretcher in arabesque. I read on BT4D that back-ups are not the safest thing, so I just wanted to hear an opinion on these stretches before I do them a lot. Also, if these stretches are harmless are they actually effective in increasing arabsque height and lower cambres?

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Swan7, I'm not really familiar with some of those things you mention, but I am not in favor of extreme stretching for anything. I would suggest that you talk to your teacher about stretches that would be particularly helpful for you, and learn how to do them carefully and safely, always when very warmed up of course. Even better, I would suggest some work with a Pilates instructor, one on one, to learn things to help the flexibility in the back. Do not depend on things you "hear" or even see, because a lot of dancers do things that are not really either safe or effective.

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@gavotte I'm not quite sure. I read it on here from an admin though. Something about jerking your back that could cause stress there?

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The problem is that there are many things that go into why a back may not "stretch", including bone structure, tightness of ligaments or tendons, and other muscular weakness like psoas tightness that can cause major issues.

 

Try to find an excellent yoga instructor- one who knows alignment, history of yoga, and has been highly trained.

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