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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Help with stretches!!!!!


Guest Sassybeaver

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Guest Sassybeaver

I have already looked at the archives and have tried most of them and many were unsucessful. Hopefully if I tell you what I need to have stretched then it would be more helpful. I need help with overall flexibility because I became really tight after growing a foot in a year which leads to my next problem. My back also became tight and weak. It has gotten stronger but it's still tight. I stretch from 30-60 minutes a day. My time is limited because of my commute to scholl and legnth of school hours(8:30-5:00...This includes my dance classes since I attend OCHSA). Also I have to do my homework for my classes and some of them are AP(College Level). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and accepted.

 

Adrien

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Adrien, a question here: how old are you? If you went through a late growth spurt, then your personal regimen should be plenty under normal circumstances. A blanket "I need EVERYTHING" isn't too helpful. What specifically do you already do in the way of stretching?

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Guest Sassybeaver

I under went my growth spurt when I was about 12-13 and it was before I started to dance. I need my legs and back to be more flexible. I apologize for not being to specific about that. I hope you can help me. Thank You for your interest.

 

Adrien

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OK, I think I see an idea emerging. ;)

 

If you're talking about legs, I'll bet that the first things you're having trouble with are hamstrings.

 

Old-fashioned passive stretches like ordinary splits and straddle splits can do wonders for the hamstrings. Also the old "pied dans la main" where you grasp the foot under the arch from a retiré position and extend it forward, then carry it to the side. To turn this into an active stretch and a strength-builder, release the foot at its highest point in seconde, and don't let it drop! Other active stretches include plain old grand battement, which can really free things up, and build some strength, too. Make sure you only stretch, though, when well warmed-up. Dropping right out of bed and into a split is just asking for trouble!

 

I'm also a bit curious about the back, as I'm currently having post-op problems with mine, also weak and tight, because my abdominal muscles got very stretched during the procedure. Are you supporting your back with your front?!

;)

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Guest Sassybeaver

I am always very careful about supporting my self because when I don't, I wake up with back pain and that's how I figured it out and corrected it. Referring to the leg stretch about gabbing the foot, would I get the same result if I had someone else do that for me or using a thereband because I can barely do that without any help. Thank you and look forward to reading more suggestions.

 

Adrien

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Aha!

 

If you need assistance to do stretches, make sure that you maintain the closest possible communication with your assistant, as you can easily go over the line into overstretch. That's the good part of "do-it-yourself". Unless you're really, really distracted, you know instantly when you're in danger!

 

One good way of working your back is to do back cambrés, but restrict the bend of the back to just above the lumbar (trunk) vertebrae. Then, as you do more repetitions, add bend further down the back until you are just "hanging out" back there, stretching the abs. and relaxing the back. Front cambrés (port de bras) are useful to stretch out the back and also strengthen it. They also work as an active stretch on the hamstrings, so multiple benefits there! Start with the back completely straight and recover, then repeat with a little more bend arching forward, and so on, until you are basically just curling down to the full down position. You can also just "hang out" down there in a neutral second for a useful passive stretch.

:)

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