Forum: Advice / Stretching

Very good article on stretching techniques
By hummingbird Comments: 10414, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Thu Aug 18, 2016 08:10 AM

We get a lot of questions on these forums about how to stretch, this is a very good article that answers most of those questions. What I really like about it is the section that talks about bad or inadvisable stretches at the end. It also gives some good pointers about foam rolling techniques. . . .

4 Replies to Very good article on stretching techniques

re: Very good article on stretching techniques
By SDAdancerLIM Comments: 37, member since Tue May 17, 2016
On Thu Aug 18, 2016 06:16 PM
Great article! Thank you so much for sharing!

I've seen so many pictures of those young "instagram famous" dancers doing splits between two chairs and I had a feeling that wasn't a good idea.
re: Very good article on stretching techniques
By MissKimShope Comments: 3, member since Mon Nov 17, 2014
On Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:06 PM
I agree with most points in the article 100%. But I also noticed this comment: "The frog stretch, where you are face down on your stomach with your legs in a diamond, could actually be creating an unstable hip socket, rather than more flexibility."
Do you agree? Should we stop the frog stretch?
re: Very good article on stretching techniques
By hummingbird Comments: 10414, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:40 PM
It's something that's been in debate for quite a while. Look at why you're doing the stretch first of all, to loosen the hips one assumes.

If a dancer has flat turn out then they won't need that stretch, they already have the range of motion to get fully into a frog stretch so what exactly are they stretching.

It also puts pressure on the ligaments of the hips rather than stretching the muscles. Contrary to what most dancers seem to think we need our ligaments to stay the same length because once they stretch there's no going back, they will never recover and those ligaments are meant keep our hips stable.

If your dancer doesn't have the range of motion to get into a full flat frog stretch then all they're going to do is put pressure on their lower back and knees as they also possibly de stabilize the ligaments of their hip.

It's bad if you have the range of motion and it's also bad if you don't have that range of motion. What you really need to do is strengthen the turnout muscles instead, lets face it those are what help us facilitate our turnout, not how loose we are.
re: Very good article on stretching techniques
By kinsidhe Comments: 248, member since Fri May 14, 2010
On Fri Aug 19, 2016 01:22 PM
I'm no expert of any kind, but here is my two pence worth:

The frog stretch is one we are often asked to do in our dance class to 'open the hips'. What I have seen and experienced is basically what Hummingbird has stated.

The dancers in my class who have a natural turnout that is flat or near flat like this stretch and go in and out of it easily. I've even had a few comment that they will sleep in this position, so I would gather it is not actually creating more range of motion than they already have naturally. In any case, I have not seen this translate into better use of their turnout in actual dance. That has only come from strengthening and using the correct muscles.

For me, a dancer who lacks a natural structure that allows for a flat turnout, the stretch is quite simply agony. It is extremely difficult for me to get into, and once holding it I have terrible pain in my lower back/sacral area, stress on my knees and hips that have never become more -open- infact just the opposite, they become so sore I have difficulty getting up and moving again. For a while after, I find I have limited my range of motion just because my hips and back now hurt! I dont get any kind of stretch in my muscles, only pain in my joints. The pain is similar to if I were to force your knee to bend farther back than it is designed to go.

I know there is a long tradition behind this stretch and I am only one anecdote in a long history of others who say the opposite.

I think bottom line, as a teacher or dancer, one needs to make sure that this stretch-if it is to be used-is used with caution and serious thought given to if it is right for an individual.

Again, just my thoughts!