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Stretching Photos - Members
~Balletdancer055's Mega Guide to Stretching!~ (karma: 134)
By BaLLetDaNceR055member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 969, member since Mon Apr 01, 2002
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 03:38 PM
Edited by BaLLetDaNceR055 (25283) on 2004-01-02 16:11:46
Made sticky by MIClogger (28613) on 2004-01-07 15:30:12 Member Request. Good Job!
Moved to Stretching Photos - Members by MIClogger (28613) on 2004-05-09 11:02:48 Still Wanted It To Be A Sticky, But The Stretching Forum Has So Many! Hopefully, More People Can See It, And Appreciate It!

Balletdancer055’s Mega Guide to Stretching!

First of all, WARM UP! Cold muscles lead to injury! Run around for a couple minutes, sit in the butterfly and roll forward, do lunges, squats, basically any light form of stretching. Even if you are the most flexible person in the world, you can still pull a muscle and this is an easy way to help prevent that!

In the guide I will give some examples of stretches. You may have seen me post bits of this information in other posts, but I think it would be good to have all this information in one place. Some stretches will be simple, and some more advanced. Only YOU know your body and your limits. If you know that you are really flexible, then go ahead and try the more advanced stretches. If stretching is a weak point for you start off with more basic stretches. As you build flexibility try the more advanced ones.

Arch stretches
-Put your foot, right where the metatarsals start, under a bookshelf, sofa, or anything a couple inches off the ground and point it. Then slowly straighten your knee until it is flat on the ground and just hold it for a while so that you feel the stretch. It is safer if you put padding on top of your foot and a small rolled up towel under your heel to prevent tendonitis.
- This one is hard to describe, but I will do my best. Sit on the ground and bend both knees in front of you. Prop yourself up with your arms and carefully place the top of your right foot under your bum. Place a little bit of pressure on your foot so that you feel the stretch, but hold yourself up and control the pressure with your arms. Repeat the stretch with your left foot.
- After stretching your arch make sure to try and strengthen your feet too. Try doing lots of releves. Start off with 32 on each foot and then do both feet together. Do 8 count rises, taking 4 counts to roll up and 4 counts to roll down.

Side splits
1. -Sit with your right leg straight in front of you and your left leg bent behind you. Touch your nose to your front knee and hold that position.
- Slowly straighten out your back leg to get into the split position, or as far as you can go.
- Turn your body so that you legs are in the split, but your upper torso is facing the right side (or the same side as the front leg). Push over onto that hip so that you feel a stretch and hold. Then roll back into the normal split, hips square, and over the back knee. Hold this position.
- Repeat these steps with the left leg.

2. - Lay flat on your back with your legs straight in front of you.
- Take your right leg and pull it up towards your chest. Try to touch your nose with your ankle while keeping your hips square and on the ground. Hold that position.
- Take your right leg and slowly bring it to your side. Hold there.
- Bring your leg back in front of you and let go of it. Hold it as high as it will go. Make sure your keep your hips in front of you.
- Lower your right leg and repeat with the left leg.

Stretches for middle splits
1. -lay flat on your back on the ground.
-Lift your legs up together in front of you so that you form an L-shape with your body.
-Spread your legs apart to the side. Just let them fall. Hold that for a while and then grab your ankles and try to push it a little further. Your goal is to get your feet to touch the ground on both sides of you without having to push your ankles down with your hands.
*try it once with your feet flexed and once with your toes pointed.
2. - Lunge sideways to the right and hold it. Turn to that direction and hold for two counts of 8.
- Repeat with the left leg.
- Go into a very low grande plie with your legs apart, in a wide second position.
- Slowly lower into a straddle. When you get as far as you can go, support yourself with your elbows. Hold this position.
- Lower your body the rest of the way so that you are lying belly-down on the floor. Your body should look something like a T shape, with your legs as far as they can get to going into a middle split. Hold this position.

Oversplits
The best way I know to stretch an oversplit is just to elevate your leg on something, be it pillows, a book, a chair, anything. If you have a small oversplit, see how many books you can fit under your front foot while in the splits. Gradually increase that number. This should work. I started with binders, actually. I liked the way they slant, so it doesn't have an edge that might dig into your ankle. But my dad has these really thick binders that I was using. If you can find ones a couple inches thick, then use that. Also, don't just do it at the height that is comfortable. To really stretch it, make the object a couple inches higher than your oversplit is and just hold your self up with your hands to support yourself.

Y-stands or Heel Stretches
-While holding onto a ledge, barre, etc., grab your foot and lift it as high as it will go while keeping your hips square. Then let go of your leg and try to balance it. -Also try resting your leg on the back of a chair or window sill or something high. Try to lift your leg a couple inches off and just hold it there.

Basic back stretches

-bridge: lay on your back with your knees bent and your hands by your ears. Your elbows should be pointing up and your fingers should be facing your feet. Push yourself up with your arms and legs as high as you can. Try and walk your hands towards your ankles and just hold this position. Try both versions, with your legs bent and with your legs straight.
-cobra stretch- lay belly-down on the ground and push your torso up with your arms at a 90 degree angle. Try to keep your shoulders down when you do this. Throw your head back as far as you can and try to arch your back as much as possible to get the most out of this stretch. If you want, try to touch your feet to the back of your head.

Basic diamond stretch- kneel on the floor, creating a 90 degree bend with your knees. --Bend backwards as far as you can, and grab your ankles. Try to get your face to go in between your legs/ankles

Layback in splits- Go down into your normal side split. Then just lay back and grab your ankle/shin with your hands. Try to pull your head all the way down to your knee and when you get as far as you can, hold it for about 30 sec. This is a good stretch to help prepare for needle scales. Gravity sorta helps here by pulling your head lower and gives you a better stretch than if you were doing it standing up because you don’t need to worry about balance.

intermediate back stretches
-from the basic cobra stretch you can also try grabbing your ankles and pushing your head as far back as it will go. Your goal is to get your head to touch your seat (meaning yer bum) behind you.
- Scorpion: While standing up grab one leg with both hands and pull it up towards your head behind you.
-If you have trouble balancing the scorpion, practice this stretch. Lay on your side with both legs bent. Grab the knee on top and try to pull it towards your head with both arms. If you are flexible enough, try to pull your knee towards your head.
-Once you get into your scorpion, walk both of your hands lower until you are on your shin or ankle, and then try straightening it into a needlescale.

More Advanced Back stretches
*Only attempt these once you already have a good amount of back flexibility!!
- Cheststand stretch: go into a bridge and lower your chest onto the ground. Grab your ankles in front of your and try to pull your head through your feet. If you can, try to work your hands higher up and pull your head off the ground and lift it as high as you can.

- Headseat- go into a bridge and lower your chest onto the ground. Try to straighten your legs and touch your seat to your head. To work the upper back you want your seat to touch somewhere towards the front of the head. If you are working on lower back flexibility you want the seat touching somewhere behind the head and on top of your back. This would be what is known as a fold, where you back just bends in half.

-If you already have your headseat you'll probably want to work on getting a deep triple fold. Kneel down onto your knees and bend back so that you are grabbing your ankles, like a diamond stretch. Pull yourself forward and see if you can grab your knees. If you can, use this to try and get as far forward as you can with your head under your seat. Just hold this position as long as you can, as far as you can go. Try to at least look through your legs and if you can, pull your head through your knees.

-Also, try standing backbends. You can go into that either by bending back from a standing position and grabbing your legs, or go into a bridge and grab your ankles while straightening your legs. Keep your feet a little distanced apart when you do this and try to work your hands up so that you are grabbing your knees. IF you can, slowly try and pull your head through.

“How long will it take for me to become flexible?”
-I can't really tell you how long it will take because everyone's body is different. What might take 1 month for one person might take 1 year for another. Also, flexibility isn't everything in dancing! You should try developing strength at the same time because you might be able to lift your leg up to your head, but that doesn't matter if you only have enough strength to hold it at 90 degrees without your hands!

.:balletdancer:.

344 Replies to ~Balletdancer055's Mega Guide to Stretching!~

re: Balletdancer055s Mega Guide to Stretching! (karma: 2)
By alleycatmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8306, member since Mon Apr 01, 2002
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 03:46 PM
Great post, and so informative! I can't wait till i have the time to actually read the whole thing trough :D

Thank you for sharing!
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By DiamondDancerH11 Comments: 1977, member since Sat Oct 04, 2003
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 05:04 PM
Great Post BalletDancer055! And you are right, Flexability isn't everything. I am Flexible, but I do not have enough Strength too hold it up there. I am working on that though!
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By Little_MissJmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11220, member since Thu Jul 17, 2003
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 05:05 PM
Edited by alleycat (25274) on 2004-01-06 02:39:09 Entire message written with markupcodes. Removed the markupcodes.
heya

wow balletdancer055 KARMA COMING YOUR WAY HUN :D
gosh such brilliant detailed information :D
thanks for all that
i'm going to read it all properly tomorrow and go through your kind whilst stretching :D

J x
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By dreamin_dancer Comments: 191, member since Mon Dec 01, 2003
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 05:05 PM
Thank you SO much! I can't wait to start stretching!

-Dreamin' Dancer :D
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By BeverlyHillsBabe Comments: 1275, member since Thu Jun 27, 2002
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 06:06 PM
I guess I have some competition coming my way with the stretching guides! He, he - I'm just kidding. :D Fabulous post. You got me motivated, man! :)

~Elaina~
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By DancingDiamondmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1522, member since Sun Jun 01, 2003
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 06:19 PM
You also got me motivated!!
Thx for this!!
Karma coming your way!!
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By DancePrincess827member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 6352, member since Mon Mar 10, 2003
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 06:21 PM
That was a great post! Thanks!
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By rhythmicbabe Comments: 172, member since Wed Dec 17, 2003
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 10:22 PM
Wow that was great post! thanks fo all the hard work you put into that post!!


rhythmicbabe
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By dancingqueen2822 Comments: 161, member since Fri Oct 17, 2003
On Fri Jan 02, 2004 11:51 PM
Thnx so much for all that awesome information! By your pictures I can tell your really flexible so I was excited to see what advice you were giving us. Thanx again! I'm definatley going to try that stuff!!! :)
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By chrissy611 Comments: 76, member since Sat Dec 06, 2003
On Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:32 AM
Wow, great post! So much information, thanks heaps! :D
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By Chouplalamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 6421, member since Sat Oct 18, 2003
On Sat Jan 03, 2004 03:04 AM
OMG thank you soooo much!!!!
pleasee can one of the monoraters (sp?)
make this a sticky please?
that would be really, really cool!
balletdancer, karma!!!!!
im going to try those stretches soon
because my back is soooo not flexible!
xox isabelle xox
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By disco_bella Comments: 287, member since Thu Jun 05, 2003
On Sat Jan 03, 2004 05:59 AM
Great post!!
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By Lise3Premium member Comments: 4482, member since Fri Feb 14, 2003
On Sat Jan 03, 2004 11:39 AM
Thanks a million!
I'm gonna try all the back stretches. Maybe even I can get a flexi back! Karma for you, offcoarse!!!! :) :)
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~ (karma: 1)
By griffin_aira Comments: 1072, member since Tue Oct 07, 2003
On Sat Jan 03, 2004 11:40 AM
Great post very informative! Karma for you!! Thanks for sharing
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By BaLLetDaNceR055member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 969, member since Mon Apr 01, 2002
On Sun Jan 04, 2004 03:07 PM
Thankyou for the replies! Hehe, sorry it's so long! I really hope i could help people looking for stretches!!
.:balletdancer:.
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By starisaz Comments: 2851, member since Wed Jul 31, 2002
On Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:41 AM
wow thats such good advice!
it reely helps
love sarah xxxx
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By Angelman Comments: 20, member since Mon Jan 05, 2004
On Mon Jan 05, 2004 06:21 PM
Yeau very Informative :) keep up the coaching
great info for those that aren;t so flexible
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By panthermember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 101, member since Sat Sep 20, 2003
On Tue Jan 06, 2004 02:22 AM
Edited by panther (74215) on 2004-01-06 02:32:45
Thanks a lot!!! Very informative!!!
But isn`t a side split the same as a middle split?
(Till now I made the difference between front and middle/side/chinese/box split)
Karma for you!!!
Best regards Panther
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By StretchCoach Comments: 1026, member since Sat Apr 19, 2003
On Tue Jan 06, 2004 05:32 AM
wow ... absolutely fantastic post, what else needs to be said? You, my dear, have a future in personal training as well as in dance! Excellent stuff! Plus, from the pictures of yourself that you occasionally post, it's obvious that you practice what you preach.

Well done, young dancer!
michael
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By dancerwannabe2 Comments: 214, member since Sun Dec 21, 2003
On Tue Jan 06, 2004 01:25 PM
That was areally good informative post. I'm going to run off and try some of those exercizes. Thank u 4 all the trouble u put in.
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By girly_girl13member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2390, member since Fri Dec 20, 2002
On Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:28 AM
Wow, taht is amazing ansd sooo helpful :)

Thanks soo much

x Laura x
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By Baby_Ballerina Comments: 533, member since Wed Feb 26, 2003
On Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:45 AM
Thankyou very very very much! I defintly needed that especially the back ones!
luv baby_ballerina xxx
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By Stretchgirl Comments: 1, member since Wed Jan 07, 2004
On Wed Jan 07, 2004 01:47 PM
I Thank you for the great advice! I am somewhat training to be a contortionist and these are great stretches.
Thanks again!
Carrie
re: ~Balletdancer055 's Mega Guide to Stretching!~
By krazykasie25member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 517, member since Thu Aug 07, 2003
On Wed Jan 07, 2004 08:24 PM
Whoa!! Karma!! :D
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