Jump to content

Flexibility


Recommended Posts

Dd has been told she needs to work on her flexibility between now and September.

 

She is pravtising the stretches she does in jazz every day plus a couple of others she has been shown but swerve not sure she's doing them long enough etc. I think she needs more of a structured plan. I've tried to look into a DVD but it needs to be for dancers.

 

The bottom of her back is quite tight and her legs arnt naturally flexible.

 

Everything at her dance school is on wind down to the show in July. We've arranged sone private ballet lessons but they don't really do much stretching in ballet.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations , also she needs to keep this up over the summer alongside extra ballet.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 80
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

DDs dance teacher has suggested Pilates & Yoga; she is supposed to alternate each day - but has to do them at least 4 times a week (if she can't manage every day)

 

But she is working on core strength & flexibility

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pictures - how old is your dd? And has she seen a physio?

 

Edited to add: my dd has Darcey Bussell's pilates dvd and says it is very good. I think there is another one aimed specifically at young dancers, but can't remember any more details.

Edited by taxi4ballet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You definitely don't need to have an injury or pain to make an appointment with a dance physio. :-)

 

It might be well worth seeing one because they can diagnose which areas are tight and why, and prescribe specific exercises.

 

With regards to Pilates, my dd has this Dvd which is excellent: http://moniquerichardspilates.com/dvd/

 

Monique is really helpful and told me via email which exercises to start with as when we bought it dd was a little younger than the target audience.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd started seeing a dance physio when she was quite young. It has been wonderful, we only go every few years and she is given a couple of very specific exercises to do. They really help.

 

We've also used Lisa Howell's 'Front Splits Fast' program. It is expensive, I waited a couple of years before buying it but it has worked.

 

The main thing my dd has found is that she needs to be consistent. She stretches EVERY night, working on different areas but always sitting in splits (side and front) for at least 10-15mins each.

 

She uses therabands as well as one of those long stretchy bands for ponche stretches.

 

Her turnout is not naturally good, so she lies in froggy each night too.

 

We also have Ballet Beautiful book with exercises she does at least 3-5 times per week. You can do those while working on the computer, reading etc.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree Lisa Howell is great. I too have the splits programme and it works :) I was also lucky enough to do a workshop with her in London last year.

Consistency is definitely the key with stretching!

 

Which reminds me...I must stretch tomorrow ;)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

I have followed this forum for a while and have found it extremely friendly, informative and helpful.  In fact a few of you gave me invaluable advice on the NAPM forum when my dd got her first pointe shoes.  My dd has just turned 14 and has always struggled with the splits.  She is only a few inches away but its just so hard for her.  When she was 10 she decided that she was going to get into them no matter what, and after 6 months of stretching every night she eventually did them at a dance class.  When she got home she was ecstatic, she had her dinner and tried again and to her utter disbelieve she was almost a foot off the floor!   I reassured her, and told her that the next day she would probably be able to so them but she couldn't.  She has sat in the splits occasionally since then.  The latest was a couple of weeks ago at the beginning of half term.   Again the next day she couldn't do them even though she stretched for a good 30 - 40 mins.  She tried all week and is still a few inches off the floor and cant hold it for too long.  I feel so sorry for her as I know how hard she tries. 

 

In September she started a CAT programme and I thought that this may help her but they seem to be concentrating on core strength at the moment although she has become more flexible since she started.

 

Today I read this thread and ordered Lisa Howells Front Splits DVD.  It's expensive, but if it helps her then it'll be money well spent, and TBH I'm getting desperate!  xxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen great results with Lisa Howell's approach. It is a new way of thinking about flexibility. It also works well for adults. When I see students using the exercises unprompted prior to or during class I think that gives good evidence that they find them beneficial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard about Lisa Howell's programme before but didn't know how it worked at all. Just searched for a clip on YouTube and it looks amazing! I'll certainly be trying it out on my dd tomorrow.

 

For anyone else wondering what it's about, this clip is good:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Beaniebean,

 

my dd really struggled with splits for years too. The front splits program worked for her. She started it a couple of years ago. You begin with some test exercises to see how flexible you are before starting. When lying on the floor and lifting her leg it was less than 90deg. Just out of interest, I asked her to show me what it is like now, un-warmed up. Both her legs easily lift right above her head, as far as is physically possible with a torso in the way :).

 

The program actually works by using massage on different (apparently unrelated) areas of the body to release the muscles.

 

Yes, it is expensive, it took me a couple of years to give in and buy it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe Pastel noted that her daughter slept in froggies at night and I just wanted to add a word of warning to all this frenzied stretching.  I know of a girl who ruined her hips sleeping in froggies for hours on end.  She had been training full time at vocational school and had to give up dancing altogether.  She eventually became a successful actress in film and TV instead, so it worked out OK for her in the end, but still not a nice thing to happen.  So please people do be careful - hip replacements are very successful nowadays, but your own original hips are better.........

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe Pastel noted that her daughter slept in froggies at night and I just wanted to add a word of warning to all this frenzied stretching.  I know of a girl who ruined her hips sleeping in froggies for hours on end.  She had been training full time at vocational school and had to give up dancing altogether.  She eventually became a successful actress in film and TV instead, so it worked out OK for her in the end, but still not a nice thing to happen.  So please people do be careful - hip replacements are very successful nowadays, but your own original hips are better.........

Hi - sorry! No, she doesn't sleep in froggy. She lies that way for about 40 mins before bed. After dinner, she sits in front and side splits, plus froggy and some other stretches. Definitely doesn't sleep that way!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The front splits fast idea is based around the idea that neural tension (tension on nerves) can affect the ability of other muscles to lengthen. Its very common for most people to hold a lot of natural tension in the head and neck area, which can affect the length of the hamstrings.

 

A simple test for this, often used to test the sciatic nerve is called the slump test. Have your DD/DS sit on a chair with a 'slumped' or slouched upper back and COMPLETELY relaxed head and neck (it's easy to see if they have hair off their neck - neck muscles in contraction will appear as two parallel muscles sticking up slightly either side of the spine, and once these are relaxed the back of the neck area will look flatter). They then should stretch one leg so the knee is straight, and foot flexed or relaxed which puts the whole neural system on a stretch - if they have difficulty with this it may indicate neural tension. There's a nice diagram of the stretch on this page - it's Fig 6.1 about halfway down http://www.osteodoc.ru/opract/cheyto18.htm

 

 

Recently I've come across a few children who appear very tight in the hamstrings. Once I've made them sit on the floor in a relaxed 'pike' position (spine curved and head relaxed as in the picture) it turns out that they struggle to get their head relaxed or feel a stretch in the neck. This to me indicates tension that could well be pulling on the spine and down into the sciatic, and sometimes also the obturator nerve. Basic head and neck massage is super beneficial here (and to everyone!) It can be a lovely way for mums and DC to have a bit of bonding time - Lisa Howell shows you how this can be done here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxpbQLHuJg8

Edited by drdance
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...