how to properly stretch
Bending without Snapping
Knowing the difference between painful versus uncomfortable is huge.
When a part of your body is affected with pain in a sore, hurting, tender, aching, throbbing, or angry way, you are in physical pain, causing distress on your body. This happens when you push yourself too far.
Uncomfortable, on the other hand, is when your body is feeling slight pain in the sense of physical discomfort. The discomfort is tolerable because you are aware that the sensation is temporary as you work toward your goal. The uncomfortable feeling causes unease or awkwardness when you stretch muscles beyond their comfort zone. At the point of discomfort, you should hold the stretch, relax and breathe.
In other words, if you were uncomfortable in your middle split and decided to come out of it so that you’d feel more comfortable, you are not in pain. Pain would mean that the intense hurting sensation continues no matter if you are in your split or not, like a pulled muscle.
Push yourself a little bit further each week!
Goals take continuous hard work, especially when talking about a flexibility goal that most dancers take on throughout their dance career. The key to success is perseverance. In order to get better at something that you’re already doing, you need to pinpoint your focus on it. Getting your splits, scorpion, or any other flexible trick takes continuous patience and dedication. Some days you will advance, and some days you may remain the same, even temporarily loosing flexibility. Your improvement depends on your day to day activities that can either leave you sore or have you well rested.
Advice from your teacher: Stretching every day is ideal to maintaining your flexibility. Slide into that split as far as you can already comfortably go. A good stretch, to improve flexibility, should be about every other day or about 3 to 4 days of the week. This would include over splits, partner stretching, and resistance training, all which should be an uncomfortable, not painful, stretch. Hold each stretch for 5 minutes, relaxing the muscles being stretched as much as possible. Don’t forget to breathe! Deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth during your stretching helps bring oxygen to your muscles so that they can at peak.
Everyone gets sore.
If you’ve worked really hard at a dance convention all weekend or you have worked one particular muscle more than normal in one of your classes, you may get sore. Resting, foam rolling, and stretching that muscle, along with eating properly and drinking lots of water, are the best ways to encourage that muscle back to 100% again.
Fact from class: Quiet and focused students are often times the most flexible. Why? Because they are concentrating on the stretch, relaxing the muscle, breathing through the discomfort and focused on the goal.
*This blogging page is for an informational purpose only! This is not any form of medical advice; therefore, please do not rely solely on the context of this blogging page. CDE will not be liable and do not promise or guarantee results. We are simply taking our knowledge, experiences, and love for dance and turning them into a more personal, laid out story for your out-of-the-studio enjoyment and dancing experience! Please contact us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for our future blogs!