General Dance Discussion > Flexibility, do you have to start stretching young?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by LKSO, Sep 6, 2013.


    BRONZINGitUP New Member

    I note he said **ever** I get that...did the pro tell you to work on your flexibility? My point is if you were a dancer or gymnast as a child consistently (I am not talking recreational classes (which are classes like once a week for just an hour or 2) the chance is more likely your were flexible. Regardless of how you are born; because pretty much after 8 y/o flexibility is pretty much a learned behavior for 90% of the population. Most kids after 8 years old who joined my classes weren't flexible naturally; I didn't say 'ohhh they just don't have it genetically'. The students worked at it; through dedication and stretching after a year or two they were flexible.

    BRONZINGitUP New Member

    Flexibility, do you have to start stretching young?

  3. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Nope. Took gymnastics (I must have been six or so because we didn't have the ponies and riding lessons yet), couldn't do anything but walk on the beam or hang from the lower bar of the uneven bars. (And even parallel bars but as that's a men's apparatus...) Most I've ever done was for a showcase I managed to drop into a left-front split (very carefully and I can't do right fronts at all as it risks putting that knee out again, and as such I had to cheat the back leg) so long as my pro immediately bounced me out of it. I figure skate and worked at a skating club that trains elite skaters (as in spend 5-6 hours at the rink skating, training, take Pilates and Gyrotonics, etc) and some kids can do the extreme flex moves, some can't. (And given the much-higher incidence of hip and back problems in the kids who do extreme variations like the Pearl spin, it might be better not to as far as sport longevity goes. Likewise, between NP, who was the flexible one, ie straddle splits and such, and his wife, who wasn't, he's the one with severe back issues.)

    I never understand the near-religious insistence of the flexible that ANYONE CAN DO IT! That's as irrational as me insisting everyone can turn out as far as I do if they work at it. (Past 180 in first and second, or I can stand in a very twisted fifth with one foot pointing straight forward and the other straight back. That's the one that prompted Rhythm Pro to ask "Are your legs attached at the hip?" Again, never took ballet, never worked at it. Just born that way.) Heck, there are moves in skating where it's acknowledged you either have it or you don't. Pretty much anyone who can learn to skate can learn an inside-edge spreadeagle. There are senior-level skaters, otoh, who can't do outside-edge spreadeagles. It's not considered a failure to work at it, it's just some people can turn out that far and hold it, some can't.
  4. coanamilove

    coanamilove Member

    No, once you're body is fit, it can stretch at any age.

    However, this is most apt when one is younger.
  5. JSquared

    JSquared New Member

    Another thing I find helpful is to stretch when you're warm - after aerobic activity - and hold the stretch for at least 60 seconds. Taking deep, full breaths also helps the body relax further into the stretch. Good luck!
  6. musicbrain

    musicbrain Member

    Often, inflexibility is not just an issue with short muscles/tight muscle fibers, but also the connective tissue (ligaments/tendons, and fascia). Ligaments and tendons won't re-tighten once stretched, so be careful with those because they help keep your joints stable. But fascia runs the entire length of the body and will tighten up the more time you spend sitting, etc.

    Something I've found really helpful for me is something called 'body rolling', where you use a ball to roll slowly up the length of the muscle and pause every few inches to let it get deeper into the muscle. (This is particularly useful for places like the IT band, on the outside of the thigh, which is very difficult to stretch traditionally because it's not a muscle.) Deep tissue massage and foam rollers also do much the same thing. But I highly recommend it if you can find a Yamuna body rolling teacher in your area, if flexibility is something you're really wanting to work towards.
  7. CCdance

    CCdance Active Member

    totally agree, even though haven't read the article yet lol everything begins with our mind, hopefully you'll find that article, very interested....

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