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Author Topic: Is pre-dance stretching necessary?  (Read 9790 times)
StageKat
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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2009, 12:07:31 PM »

I actually find that warming up by dancing is good... it's the POST dance stretch that I think is most important... I lost a LOT of my flexibility when I didn't stretch after dancing, once the muscles are already warm... it's also a good time to work on increasing flexibility.
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QPO
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« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2009, 12:03:33 AM »

I try to do stretches before I dance, leg lunges and upper body...I also do foot streches... I find if I dont my feet give me the most trouble.
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elisedance
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« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2009, 06:18:07 AM »

I actually find that warming up by dancing is good... it's the POST dance stretch that I think is most important... I lost a LOT of my flexibility when I didn't stretch after dancing, once the muscles are already warm... it's also a good time to work on increasing flexibility.

I've actually never done that - I always feel very flexible after dancing - but it sounds like a great idea because thats probably when you could increase it thje most.

thanks for the thought....
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StageKat
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« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2009, 12:54:16 PM »

I got the post dance stretch idea from somewhere... unfortunately I don't recall the source... but it said that stretching before a work out can actually do more harm than good if not done properly. But stretching post work out once the muscles are all warmed up and essentially pliable... is the time to stretch them out as a cool down. It made sense to me at the time... so I've been handling my stretching that way ever since.

Like I said... works for me really well... for some reason if I don't stretch after a workout then my legs and back in particular lose a LOT of their flexibility.

Must be working cuz I can almost do the spits both ways now! :p
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elisedance
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« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2009, 06:27:01 PM »

well, I can't get close to splits and after years of trying can barely lift my leg to 90o so I'm open to anything new Smiley
splits both ways huh - that means you can put yourself back together pointint the opposite way Tongue
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Vagabond
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« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2009, 12:47:56 AM »

I found in all my sports that a certain amount of preparation is always welcome and that it depends on the activity. It doesn't help your feet if you exercise your neck. I found this article on the topic;

Instep Dance Magazine Articles

Reprints of monthly column as first appearing in Instep Dance Magazine (no longer in print).

August 2003

    Stretching Before and After Dance

    Presented by Rick Allen, DC
    "Better health leads to better dancing."

    One of our local dancers, Miranda Willis, who is also a talented flutist that played at Sharon and my wedding last month, suggested that I review tips that help make dancing more enjoyable and with less chance of injury. So let me start with a simple question:

    Would you like to avoid that tired, achy feeling you may have experienced 24 to 48 hours after vigorous exercise?

    Technically, it is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS. Here are four simple suggestions that can help you instead feel great the day after any athletic activity, including dancing:

    Warm up -- Start with a slow warm up. A foxtrot will do nicely. Cold muscles suddenly put to work are more likely to become damaged than ones that have been warmed up properly. Warming up gradually will increase your heart and breathing rates, increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles before you begin to work them hard. In addition, your joints secrete more synovial fluid and become less stiff. The body is properly adapting to the demands of exercise.

    Stretch -- Between dances, do a bit of stretching. You can do some beneficial stretches unobtrusively even when dressed nicely. Slowly bend down, reaching for your toes. Hang forward, counting to 15. Let gravity do the stretching. Don't force the stretch. Then lean over to each side, making a giant letter "C", again for 15 seconds. Then bend your knees and shift from side to side, stretching the groin muscles. Lastly, roll your shoulders around a couple of times. Now you're ready for more vigorous dancing!

    Drink lots of water -- During the dance, be sure to drink lots of water. Without enough water, your body doesn't function optimally. You "wilt," much like a plant that needs water. Avoid alcohol, which is a diuretic, stealing water from your body. The same goes for coffee or soda with caffeine.

    Increase your activity gradually -- In general, do not increase the intensity or duration of your dancing more than 10% in a week. Do not increase both intensity and duration during the same week. Allow your body to recover properly and adapt slowly to improved performance levels.

    Dr. Rick Allen is a chiropractor, massage therapist and dance student in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Rick welcomes your questions and suggestions for future articles. However, he cannot make specific diagnoses or treatment recommendations unless you visit him in person. He can be reached by phone: 503-257-1324, mail: 221 NE 78th Avenue, Portland, OR 97213, email or World Wide Web: www.CascadeWellnessClinic.com
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elisedance
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« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2009, 02:50:51 AM »

All good - except the last statement which sounds a bit like the Victorian advice of 'chew each mouthful at least 20 times' (amongst a myriad of similar 'normal' behaviour) - who controls the total amount of dancing in a week to 10% precision?  If I can get twice as much next week I'm going for it !  Besides, I think that advice is absurd.
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Vagabond
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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2009, 05:18:58 AM »

Please don't shoot the messenger.

Quote
  Increase your activity gradually -- In general, do not increase the intensity or duration of your dancing more than 10% in a week. Do not increase both intensity and duration during the same week. Allow your body to recover properly and adapt slowly to improved performance levels.

I guess that the advise is primarily for people that have started dancing or see it as a social pastime, now we can agree or disagree but what works for one will be useless for another.

Furthermore there is a lot of logic in this advise, so take it as it was meant to be.... an advise not a rule. Ever played a high-intensity contact sport? I have, no game without stretching, regardless if you are beginner or pro actually beginners seem to bypass that to often. Increasing the amount of a sport makes sense too. I have run several marathons and in the beginning I was told almost the same increase the intensity or the time by x% per week, month etc.

We dance a fair bit lately about (15-20 hours a week) and the amount of increase and the time of day doesn't always agree with ones internal clock so the next day we do feel a bit more tired and have the old knick-knack going on..... so all in all the man makes sense to me, not saying I will be a devote but it makes sense
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 05:41:26 AM by Vagabond » Logged

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Vagabond
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2009, 07:59:43 PM »

Please don't shoot the messenger.

Quote
  Increase your activity gradually -- In general, do not increase the intensity or duration of your dancing more than 10% in a week. Do not increase both intensity and duration during the same week. Allow your body to recover properly and adapt slowly to improved performance levels.

I guess that the advise is primarily for people that have started dancing or see it as a social pastime, now we can agree or disagree but what works for one will be useless for another.

Furthermore there is a lot of logic in this advise, so take it as it was meant to be.... an advise not a rule. Ever played a high-intensity contact sport? I have, no game without stretching, regardless if you are beginner or pro actually beginners seem to bypass that to often. Increasing the amount of a sport makes sense too. I have run several marathons and in the beginning I was told almost the same increase the intensity or the time by x% per week, month etc.

We dance a fair bit lately about (15-20 hours a week) and the amount of increase and the time of day doesn't always agree with ones internal clock so the next day we do feel a bit more tired and have the old knick-knack going on..... so all in all the man makes sense to me, not saying I will be a devote but it makes sense
Just found this on the internet, its an broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in regards to the topic
http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/health/healthyliving/wmv/healthyliving_s3_ep1_stretch.wmv
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2009, 09:31:57 PM »

From what i've heard, the ramefacations for not stretching before and after dancing are immense, i know i have struggled with back and neck issues due to this. If the muscles are not warmed up and down they start to contract, making the spine out of allignment. This is deffinately not a goood thing.

Zac
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QPO
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« Reply #40 on: June 04, 2009, 09:41:56 PM »

well the article said that there was no evidence to support pre-streching but that it was not a waste of time... so a gentle warm up followed by some stretching might be a good idea. We generally step through our waltz routine a few times and then do the stretches. doing stretches when you are cold can be dangerous also...
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #41 on: June 04, 2009, 09:45:23 PM »

even so i still believe that stretching before and after dancing is essential - just like before and after any other sport

Zac
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QPO
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« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2009, 09:46:43 AM »

well we all have to do what works best for us and i fyou are happy with doing so you keep it up...you are young us older ones may need to look at it different  Tongue
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elisedance
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« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2009, 07:07:04 AM »

I used to be able to just to on the floor and dance into the full routine - but not any more.  I now HAVE to stretch befor dancing - indeed, I have to stretch in the morning before walking!  I am starting to make myself do post- dancing stretching too - and that seems to help with the rest of hte day.

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etp777
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« Reply #44 on: July 21, 2009, 07:29:30 AM »

I'm definitely big on the predance stretch.  Ithink just like owrkouts, stretching has to be modified per person.  Personally, I know I have a lot of trouble with tightness in my calves, esp left one.  So part of reason I take stairs up to studio, let's me stop on a stair and do calf raises to slowly stretch them out.  Holding handrail, as you can definitely overextend calf doing these on edge of a stair.  Smiley  But can also get a fuller range of stretching, which is why I do it there.
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