We are all unique. Our bodies, our objectives, and our dancing forms all differ. So, is there truly a list of stretches that you must never do? Not really, no. But are there any genuinely wise guidelines you can adhere to to prevent encouraging or teaching harmful stretching techniques? Of course! Here is a list of five stretching-related activities you should never do.
1. Avoid overstretching.
Dancers must discover their own range of motion and how far they can push themselves before experiencing strain and then discomfort. Stretching through discomfort does nothing to help you or increase your flexibility; in fact, the only thing you might achieve is harm. Even if you’re trying to be careful, it might not seem like it at the time, but overextending over time causes the protective surfaces on your joints to wear away. Therefore, the ridiculous stretches that kids attempt to perform when they are teenagers may end up hurting them when they are in their 20s and beyond. There are a few overstretches that dancers appear to particularly like. Don’t do it, though!
-Pressuring your frog (on your belly)
-Standing on the tips of your toes or knuckles
-Backbend without the use of abdominal muscles
2. Avoid stretching when you haven’t warmed up.
Your muscles and other soft tissues respond and are able to stretch more readily when you are heated, raising your heart rate, and beginning to perspire. Stretching anything that isn’t willing to let go truly doesn’t help. Here is more information on this.
3. Avoid stretches that don’t prepare you.
You ought to stretch for a purpose. Usually, the goal is to enhance flexibility or to get your dancers ready for specific types of movement. Pre-dance stretching should be centred on what you will be doing in class or during a performance, with a general emphasis on dynamic stretching. You should concentrate on improving flexibility and perform more static stretching after dancing, typically during the cool down when you don’t need to create strong motions. Here and here, review your static, dynamic, and ballistic stretch.
4. Avoid copying others.
This is where Instagram has the potential to lead your students astray severely. With your dancers, talk about this. Once students are aware of their personal range of motion limitations, they must respect and honour their incredible bodies by working as hard as they can within those restrictions. The bodies of other individuals require learning about and understanding. In this post, you’ll learn more about these variations and what supports personal flexibility.
5. Avoid forcing your students into stretches
The kids don’t always know how each other are feeling, therefore it can be dangerous to push bodies over a safe posture while they play games and push each other into stretches. Teachers are no different! Teachers shouldn’t pressure children into taking positions either. Because you’re frequently not using the muscles that support your joints while someone else moves you, your body loses a lot of its built-in defences against injury to your joints. The similar issue arises if you use equipment that compels you to stretch passively. Consider concentrating on proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation if you wish to stretch with your buddies.
6. Bonus: Do you even need to stretch?
Stretching could aggravate an injury or tightness if you already have one. Always keep in mind that you should only stretch until you feel some strain, not until it hurts. Consult a healthcare professional to learn what happened if you believe you may have been hurt or are certain that you are. Stretching a sensitive injury, such as a strain or sprain, could make it worse.
Learn more: Social media: How does it affect the dance world?