Dancer! Gymnast! This is Better Than Stretching™!!
Dancers, teachers, gymnasts, coaches, and anyone else who has passive stretched every day...we have something better!
It is absolutely critical that we (I am a
professional modern dancer
and former gymnast myself) understand that not everything we have been told to do is right for our bodies. In fact, the outcome of stretching can be very far from the intended goal.
Read an article published by
The American Journal of Sports Medicine,
about professional ballerinas being injured by their stretching routines.
We stretch to improve flexibility and allow for a greater range of motion. The demanding movements we are required to do take much more than an average flexibility, and the body has to be able to move in every way that it possibly can. But the body also has to have the strength and control necessary to prevent injury. (As we all know, injuries are an athlete’s worst enemy!)
Thus, it is a perfect balance between strength and flexibility that will enable the dancer or gymnast to take full advantage of their physical potential!
It is vital to have flexibility if you are going to challenge your body and throw it around in the manner that these disciplines demand. But the stretching that we have been taught to do in order to gain this flexibility is not an effective way to achieve that important balance between strength and flexibility. In fact, passive stretching is dangerous because it creates weakness and muscular imbalance, rather than helping to establish control.
Why do we do the splits? Why sit for endless amounts of time in the front and side splits? It’s not very often that we would sit in the splits for more than a few seconds in a performance or a gymnastics event, right? So what is it that we hope to accomplish by sitting in the splits during class, rehearsal, or workouts?
We’ve been led to believe that stretching our splits will enable us to kick our legs up higher (grand battement), hold them in these elevated positions while standing (developpe), or use that range of motion in jumps (such as in tour jete). But we can sit in the splits all day and still not have the strength to hold our legs up in a high developpe. And we may have the flexibility, but not the control to use it in an arabesque or a standing penche.
Stretching may increase the possibility of a greater range of motion, but it can simultaneously decrease the ability to USE that range of motion while performing. In addition, it can leave the muscle vulnerable to injury, since it creates an imbalance between strength and flexibility. Please visit the
section of this website in order to fully understand the physical and neurological explanation of these problems with stretching.
So what is to be done with this information? Most athletes, especially dancers and gymnasts, reading this are probably saying “Well I can’t just stop stretching or I’ll lose my flexibility." But that is not true!
This is not a joke and it is not a fad. It is merely a way to do what you’ve always done without the possible damage of traditional stretching.
The Better Than Stretching Workout™
- INCREASE YOUR FLEXIBILITY in a much shorter period of time than you have ever experienced
- INCREASE YOUR STRENGTH
- MAXIMIZE YOUR RANGE OF MOTION
- and do all of this SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY
and it can be done:
- at home
- in the gym
- in the studio
- wherever you USED to stretch
Grab a partner and see for yourself how it increases flexibility, while also increasing the strength you need in order to use that flexibility in your dance movement. You'll be astounded at how fast this workout does what you have been trying to do for years with stretching, and at how long the results last. You don’t have to (and now we know you don’t want to!) sit in the splits for hours anymore to have the perfect split jumps!