Hi Lisa, my daughter is 12. She has been dancing since she was 3. She is having pain over her right shin but only when she does certain exercises - for example putting her nose to her knee. It is not hurting her during other exercises or all the time. It doesnít sound to me like shin splints. Could it be that or is there something else you can think of that could be causing this pain. She is auditioning for vocational school shortly so would appreciate a speedy answer. Thanks. Jenni
Often people blame a drop in flexibility on the bones growing faster than the muscles, and think that there is nothing much that they can do about it , but this is actually far from the truth! There are lots of things that can cause a restriction in your flexibility if you have just had a growth spurt, and many of them can be worked on for immediate changes in your flexibility! Read through the following possible issues and see how many of them may be an issue for you!
This detailed article by Physiotherapist for Dancers Lisa Howell, gives new insights into other causes for tension in the hamstrings and Piriformis Syndrome.
Neural mobility describes how well your nerves move in your body. This is an extremely important component of your flexibility and one that is often overlooked... One of the main concepts that we work on with anyone wanting to get more mobile is actually assessing their nerves and how well they slide in the body.
Something that has frustrated me for years in dance is leg extensions. With the right momentum, I can kick my leg up just as high as anyone in my class. But when it comes to slowly bringing the leg up slowly through developpe to tilts and things like that, I can never seem to get my leg up past a little over 90 degrees. Is this a problem of leg strength or am I just not flexible enough?
On our recent flexibility webinar I answered a question from Willy in the Netherlands about one of his students being much more flexible on the right than on the left. Unfortunately a few people have reported that sometime I speak too fast when answering the questions (especially if English is their second language) and so I have written my answer out in full. I just get so excited talking about all of this stuff and tend to get a little ahead of myself!
First of all, doing those deep back bends is not a good way to increase your flexibility. Mobilising of the back must be done very carefully, and usually in a non-loaded position in the begining. This is important so that you start getting good flexibility all of the way through your spine, at all the different levels. To mobilze your back and increase its flexibility...
The neck massage releases the fascia etc along the hamstrings to increase flexibility. Is there a muscle release for the other direction when doing backbends?
After posting the article on how to work with Sway Back knees earlier in the week, we have had a flood of emails asking about what to do in the opposite case! Lots of people have trouble fully straightening their knees and there are some pretty unsafe practices out there… so I have written an article [...]
I have quite sway back knees and one of my teachers likes me to stand with my heels as far apart as I can and press the backs of my knees together (I also have pretty good natural turnout). But sometimes if I really focus on this in class I get some pain in the back of my knee. Another one of my teachers says that this is bad for my knees and that I should keep them a little bent, but this just feels weird! I have beeen searching online and lots of people say that you shouldnt work with them too straight. As you are always working with injured dancers, what do you think about this?
Today I hosted a fantastic live call that answered everyones questions about Warming up Safely and Flexibility Training! You can still access the call and see all of the slides by checking out this post.
If you have any questions about flexibility, flexibility training or stretching, please leave it down below and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
“Why is it that I feel nauseous or lightheaded when I am stretching? Sometimes I actually feel like I am going to throw up but then other times it is ok. Is there anything I can do because it really puts me off stretching!"
Discover the differences between Flexibility and Hypermobility, and why not all flexibility training programs are equal.
Do you spend hours stretching and wake up the next day tighter than the day before? Do you think that you are just a tight person and that there is nothing that you can do to get more flexible? Is your lack of flexibility holding you back from performing to your optimum ability? If you [...]
Dancers all over the world are constantly asking questions such as… "How do I get into the splits" "What are the best ways to stretch” and "How can I get more flexible". There are so many myths in the dance world (as well as in Martial Arts, Gymnastics and any other sport that desires flexibility) about how to get more flexible, however many of these can actually be very dangerous.
Neural mobility describes how well your nerves move in your body. This is an extremely important component of your flexibility and one that is often overlooked...
One of the main concepts that we work on with anyone wanting to get more mobile is actually assessing their nerves and how well they slide in the body.
Most people learn anatomy by learning about the bones and the muscles that attach to them. This is a good start, but is not really an accurate picture of our true anatomy. We are not just a skeleton held together with muscles and ligaments. A better picture is to imagine a mass of tissues including muscles, bones and ligaments, bound together, organized and coordinated by a complex web of fascia.
Many people try and get more flexible by simply taking a muscle into a stretched position and pulling on it. More often than not, after a ‘good’ stretching session, they wake up the next day more sore and tight than the day before. This is due to the fact that you can actually tear tiny muscle fibers by doing this technique.
Inside the millions of tiny fibers that make up each of your muscles are little cells called Muscle Spindles that measure how much stretch there is in your muscles. As you stretch the muscle, a message gets sent to your central nervous system (not necessarily your brain) that causes a reflex contraction of the exact muscle that you are trying to stretch!