We just finished up another action-packed Q&A on back flexibility for the Worldwide Splitters' Network January Backbend Challenge. This one is jam packed with juicy tidbits on alignment, control, and how to backbend safely in various common poses.
You will learn to abandon, modify, or correct stretches that aren’t right for your body and find a deep joy in the stretches that are, even when they “hurt.” Listening to your body ensures that you are doing stretches that are good for you and helps you to enjoy your flexibility training instead of just suffering through it! One of the primary objections to a regular stretching practice is that stretching hurts. While there is no magic to prevent all challenging sensations from occurring during your stretches, it is important to distinguish
What is a warm-up? It is an essential part of your workout, so don't skip it! Your warm-up should serve the following fuctions: Move through your joints. Move through the full range of motion of every joint in your body paying particular attention to the joints that you use for your activity (if you are a dancer or aerialist that means all of them). This is not stretching, it is just moving and breaking up the stiffness that accumulates when we sleep or sit around. Get the body warm, of course.
Active flexibility is the range of motion that you can achieve by using your muscles to put your joint there (i.e., if you use your shoulder muscles to pull your arm back behind your ear as far as you can). You’ve probably heard us mention active flexibility before—we kind of won’t shut up about it. It is normal to have greater passive flexibility than active flexibility, but the greater the gap between these two ranges of motion, the more unstable your joint (passive flexibility is the range of motion you can achieve by having some external force move your
Chronically tight, overused muscles cause their opposing muscles to become weak and atrophied. This imbalance spreads through the entire body as muscles compensate for each other, and long term pain and joint degeneration can result. There are three very common muscle syndrome patterns identified by rehabilitation specialist Dr. Vladimir Janda: Lower-crossed syndrome occurs when tight hip flexors and lower back result in weak abdominal muscles and gluteals. People like this tend to have an exaggerated arch in their lower back and lower back pain. Upper-crossed syndrome occurs when tight chest, shoulder, and neck muscles result in