Let massage work its magic!
Flexibility is the ability to have full range of movement with no pain or strain. for dancers, flexibility is a huge factor. Without a good level of flexibility, a dancer would struggle to perform a lot of even the most basic dance maneuvers. Poor flexibility can affect each individuals form, alignment and technique not to mention it increases risk of injury. Flexibility can be related to the range of movement at a joint or muscle. The range at both joints and muscles can also often effect each other. For example, if you have a stiff joint, the muscles surrounding the area tend to stiffen or tense up with it.
Inflexibility can be caused due to various different things. The main issues causing reduced flexibility include:
- Muscle tightness
- Joint conditions such as arthritis
- Muscular knots/adhesions
How can I become more flexible?
Increasing flexibility is not something that is going to happen overnight it is important to never ‘over stretch’ or push it past your limits. Never force a stretch, never ‘bounce’ into a stretch. This is one of the most common ways you as a dancer can injure yourself. The best way to increase flexibility is as below:
- Stretch with the correct technique and form
- Implement breathing techniques into your stretches- breathe and relax into your stretches
- Warm up and cool down efficiently
- Don’t just stretch for 10mins here and there- there’s literally no point! You need to dedicate specific days just to flexibility and core strengthening, stabilizing and control training.
- Sports massage! This is one of the most effective ways of manipulating and stretching muscles in order to strip through muscular tension, break down adhesions and improve range of movement.
How can Sports massage help me as a dancer?
Great question… sports massage is a deep and effective form of manual therapy that focuses on getting into deeper layers of soft tissues to, as I mentioned above, help reduce tension and breakdown adhesions. Sports massage can be used to target muscular knots, areas of tightness or restriction, areas of pain and chronic or new injuries. Through the use of specific techniques adapted to each individual’s condition or goal of treatment, soft tissues are manipulated and stripped through in order to allow relaxation, repair of any damaged tissues and most importantly, improved flexibility. Massage is also extremely useful in preventing injury and improving recovery from new or old injuries due to circumstances such as repetitive strain, muscle weakness or muscle imbalances. So if you are a dancer seeking improved flexibility, try a massage now!