Stretching, Tightness and the Dancer

As dancers we stretch to improve flexibility and allow for greater range of motion. The body has to be able to move in every direction possible for the demanding lifts, spins and drops. But the body also has to have the strength and control necessary to prevent injury. The stretching that we have been taught to do in order to gain flexibility is not an effective way to achieve the critical balance between strength and flexibility.

If muscles of one limb or side of the body are more tensed than muscles on the other side, you may have an interruption of a nerve signal or misaligned bones. For example, a twisted pelvis will cause one hamstring to be more tensed than the other. Stretching overly tensed muscles cannot fix the cause of their abnormal tension. While stretching may make you feel better temporarily, it will not remove a potential cause of injury. This is why stretching and especially static stretching, before performing or exercising does not prevent injuries.

If you compare the body to a bridge and the muscles are the cables, when all the cables are strong, working properly, the bridge functions as it should. But if a cable becomes weak, all of the cables surrounding the weak one have to take on an extra burden. The extra strain on these cables makes them tighten and could make one break. So, in the body, if one muscle is not contracting effectively, the others have much more work to do. What we experience as muscle tightness in one area is most likely the result of weakness in another.

Typical strength training exercise will not help either. This will overstress the overly tensed muscles, or will bypass the weak ones recruiting others to do their job.

To correct such problems you need the help of a muscle specialist that has the expertise to identify the location and cause of the problem.

Not massage or chiropractic care, a muscle activation techniques specialist utilizes a systematic checks and balances approach of testing, treating muscles and take home prevention moves for each individual.

Angel Tortoriello-Umbach
Muscles In Balance LLC
Certified Muscle Activation Specialist
Certified Fitness Consultant
609 439-1861