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Author Topic: Stretching  (Read 3848 times)

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Stretching
« on: December 03, 2014, 10:23:01 PM »
I need to improve flexibility and have been trying to do stretches at home a bit; I'm seeing at least a little improvement.  But I just stumbled across this; it's in my neighborhood.  http://www.powerstretchstudios.com/default.html

Intriguing and worth checking out, or gimmicky?

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2014, 10:50:51 PM »
The "concept" is good but I'm not completely understanding their expertise.  Yes, as dancers who understand movement but physiology?  Not sure.  I suppose you could try it.  Facilitated stretching shouldn't be intense so if it doesn't ease in to increased range of motion I'd back off.
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Re: Stretching
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 04:43:20 PM »
That company sells special clothing for stretching. If you don't buy their clothing, maybe the method doesn't work!  :)

More seriously, stretching, like most exercises, can be taken to dangerous limits. Dancers who don't do that mostly don't get professional dance jobs. So they use everything they can, including physiology studies. You can nourish your body and otherwise place it into a state that make stretching safer and/or more effective.

But I'm not the expert to give you the details.

Offline Neverdull44

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 04:45:52 PM »
How about going to some yoga and/or pilates classes?  Stretching + core work.

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 06:05:14 PM »
The "concept" is good but I'm not completely understanding their expertise.  Yes, as dancers who understand movement but physiology?  Not sure.  I suppose you could try it.  Facilitated stretching shouldn't be intense so if it doesn't ease in to increased range of motion I'd back off.

That company sells special clothing for stretching. If you don't buy their clothing, maybe the method doesn't work!  :)

More seriously, stretching, like most exercises, can be taken to dangerous limits. Dancers who don't do that mostly don't get professional dance jobs. So they use everything they can, including physiology studies. You can nourish your body and otherwise place it into a state that make stretching safer and/or more effective.

But I'm not the expert to give you the details.

I'm drawn to it because it seems less "intense" than other exercise classes, and because it looks like I could do it occasionally as my schedule permits, rather than committing to a weekly class.  I know I badly need to improve my flexibility, and I'm a little intimidated by the thought of joining a gym or doing other classes.  Also, having someone do the stretches for me appeals to my laziness.  88)  But I think it feels a little too much like a marketing strategy (trademarking the method, the logo clothes) rather than a technique that has been truly validated through actual research.  (science geek wants data!)  No pricing on the web site that I could find, either.  It's right around the corner from some restaurants I frequent, though, so if I'm in the area I might drop in to check it out.

How about going to some yoga and/or pilates classes?  Stretching + core work.

I've been thinking about those too.  Once my big administrative responsibility is done (T -207 days and counting!) I think I'll have time to sign up for something regularly.  Plenty of options in the area, ranging from big gyms with regular classes to boutique studios.  Leaning towards pilates over yoga, partly because it appeals to my geeky nature more (not into the woo factor you get at some yoga studios).

For now maybe I'll just be happy that with the stretching I've been doing on my own not only can I touch my toes, in a seated hamstring stretch I can actually grab them!  Baby steps.   :)

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 06:09:53 PM »
You really need to stretch consistently to make an impact so if it's something you want to do just once in a while and expect big results, I'm not sure it will work for you and you definitely do not want to stretch a lot one day and then not for many.  That will likely lead to strain and/or injury.  Sorry to tell you there is no lazy way to get good results.   ;)
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Re: Stretching
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 06:29:43 PM »
You really need to stretch consistently to make an impact so if it's something you want to do just once in a while and expect big results, I'm not sure it will work for you and you definitely do not want to stretch a lot one day and then not for many.  That will likely lead to strain and/or injury.  Sorry to tell you there is no lazy way to get good results.   ;)

Too true!  What I've been doing lately is my 7-minute circuit training app to get warmed up, then about 20 minutes of stretching.  Aiming for daily, but realistically it's more like 4-5 days per week.  Still better than nothing.

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2014, 06:37:11 PM »
That's good actually.  A minimum of 3 days/week should move you forward but no less than that.  More is great.  I probably wouldn't do more than 5, definitely not more than 6, depending on how aggressive you are.  Again, it is best to be a consistent rather than aggressive stretcher for injury free, lasting results.
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Re: Stretching
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2014, 08:09:50 PM »
If you do one thing during your wait for a slower time, get the old, original version of P90X.   There is a stretching video/DVD in it.  You can probably just buy individual DVD.s    I think you will like it on an off day.

 There is also a Yoga video in it.  It's an awesome Yoga, but it is 90 minutes long.   You won't feel all "la-la-froo-froo" doing Yoga with Tony.   You can shave off 15 minutes if you skip the balance poses, and another 5 minutes if you skip the "ohms" in the end.  The new P90X has a 30 minute yoga video, but I've not done it.

There is also a "Core Synergistics" which is a total off-ice workout.  For skaters, it's totally doable.   

And, the kick-boxing is a great stretching with fast movement, and the moves are similar to skating!


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Re: Stretching
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2014, 10:22:50 PM »
Thanks, I'll look into that!

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2014, 01:41:58 AM »
I'm tempted by the idea of a stretching class too, but also find it weird that there's not much class info on their site?

I've been really bad about stretching lately :( so I totally understand where you're coming from!

On another note, I really want to try a barre class!
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Re: Stretching
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2014, 03:21:17 AM »
As it has already been said in order to really increase your flexibility you need to do it consistently. There is really no way getting around it.
One or two days a week wont due! You need to stretch regularly, and "push" yourself into more difficult and deeper stretches as you improve.

Personally, I do Pilates two days a week and stretch daily at home as well as when dynamic strecthing before ice and static stretching when  I get off the ice.  If you do not have time to really attend a class regularly, I'd recommend stretching at home. I recently purchased an I-flex to help me with streching my tight/unequally flexbible hamstrings. I got the Junior version because it is must more portable (great for travel) and I am short enough for it not to be too small. I have to say it has helped significantly in a rather short time.


http://www.dancewearcorner.com/p-516-i-flex-dance-stretch-unit.aspx

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 08:13:06 AM »
Here's information on the P90X stretching video.   It's called "Stretch X".  It's a 60 minute stretching video, and it's fairly light and relaxing.  It's a great break for your muscles.  I think it will get you into the habit of stretching, and taking your yoga mat to the rink (cuz the floors are disgusting, not matter how much they clean it).  Even if you only pick some of these stretches to do when you are skating, it will help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pXHnphCHD0  (Review of class)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2Rb9WhpoZY  (Someone doing it, but not too enjoyable because you are watching them do it.


If you want to see the Yoga video, it's here (but not too enjoyable, again someone doing it....instead of the gorgeous Tony Horton & his friends!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn3gW5Nt57U

The other video is Kempo X


At www.beachbody.com, the whole package is $100.00.   On e-bay, you can get it all for $50.00.   Or, it looks like you can just get the Stretch X (individual DVD's) for $9.99 on e-bay.  Again, this is the "old" version.  There have been 2 more versions put out since.  I haven't done those, but I did survive 90 days of P90X.   




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Re: Stretching
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2014, 09:44:49 AM »
Wow, the I-flex looks so cool! I wish I had had that back in my dancing days. Maybe I would not have been the only one on my dance team who was still 3" off the ground in a split. :'(

I'm going to check out the stretch video on eBay. I could use the guidance to keep me honest when I stretch.

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2014, 02:42:10 PM »
I'm tempted by the idea of a stretching class too, but also find it weird that there's not much class info on their site?

I've been really bad about stretching lately :( so I totally understand where you're coming from!

On another note, I really want to try a barre class!

This seems to be structured more like a massage treatment- you schedule one-on-one appointments.  There is a class, but they don't seem to emphasize it very much.  I sort of like the idea of doing it occasionally to "jump start" things a bit (assuming they are right about their technique being better than doing it on your own) and then regular daily stretching to maintain/improve on that.  But I'm not convinced that what they're doing is necessarily any better than any other approach (class, dvd, whatever). 

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2014, 03:01:38 PM »
When I started P90x, I could touch my toes at a seated position with my legs out in front of me.  About a month of doing the class, once a week, (but all the other classes on the other days), I was able to wrap my hands around the bottom of my feet.   But, stretching and flexibility are like skating.  It does take a long time and it does take regular bouts of it.  But,  being flexible is good because it keeps you injury free.   We get stronger & stronger skating, but I think we lose flexibility the stronger our muscles get . . . unless you flex them back out.

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2014, 03:21:41 PM »
I've also occasionally used this DVD:  http://lastics.com/collections/all/products/dvd 

I really like it but it runs an hour so I'm much less likely to find the time to do it.  Maybe once I'm no longer department chair...

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2014, 12:28:20 PM »
I have a maxi flex which is similr I think to the iflex, and I think it would help if I remembered to use it! Lol, since each time I use it I feel like it has made a difference, however small
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Re: Stretching
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2014, 12:31:26 PM »
Is either the maxi- or i- flex the one tha't hangs on the back of the door?  I've been considering those, but am afraid it's going to serve more as door decoration.....

You ladies are fans, though?  You think they're worth having around?

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2014, 03:17:05 PM »
I have a maxi flex that I use after a run/walk and when I get back from the rink. I really like it, and it's helped my spirals.

I've gained a lot of flexibility and core strength doing a yoga video (Rodney Yee). My schedule is nuts and I don't have the room in my schedule for a class, so the video has been great. Also doing Skatestrong for adults.

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2014, 06:45:35 PM »
My maxi flex is a door one. I am pretty inconsistent using it but even on the rare occasions that I do, I can both feel and see a difference. While the visual different is probably slight lol, I can only imagine if I used it consistently!
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Re: Stretching
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2014, 08:47:56 PM »
I am also curious about the maxi and iflex. Was just looking for them on amazon.com  :)
How do they actually work so well? Does pulling your leg in an upward direction like this give a better stretch than when you get into split position on the floor with your weight bearing down? Or maybe the plus is that the standing position gives a better feel since that's how we skate (standing)?

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Stretching
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2014, 01:16:14 AM »
I am also curious about the maxi and iflex. Was just looking for them on amazon.com  :)
How do they actually work so well? Does pulling your leg in an upward direction like this give a better stretch than when you get into split position on the floor with your weight bearing down? Or maybe the plus is that the standing position gives a better feel since that's how we skate (standing)?

I imagine the standing position does help... I really have nothing solid or scientific to say here lol. Maybe someone who has used theirs more can weigh in!

I know it definitely stretches out my lower back, which may be what helps me the most. I can't do the splits, so I can't compare.. And I suppose I could otherwise do more exercises geared towards my lower back, but I haven't

One thing I do see as a potential advantage over the splits is that the maxi flex allows you to hold your leg at a position you aren't able to hold on your own, which could potentially be more than a split?
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Offline PhysicsOnIce

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2014, 03:58:27 PM »
The I-flex Junior hangs over your door, without actually attaching to the wall or door, which makes it super convientent if you travel alot.

I absolutely love itand I have to say it has helped me splits and spirals so much that my coach has started working on my Y/I- spin with me.

The thing with it is that instead of pushing yourself down into a split or oversplit position, you stretch standing up and pull your leg up without you necessarily having to hold the position so can really breath into your stretch much more and therefore get much more. Plus you use your upper body to pull your leg up, essentially you could think of it as someone pushing you down further into your splits.

The way I use my I-flex is that I first go to the position where I am comfortable and am able to hold it by pure strength. Then I hold this position for 30 seconds then pull a bit and hold the next position for a 1 minute ( this time I actually holding both using my muscles and also the pull from my arms, then I pull a bit more and repeat until I get to a point where I am not longer able to hold the position by muscles, but am actually holding the position by pure upper body strength, that's where you real feel the new stretch and get the most out of it. This last position I tend to hold for 2 minutes.

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Re: Stretching
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2014, 06:38:59 PM »
You could copy the I-Flex for a dollars or two, and two minutes of work. Forget the hook - tie loops at both ends of a utility cord, and loop one end over the door knob on the other side of the door. I'd use a doubled figure 8 knot, because they are easy to tie, untie, and adjust, or maybe a doubled overhand knot at the doorknob one end to use less rope, but you could get fancier with a more adjustable knot.

I'd seriously considered making and marketing a portable barre like this, but using a simple line is much more elegant and packable, and too simple to market.

Incidentally, Yoga stretch classes and Dance stretch classes are pretty much the same thing, and the instructors are often the same people. Both may be trained and tested in relevant anatomy and physiology.