How Important is Stretching for Dancers?

2 December 2021 in FAQ

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Dancers love to stretch. It makes them feel good, warm, loose. But it can also have negative effects, particularly in those who are hypermobile. So how much stretching is good and when does it potentially become harmful?

In order to minimise injury, bodies need a balance between strength and flexibility. Dancers seek to achieve amazing aesthetics by being beautifully flexible, but at what cost? I tell my dancers that hypermobility is both a gift and curse. If you have it, you have a gift, but it needs an equal measure of strength and control otherwise you are at a much higher risk of injury.

Dancers who are both strong and flexible are likely to remain dancing, whilst those who lack either one, will more likely suffer a short-lived career.

Stretching is of course, a very important part of a dancer’s daily routine, but if you have the gift of flexibility, then consider adding a strengthening program outside the studio. Weight training is ideal, but a well structured Pilates program with body weight resistance can also be very helpful and perhaps more enjoyable.

And if you are strong, but lacking in flexibility, then seek professional assistance to improve your range. APS dance physiotherapists can help you achieve your goals and show you how to get the most from a tailored stretching program.