This has recently become a topic of debate at our workshop’s. It’s like trying to figure out what the weather will be like tomorrow, people’s answer’s keep changing.
So today, I am going to tell you what is right…
Some people see static stretching as part of their warm-up routine, other people such as myself think that static stretching should be left until the end of the workout or until the end of your dance practice routine.
There was a time when static stretching was performed before your main activity. We were under the illusion that static stretching prepared us for our dance practice session we were about to take part in. But, times have changed, we have moved on and we as health professionals have changed our training methods. We now believe that static stretching should only be performed at the end of your dance practice session or workout.
As explained in my new book ‘Upping Your Step’ a warm-up does exactly what its suppose to do, it increases your body temperature, increases your heart rate and activates the synovial fluid in your joints. Warm-ups include a cardiovascular routine starting off at a low intensity and a dance specific routine, but before your cardiovascular warm-up routine and dance specific warm-up routine, you may want to consider performing some dynamic stretches and foam rolling techniques which are best done before performing any exercise routine.
You should leave static stretching until after your workout or dance practice. Performing static stretches when the body is cold can be uncomfortable and can increase the chances of injury and can reduce stability in the joints. Even though you may feel that your body is warm and you have broken a sweat, this does not mean that there is enough elasticity in your muscles to perform static stretching.
Static stretching should be performed as part of your cool down routine, at the end of your workout, to reduce the impact of your workout and to decrease your heart rate back down to a normal rate. There are a lot of health professionals out there who do not recommend stretching at all, but, I have seen the benefit for dancers and recommend that they stretch after their workout or dance practice routine. But only AFTER. Each stretch should not be held for anymore than 30 seconds and you should not perform a stretch routine anymore than 4 days per week.
As I said all health professionals have different opinion’s…. this is mine. Listen to what your body is telling you to do.
If your body feels uncomfortable or sore when performing a static stretch, then you don’t perform a static stretch, simple!