the next generation of Dance as Art

Dance Teacher Magazine published an article on stretching in January 2010 that I had been interviewed for.

You can read the article here

I'd like to clarify one statement attributed to me in the article. "Start by emphasizing that while a strong pull during stretching is beneficial, pain is not." I stand by the statement that pain is not beneficial, but did not state that a strong pull during stretching is beneficial. I explained, as did Deborah Vogel, that an understanding of anatomy is important for effective stretching, you need to know where a muscle begins and ends to know how to stretch it. I then went on to say that the stretch should be felt in the belly of the muscle, not near the attachment points so that the tendon and ligament structures were not being adversely affected.

Another concept to explore is that a lack of mobility can be a sign of weakness or a mis-firing of the neuromuscular system in the opposing muscles. Your body is designed to protect an injured or weakened area by limiting the range of movement that the joint in question can create. This is your body's way of helping to prevent further injury. In order to create movement, the muscles on one side of the joint need to shorten in order to pull the bones in question together. At the same time, the muscles on the opposite side of the joint need to release and lengthen to allow the movement to occur. Compensation by other muscles, misalignment of the body, imbalance of strength and timing problems in nervous system firing will all create a restriction of movement.

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