Saturday, May 24, 2008

Increase Your Flexibilty

Yoga can be a good way to increase your flexibility. If you want to increase flexibility, it will take time and patience. When you stretch, don’t bounce, get in your stretch and hold it for 10 to 15 seconds. Stretch when you wake up, bend down as far as possible touch your toes. If you feel tightness in your hamstrings, it's fine just don't over do it. Daily, work your way as far down as you can. Touch your toes with straight legs daily until you can get your palms flat on the floor, keep doing it otherwise the muscles will tighten again. A good stretch will hurt a little while it is happening! You will definitely increase your flexibility. It may take a while.

If you want to increase flexibility, it will take time and patience. The first thing to do is to look at yoga poses and adapt them to your routine. Start with stretching 5-10 minutes a day and build up to thirty minutes at least. Some really good stretches for the leg lift involve ballet stretches

Try these exercises, increasing them over a gradual amount of time- and keep up with it, if you don’t use it, you loose it.

Spread your legs a little less then shoulder width apart, keep your back as straight as possible, arms straight out above your head, then bring them to meet your toes, trying to not bend anything. if you cant reach, no worries. go as far as you can. but always push yourself a little. hold it there for 30 seconds, repeat. gradually up the amount of time you spend holding your toes until it doesn’t hurt at all and you could stand like that all day

Stand with a slight distance away from a wall. Look straight ahead, so your side is parallel to the wall. stick your leg closest to the wall straight out as much as possible so its resting against the wall, then try to lift it as high as possible, hold it there till you start feeling vibrations, build it up until your foot ends up above your head.

Sit down, legs straight out. Keep your back up straight, arms out, bring them to touch your toes again.

Sit with your rear-end firmly on the ground, spread legs as far apart as possible, then touch each toe separately as above.

For splits, stretch your legs before the splits and they will go farther. Hold each split for thirty seconds, and push yourself until you feel a slight strain. Once you have your splits, work on holding it longer until it becomes comfortable as you adjust to a more difficult pose. Once you have mastered the pose, try leaning forward a bit, or bending your back knee and pulling your foot up. This should increase your flexibility, and better your spirals.

Tuck in your pelvis, and keep your hips square.
Use your abdominal muscles and find a point of concentration.

If you want to become more flexible simply stretch as a daily exercise and over a period of time you’ll recognize that you can stretch to a further distance. When your more flexible you'll be able to avoid injuries . Being flexible increases you agility as to not being stiff. When you are flexible you can maintain good posture as well which can improve on your presence on the ice. Just stretch a lot and try different exercises to help:

There are several ways to improve your flexibility:

The ballet perspective to stretching:

When on releve, press the floor away from you and go all the way up on the ball of your foot. The weight should be on the first three toes. Turn out from your hips. Keep your shoulders down.

-Practice standing on releve
-Stand flat (non-releve) with one leg in passe (reverse legs)
-Stand in releve with one leg in passe (reverse legs)
-Stand flat (non-releve) with one leg in second (reverse legs)
-Stand in releve with one leg in second (reverse legs)
-Practice bringing one foot up from coupe to passe flat (non-releve) (reverse legs)
-Practice bringing one foot up from coupe to passe in releve (reverse legs)
-Do a plie, forced arch, releve combination, reverse

There are several types of stretches that you can practice, and it is important to know the types of stretches to perform:

Lie on the floor with you feet facing forward, flat on the ground, hip level apart, hands flat on the ground by your ears. Push up so your in a bridge position, hold for 10 counts.
Repeat with one arm on your stomach (right and left)
and with one leg up pointed towards the ceiling (right and left)
-Kneel down, hip length apart. Don't sit on your legs, keep your body up. Arms straight up over your head, shoulder length apart. Go back and try and touch your hands as close to the ground as possible.

Sit with your legs turned out, toes pointed. Reach right for 10 counts, then center for 10 counts, then left for 10 counts. Then repeat.
-Practice the splits daily, right, left, straddle. You can use a mat or a pillow to propped one leg to give you an extra deep stretch.

Flexibility helps better prepared the muscles as you practice you elements on the ice; and helps prevent injuries. That is why it is important to stretch before and after any workout. The goal is to stretch slow and long, not short and fast. Don’t bounce when you stretch. Stretching on a regular will improve flexibility. Increasing your flexibility will help you jump better, and higher.

There are different types of stretches that you can practice, and it is important to know the types of stretches in order to choose the right type of stretch to perform.
Passive – usually performed when an outside force (rubber-like, or another force) applies stretch to a relaxed joint. The stretch must be performed slowly in order to prevent injuries.

Static – can be performed alone and refers to when a muscle is slowly lengthened to maximum, held for 15-30 seconds and repeated three to five times. Slowly and gradually maximize the stretch as the tension in the muscle begins to relax.
Recommended type of stretching. According to the literature, permanent lengthening is achieved when static stretching is performed gradually, at lower force and for longer duration while the core body temperature is elevated.

Ballistic – bouncing a stretch. This is more likely to initiate the stretch reflex, which is a nerve response that tells the muscle to contract if it is stretched beyond its limit. This is the point where injuries may occur. You must be careful as to not go beyond your maximum limitations and aggravate the muscle.

Warm up before any type of workout.

Dynamic or Functional – the ability to use a range of joint movement for a particular movement within sport or physical activity. These movements are performed either slowly or rapidly. Dynamic or Functional stretching is considered a type of ballistic stretch and caution should be used when performing this type of stretch. A warm-up is recommended before stretching and then progress to static stretching before attempting any dynamic type of stretching.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Techniques-( contract/relax and contract/relax). For this type of stretching, it is important to know which muscle is being targeted. Put the targeted muscle on tension, then contract the targeted muscle during the stretch while relaxing the opposing muscle. The contraction does not have to be maximum, do what you can. Respect your limitations. Hold the contraction for a few seconds, move to the new point, and hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat the process. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching develops strength. Consult your coach in order to able to safely accomplish this type of stretching.

Breathing is important when flexing, breathe from your diaphragm, not your chest. Find a point of focus when doing any exercises, it will improve concentration. Practice will improve your flexibility, do at least half an hours every day, and after several repetitions you should already be doing much better- providing you change your routine as to not become stagnant with the same pattern.

If you want to increase flexibility, it will take time and patience. The first thing to do is look at yoga poses and adapt them. Start with stretching 5-10 minutes a day and build up to thirty minutes at least. Some really good stretches for the leg lift involve ballet stretches. Stretch daily, and go deep into your stretches, really work them. Everyday try to get lower and lower. Stretch responsibly. Respect your limitations. While it is okay to experience moderate discomfort when stretching, it should not be unbearable however.

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