Dancers are known for their extreme flexibility and they often prioritize flexibility over strength. Forcing flexibility in the adolescent or hypermobile dancer can have detrimental effects to developing structures. When we move beyond normal range of motion, the joint becomes less stable and the surrounding structures become compromised. It is essential to establish dynamic lumbo-pelvic stability and hip control at a young age to support flexibility gains and ensure proportional improvements in strength.
Risks of over-stretching in splits (Howell, L):
Signs that you may be stretching incorrectly:
It is important to establish appropriate goals and determine what structures could be responsible for decreased flexibility in splits or developpe. Poor range in splitsmay actually be due to a lack of neural or fascial mobility versus muscle extensibility. If this is the case, gentle dynamic stretching will be more effective thanprolonged static holds. In terms of developpe, limited height is often a result of poor lumbo-pelvic strength/stability and hip control required to hold full range against gravity. Thus a stability program should be implemented. It is important to seek out a qualified healthcare professional to help with safe mobility gains and establish a program to achieve optimal mobility and stability.
Howell, L. (n.d.). Is Over Stretching Bad? Retrieved from https://www.theballetblog.com/portfolio/is-over-stretching-bad/
Mitchell, R. J., Gerrie, B. J., McCulloch, P. C., Murphy, A. J., Varner, K. E., Lintner, D. M., & Harris, J. D. (2016). Radiographic evidence of hip microinstability in elite ballet. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery, 32(6), 1038-1044.