Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hip Stretching Exercises - Flexibility!

Hip stretching exercises are important for flexibility and strength.

The reason these muscles, which connect the thighs to the pelvis and spine, need to be exercised and conditioned with lengthening is that your general posture is balanced and stabilized by them.

The Hip Flexors can shorten and lose elasticity if you sit on a chair for several hours a day, or spend many hours driving.

The Gluteus and Piriformis muscles (your butt muscles) can retain chronic tension if not worked out and stretched.

Tight hip muscles lead to loss of balance, tense low back and low back pain, and sore hips that further decrease your desire to stay moving.

The Essentrics Flexibility Workout For Athletes conditions the whole body. This is important because --everything is connected to everything else.The workout emphasizes the lower body yet includes upper exercises.

If you are a beginner I recommend Classical Stretch workouts. The one pictured below shows Miranda Esmonde White stretching the Hip Flexor muscle. 

hip stretching exercises flexibility

This deep lunge type of stretch can be done after walking, jogging, or any routine workout. Always be well warmed up before you do stretches! You can do stretches halfway through a walk or run, which for some makes the exercise more comfortable.

Here is a detailed description of an exercise that stretches hip flexors.
Scroll down to the last quarter of the blog post - you'll see it!

More Classical Stretch workouts are reviewed at Muscle Stretching Exercises.

I hope these recommendations help with your hip stretching exercises/flexibility!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Facts About Saturated Fats - My First Kindle Book!

Facts About Saturated Fats 

facts about saturated fats on Kindle amazon
This Kindle book is 4-F-r-e-e until midnight August 26! it is a short guide for ballet dancers --and anyone, so you all can make sure you're eating the right healthy fats!

I hope you'll let me know what you think of it (you can do so at amazon). It will be updated and improved over time.

It is important to know how to buy high quality fats and oils that will give you energy and not make you fat like junk foods do. It's vital to get the good stuff and avoid the chemicals that are in many commercial brands.

So get the free download! (It will be $2.99 after the promo period is over.)

Facts About Saturated Fats.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Over 40 Over 50 Easy Weight Loss

On June 13 I wrote “I Didn't Mean ToLose 4 Pounds!

That is just over six weeks ago and I have now lost 10 pounds! 

I got into fat burning mode!

I stopped eating carbs - breads, crackers, grains, pastas, desserts - years ago.

But I didn't lose weight!

And in the past year, I began to gain. This is horrible on the morale of a retired dancer. I increased my exercise and bought a pedometer to ensure I walked enough every day. 

If you have a desk job, this is something worth keeping track of.

The fact that I write after my normal job hours doesn't help. I can exercise while reading or watching a movie - but not while typing.

What I have kept up for 6 weeks is intermittent fasting which I learned about in a book called “Effortless Healing” Dr. Joseph mercola by Dr. Joseph Mercola.

This is simply confining one's meals in an 8 hour a day time span. And it's flexible. What a person needs to do is fast for 14-16 hours. This kicks the body into fat burning mode.

I stayed thin for twenty years after I stopped dancing. But then the inevitable changes occurred and I slowly gave up snacks, desserts - and finally all “white foods”, the carb laden foods.

I felt hopeless and helpless, increasing clothing sizes while I exercised and dieted. Ugh!

If this sounds like you, if you're over 40 or over 50 and need an easy weight loss method, get yourself a copy of “Effortless Healing” and see what you think.

Effortless Healing Dr. Joseph Mercola

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Charlotte Web CBD Oil Sale - Antiinflammatory

Buy Charlotte Web CBD Oil

Why am I writing about Charlotte Web Oil Sale?


  • it is a hemp oil product with no THC (the stuff that gets you high)
  • it is legal - no prescription needed
  • it is anti-inflammatory
  • reports say it helps you get better sleep
  • it is a powerful anti-oxidant

I can't help but think that a lot of dancers - especially retired dancers with osteoarthritis, joint pains, muscle pains, post-surgery pains - might like this oil which you can get on Amazon!

Particularly if you want or need to avoid drugs - this looks like a good product.

There is a whole interesting story about Charlotte Web oil - it is about a little girl - just look!

Charlotte Web oil for epilepsy is what is discussed there.

I think that's fantastic! But - for dancers - how might it help?

Oh my gosh - stressing -  sleeping - muscle pain - inflammation - competition anxiety - need I say more?

I am an explorer - I haven't bought any yet. But hey I'm about to!

I do know a lot about healthy oils. Not like a biochemist, but I read the best biochemists!

So that's what I'm thinking about right now. And a Charlotte Wed CBD Oil sale is right there on Amazon.

I am definitely going to follow the response to this product!

 Charlotte Web CBD Oil


Friday, July 17, 2015

Pointe Magazine - Soy For A Snack And Estrogen Dominance

I really enjoyed my latest copy of Pointe magazine - except for the recommendation for soy as a healthy snack.

Typically, soy may be a healthy food if it is fermented and organic.

All soy crops in the US that are not grown without pesticides are GMO - in other words, soaked with, and genetically spliced with pesticide.

Pesticides in and of themselves are estrogen mimickers. Combine that with unfermented soy foods and you have a double whammy of estrogen.

Estrogen - out of balance with other hormones - can cause:

  • weight gain
  • cancers
  • heavy periods and pain
  • uterine fibroids
  • endometriosis
  • thryoid deficiencies (leading to weight gain)

It really is not a fun scenario.

Fermented organic soy products are healthy.

For instance San-J Tamari - soy sauce without wheat - has a good vitamin B12 content. It is very flavorful, more than soy sauce.   It is also Gluten free, organic and comes in a reduced sodium version too.

Miso paste - organic and in the Red version - is also good for vitamin B12.

Here is a page full of information about estrogen dominance, if you want more. I am not familiar with the supplements is shows, but the info is excellent.

Here is a short video about estrogen rich foods and how harmful they can be.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Nina Dobrev and Conan O'Brien Do The Splits

I got the Lisa Howell newsletter today about the "over" splits leading to possible injuries. I am so glad she's written about this.

Honestly, for years I've viewed the 'beyond' split position and I don't find it that aesthetic.

In Classical Ballet the straight 180 degree splits line in a grand jete or penche is a beautiful line.

Just my opinion, but in Swan Lake or Giselle, and many other classics, the 180 isn't needed - but can look fantastic.

Anything beyond that starts to look like a circus.

Having sat in on many auditions in a professional ballet school, I've seen the heart break on the face of very expressive young dancers who don't make the grade when the assistants get up and stretch them for the onlooking panel.

But I get it - if they can't do a split or a deep back bend - why lead a hopeful on?

On the other hand, if you have a child who is  almost like a contortionist - how easy will it be for them to conquer classical ballet technique? Without injury?

I've worked with chiropractors for many years, including a couple of kinesiologists.

Many patients have come in with injuries due to lax ligaments.  They are just born that way. And they have supplements recommended for them - specifically to tighten up lax ligaments.

In dance, "tighten up" is a bad phrase. But let's keep things in perspective.

If you can do the splits, I say - hooray. Now you can concentrate on other technical weaknesses you may have (everybody has some) and become better than good.

When I see the you tube videos of young dancers demonstrating their "waaaaay" over-split, legs bowing up onto chairs while their pelvis sits on the floor, I feel slightly nauseated.

Am I old-fashioned? I know I was deemed fairly picky as a ballet teacher - and I can't get used to this circus-like flexibility that is spun as a wanted quality for dance.

I understand that a high degree of flexibility is needed to train.

But the dancer who succeeds - is the dancer you can't help watching. And it's not about the splits.

Beyond splits - is more for the circus.

And for the dancer who can do that, it'a about a lot of extra exercises so she/he doesn't get injured.

I am glad Lisa Howell asks the questions: why; and how to prevent injury.

O.K., this was a bit of a rant so I'll lighten up with this funny video of Nina Dobrev and Conan O'Brien doing the splits.
Only relevant for a few seconds between :24 - 28.

But the 180 is enough, I know right?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Could Pointe Shoes Have Sensors Like Soccer Players Do?

I was just reading an article about how soccer players can wear headbands with high tech!

These head bands relay, in real time, the impact of hits the players receive, on their heads during a game.

There is a point at which a player could be pulled from the game if a hit impact is hard enough to give them a concussion.

I wondered - could a sensor be made for ballet dancers in pointe shoes? It could measure how they come up and down off point.

It could also measure how they take off and land from jumps - which means men in ballet could use them too.

These toe shoes sensors could keep track of:

  • are the dancers' weight distributed evenly over the “tripod” of big toes, little toes and heels
  • do they pronate (roll inwards at the ankle joint(s)) when they push off
  • do they lift their heels before they push off
  • do they push from their plie then fail to push with their forefoot or feet
  • do they land controlling their sole of foot muscles or let their heels impact the floor

These are important moments in pointe work or allegro.

For example, if the ankle(s) roll in on take off or landing, it's setting the dancer up for both sprained ankles or a knee injury.

If there is no strength in the forefeet, an Achilles Tendon injury can be easily forecast.

If the heel pops on take off and the forefeet do all the work, an Achilles Tendon injury may be imminent.Not to mention foot sprains.

Well, just my thoughts today...Quick and fluid ballet footwork is lovely to watch, but tense plies (heels up) and usually more so in pointe shoes, are the obvious weaknesses. 

There are many nit-picky issues that a good teacher will nag you about. 

I wonder if you know all the ballet tips in this book! Get the best technique you can!
 The Pointe Book for ballet dancers