Monday, June 4, 2007

Stretching Exercises - Muscle Tension Tips

One thing that I have now - and love - is my physio ball, also known as a gym ball or exercise ball. Below are some tips on doing stretching exercises on the ball. (You can click right now to get it).

I use the ball as my computer chair. I use no other.

Bouncing gently, or just fidgeting on the ball while I'm thinking or waiting for pages to load, is healthy, and it is relaxing. Sore muscles get a little movement. Sitting on a chair, sore muscles get positioned poorly and become more spasmed and hurt.

Also, the ball gives even when you breathe. There is literally no impact, no pressure moving up the spine when you sit on the ball.

Sitting in second position, fourth position, and lunge positions, you just roll in different directions and get stretched, while you are reading or writing.

Since we dancers tend to mindlessly stretch something, taking advantage of every move we make, the ball is a great addition to our collection of things that aid our recovery after classes. If you get one, experiment with it and you'll see what I mean.

If your legs just are relentlessly aching, lie on the floor and put your calves up on the ball. You can roll slowly from side to side, stretching the sides of the hips and lower back, or roll all the way to the side, draping the top leg over the ball so you don't overdo the stretch.

Hanging over the ball like a rag doll, knees on the floor, and rolling up and down is a wonderful low back stretch. It opens up the lower, mid and upper back, relaxing the shoulders as well. Just let the head hang. Aahhh.....and you can reverse the position, bending back over the ball, and roll around a little.

I use an exercise mat so my feet don't lose grip. Also you can position the ball against something behind you so you won't lose control and get dumped overboard.

So it's a great tool for stretching exercises and relaxation techniques. The bouncing is excellent for your lymph system.

Effective Stretching The Utimate Guide's, muscle tension tips, has been put on a DVD by a dance expert. It gives a top to toe routine for getting the most out of your stretching exercises.

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