New Findings on Stretching for Dancers

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 12, 2014

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Good news for those who don’t enjoy “pushing a stretch.” Many people think that stretching at an intensity of “8” on a scale of 1–10 is an effective way to enhance flexibility. New research shows otherwise. For increasing active and passive ranges of motion, it seems that conventional stretching is no more effective than either strengthening agonist muscles or decreasing resistance of antagonist muscles through low- intensity stretching.

In a randomized, controlled trial, researchers compared a group of dancers who practiced typical level-8 stretching with a strengthening-protocol group and with a low-intensity level-3 stretching group. Stretches lasted about 1 minute each for both stretching groups. Data analysis showed that all three methods achieved similar improvements. The study appeared in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2013; 27 [11], 3053–59).

Fitness Journal, Volume 11, Issue 4

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at