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 Post subject: warmup
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 287
Location: Australia
Just out of curiosity, how do you think student's should warm up for class? I personally like to work from the head down and try to incorporate centre warmup, floor warmup and barre warmup exercises for at least 10-15 minutes at the beginning of each and every class. (remembering to hydrate at the end of the warmup and before the commencement of barre work). Any thoughts, comments, observations greatly appreciated. PS. I also like to work on core stability, turnout and foot strength/flexibility during the warmup period! Does anyone else have a set format that they would like to share? :cool: Also what sort of things should be considered when planning a warmup? Weather? Warmed up from a previous class etc... :cool:

<small>[ 01 October 2003, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: spangles ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Hi Spangles. I personally prefer to work the other way round from feet upwards as I believe that to be more effective in having the various joints lubricated and warm before working on the next area.

As far as what to include it really depends on what you are wanting to achieve later in the class. Working on turn-out and core stability is always good though.

Whatever, the structure should work up to more high energy moves and stretching should definitely not be done until you have warmed the body up first.

<small>[ 05 October 2003, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 9
Location: North Carolina, VA
I like feet-upwards, too. The first thing I do when I get into class is work the balls of my feet and my ankles. Then go into the routine barre sequence, which continues in that upward direction.


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 205
Location: New York
I always start by sitting up as straight as I can and doing some flexing and pointing of the feet, then some little ankle rolls. I like to do some abdominal crunching to get my temperature up, then some gentle stretches for the front of my hips. I have trouble finding my placement at the barre if I don't stretch my hips out a bit before class.


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
We are not encouraged to do much before class. There are a number of exercises I WOULD do, except that they aren't really appropriate for my body until somewhere in the middle of class. I do some of them before barre & center.

But here's what I often do before class:
1. Bike 10 minutes. It doesn't really help; actually, walking high on my legs is a better warmup. But it's not nearly effective at getting me from my home to class on time.
2. Work on my visual focus. Relaxation and stillness are important.
3. Stand in second position --- high on legs, lengthening spine, good visual focus in front, legs turned out.
4. I also work my ankles in a circle with my hands, to make sure all the muscles are relaxed and (a little bit) lenghtened.

<small>[ 06 October 2003, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: citibob ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Back in the days when I had something to warm up for, there was one warm-up I could not do without: lying for awhile on my back in the "butterfly" position (knees pulled up to achieve a sort of grand plie in 1st position). A lot of people who've posted in CriticalDance have said that you shouldn't do any stretching before class, and that the barre exercises themselves should provide all the stretch you need at first. But unless I did the butterfly on my own, I found grand plies to be very uncomfortable, probably because I wasn't overendowed with natural turnout.

To a lesser degree, I needed to stretch my hamstrings a bit, or that first port de corps was also uncomfortable. In fact, the only parts of my body that didn't need a bit of stretching before class were the only ones that were naturally flexible -- my back and my calf muscles.

I did these stretches before any type of class I took (even bellydance classes, in which you'd never get into a grand plie position -- heaven forbid!), plus some class-specific warm-ups. For example, before ballet classes, if I was expected to wear pointe shoes, I had to do a lot of foot circles and tendus and some releves; before a gymnastics class, I did a lot of wrist and shoulder warm-ups.


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 205
Location: New York
djb--I'm with you. If I don't do something for my hips before class, I'll be dancing in parallel for about twenty minutes :) Or to get a job where I don't sit all day...


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
I once heard my AD say "a movement is only worthwhile in the ballet class if it involves a stretch. Result? Every every single movement in the class involves a stretch.


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 314
I am one who is very tight in my hips and quads and claves. If I don't warm up before class,then class isn't very good. Because I am a flexable person,but if I don't warm up before i start barre,I'm very tight. I think those who try and discourage it are wrong,because each individual is diffrent. I know many people who can just walk into class and start and then people like me.


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 3
Location: San Antonio
Well, I don't know who you are, because I wasn't looking at your name when it came up, but I totaly agree with you. I think that even concludong from these other posts, asin where each person has said something relatively different from the other, that you cannot derive one stretch to suit everybody. As for me, I am young, and we still get to stretch in class; although, I am very far ahead since I started when i was really young--but now we are getting off subject, to go with the flow I will go ahead and tell you what I do when I stretch:
When I stretch (I am pretty flexible) so what I do is i sit in my jazz splits and well hmm how can i desdcribe this...I stretch those first, and then proceed to somewhat rotate my hips in that position, i work on my back which is always tense, by doing flatbacks, in class we do about a hundred crunches and at least 50 pushups, so thats taken care of, I also do about 10 minuites of bar stretches...sit on the floor and straddle and from there rotate my ankles and such, but i believe that yeah...it's really hard to tell especialy without you tellling us what you are looking to work exactly! :)

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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 12:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
No-one is saying that stretching is wrong but if you stretch before you have warmed up the muscles you are asking for trouble. Think of your muscles like elastic bands. If you put an elastic band in the fridge and then brought it out and tried to stretch it, it would invariably snap. An elastic band that is warm will stretch and go back to it's original length.

So before you stretch you need to do some exercises to warm up, i.e get the blood flowing round to the muscles first. Things like marching, knee lifts, wiggling or rotating the hips, shoulder raises, moving the head gently from side to side to mobilise the neck will all help get the blood circulating round the muscles and synovial fluid, the stuff that lubricates the joints, working. Then you can commence some gentle stretching. It is fine for experienced students to do a pre class warm-up on their own as long as they understand that there is a correct structure and that technically they know how to place themsleves in the correct positions. As a moderator at criticaldance though I am always aware that we have many beginners reading our posts and they should always seek supervision of a teacher for a warm-up to check that they are reproducing the exercises correctly before going off on their own.

We don't want anyone to injure themselves. :)

<small>[ 08 October 2003, 02:53 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 7:45 pm 
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Posts: 314
Oh yes,I tottaly agree that one should warm up before stretching.Otherwise,snap go the muscles and no one wants that!! :eek:


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 9:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 11
Location: london
i have a little ritual that i go through and i try to move heaven and earth to get ot do it before class. (if the tubes are playing up or theres traffic, i panic because i just know that im not going to perform my best today.
First i swing my legs, like relaxed, floppy battement cloches. Then i do them to the side, with my leg coming across my body, and into an attitude at the side.
Then, i stretch the hamstings gently, beacuse i will never forget the pain that i saw one of my friends in beacuse of an overstretched hamstring.
I also stretch my sides out, and my neck. I do some tondus and releves to get the feet going.
Does anyone else have rituals they do before class, or do you just see what needs preparing at the time?

rosefire


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 Post subject: Re: warmup
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 661
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
I always recommend warming up and stretching out prior to class, as a healthy means to prepare. For many students, about 10 minutes or so of a routine should be fine. As for myself, I like about 45 minutes to do this; it really takes me that long to get myself ready for ballet class. This is ideal - I can do it in less time, but prefer the longer prep. time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 287
Location: Australia
Thankyou to each and everyone one of you for your wonderful input. very much appreciated. Citibob - I loved your post in regards to warmup where you mentioned working on visual focus. Relaxation and stillness are important. A very good point I thought. I also loved the post in regards to "a movement is only worthwhile in the ballet class if it involves a stretch" So tru as just about every single movement in class involves a stretch. I must remember that one to instil into my own teachings.
Joanne, I totally agree with your post in regards to beginners - that they must ALWAYS seek supervision of a teacher for a warm-up and check that they are reproducing the exercises CORRECTLY. ABSOLUTELY VITAL.
Anyway, in conclusion to WHY WE WARM UP. I thought I would post my personal 6 concluding pointes (please feel free to ad in any you feel that I have missed):

1. Increases flow of blood from the heart to the muscles.
2. Increases internal body temperature.
3. Injury prevention/Safe Dance Practice. (Per Joanne)
4. Improved flexibility of tissues
5. Enhanced messages from brain to muscles.
6. Improves focus of mind and body (Per Citibob)

I look forward to receiving any thoughts, comments and/or observations.
have a great day in the meantime.
Warm regards.


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