Monday, July 4, 2016

Stretching and other Gadgets. . . Do they really work?


Stretch, Flex and Turn-Gadgets: A quick guide in choosing the right gear for you.

Question of the day. . . Can you really improve your dance technique, flexibility and strength with a gadget?  Simply said, yes and here's why.

Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles which increases muscle flexibility and joint range of motion.  Using gadgets that are specifically designed to increase your flexibility and range of motion allows for the possibilities of greater range of motion, improved movements, the ability to work and use multiple muscles at one time and of course increase flexibility.  As with anything, use with caution and in addition to your normal stretching routines.  Natural stretching and exercises are the key to your success.

Flexistetcher vs. Stretch bands.  So, now you probably want to know what the difference is between the Flexistretcher and a stretch band. 

The Flexistretcher gives you the ability to adjust the tension as needed.  It has a super amazing padded area so when it sits on your shoulder it is extremely comfortable.  No more "looping," or tying to place your foot in the loop because there is a adjustable "loop" foot rest.  The Flexistretcher is stronger then any stretch band that is on the market.  No more snapping or having a band retract and snap on you, ouch!  Flexistretch comes with a 7 stretch pictorial and written guide in the package.  
A stretch band is a one size fits all elastic band. Not all bands are created equal! There are different resistant strengths. Therefore, you will have to purchase multiple bands as you grow stronger and more flexible. 
Both offer the same type and style of stretches to maximize your ability to be more flexible. Video tutorials are available on Youtube as well as on the website. Which one is best for you? it's all about personal preference and $$$.  The Flexistrecher is about $65.00.  A stretch band is about $20.00.

Foot Stretchers-

Ballet Foot Stretch
Arch  Genie
Okay, so there are several different brands of foot stretchers out there. They are all accomplishing the same thing which is to strengthen the foot and muscles and improve the arch.  The goal is to increase the height and shape of the arch allowing for consistent proper foot positioning and technique. Prices range from about $50-200. 
Is one better then the other?      Personal
Arch Flexor
preference is certainly a factor.  As with any product, there is not a one size fits all. 

Comfort, ability to provide quality of stretch, fabrics and foundation are important components in reaching your goal without injuring yourself during the process. Also time and proper foot placement are key factors to reaching the desired arch of the feet. 
The Arch Flexor design is completely unique and utilizes elements from the top name brand foot stretchers and combines them into one sleek design.  Using the finest wood base, that will not warp like some of the flat base foot stretchers, a carefully crafted arch which allows for a more natural stretch.  Using NuFoam, a fiber based foam product that will not break down, unlike a dense foam, gives superior support and comfort.  The adjustable LegLock system holds your leg in place providing a proper and true stretch. Using the highest quality, strongest and widest resistant bands available and two levels, intermediate and advanced, makes this a product to be reckoned with.  Custom color options are available.

Do they work?  Yes they do!
These tools are specifically designed to improve your spinning technique, balance and agility.  They help you build core strength, proper position and increase your ability to find your center and improve your spotting.
To turn on releve', simply turn the sideways.


Bella Virage
The newest craze is a portable, Marly covered Turning board. You should know that the term "Marly" is a brand name of flooring used for dance floors, it is not a type of flooring. There are other brands available which are similar in quality. These boards make it easy to practice your turns and or tap.  The board can be placed on any surface.  I have started to see many appearing at dance competitions.  These boards are portable in the sense that they can be moved around and easily stored. They are heavy and range in price.  My favorite, due the the quality, price and that it comes with a beautiful carrying case, is the Bella Virage.  

Overstretch bars- 
Overstretch bars
Designed  to assist one with stretching your legs properly, safely and securely to achieve over splits.  They are completely portable, lightweight and have adjustable heights. Made with furniture grade pvc for stability and durability and a high density industrial strength commercial
foam providing maximum comfort and longevity.

Check out some helpful videos of the Turnboard, Spinner and the Flexistretcher on Youtube and at Level UP Dance Supplies

World Class products and customer service!