Whether you’re a dancer, skater, gymnast, cheerleader or martial artist, how do you know if your instructor or coach is helping or hurting your performance?
When one trains regularly at a studio for these types of athletic programs, many look for good coaching. Elements of a good instructor or coach include demonstrating a true passion for the sport and dedication to their students. This typically means that they have excelled to top levels and can teach the skills needed for top-level performances. Good instructors make lesson plans and follow progressions of movement and are careful not to push their students beyond their limitations to keep them safe. They care for their students, and they do their best to make sure students improve.
In sports like gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, martial arts, and other sports that require extreme flexibility, strength and flexibility training is needed. Being able to identify hyper-mobility that can cause injury and knowing how to progress and how much training is needed for flexibility is key. Extreme ranges of motion can be difficult to obtain. To be in these sports requires hours of practice and dedication to training the structure of the body, not just the movements.
As dancers progress, the elements of dance become larger utilizing a greater range of motion. No longer is just a high leg lift needed but a full range of splits is required for leaps, arabesques, etc. There are many ways to gain maximal flexibility. However, understanding the safest ways to achieve this is critical to a dancer’s safety and longevity. It’s not just sitting in splits or forcing the body downward or pulling on a leg towards the chest and holding it there. Maximal flexibility requires strength and control.
Is your coach keeping you safe in your training?
It may seem like a silly question, of course they are! Across the country there are only a few certifications that focus on teaching safe and effective ways to obtain maximal flexibility, and you might be surprised that your coaches' training for teaching these sports is only based on past experiences in competing or performing. It is common practice that instructors are not certified and follow their instincts and past experiences instead of focusing on science tailored methods.
FLX Stretch Training is dedicated to providing the proper educational courses for these specific coaches. The FLX Foundations of Flexibility and Maximal Flexibility Course for Dancers are for all coaches or athletes who want to learn how to achieve optimal performance for their students or themselves.
The Maximal Flexibility Certification can help one obtain the understanding for achieving maximal flexibility safely and effectively. With advanced flexibility there is a greater risk for injury and not having the strength to control these large ranges of motion (also known as hyper mobility) can cause injuries.
What makes the courses different?
The courses break down the basics of how the body moves. They review the muscles and joint actions in simple, easy-to-follow lessons for a better understanding of achieving foundational or maximal flexibility. Each movement that is needed in these sports from shoulder flexibility to hip flexibility, the lesson plans describe the movements and demonstrate them in video format.
In Maximal Flexibility, the course discusses the difference between injury resulting from hyper-mobility and achieving maximal flexibility. It helps instructors identify these problems before they become injuries. Simple, science-backed protocols for knowing the difference between good mobility and injury causing mobility are introduced and covered.
This course also helps one understand how muscle imbalances can hinder the desired flexibility. Both courses use the FLX proprietary tool, the Flexistretcher. With this simple and versatile tool, the courses show exactly what exercises can be performed for flexibility training.
The principles of flexibility used in this certification identify specific protocols for changing the anatomy and the overall physiology of the body for maximal flexibility.
This program simplifies flexibility and shows coaches how to improve general flexibility. It helps to identify tight muscles and understand what normal range of motion should be. When the normal range of motion isn’t possible, the body has to rework a movement pattern that can put stress on the joints and cause pain and injury. In this level one foundational course, each joint in the body for general movement is reviewed. Once the ranges are understood, the next steps are to understand how to correct and safely improve the flexibility in that area.
Who should take this course?
Although the certification is geared for coaches and instructors, students can benefit from these courses as well. Having the knowledge, understanding and learning the progressions for general flexibility and maximal flexibility included in the courses can help one excel on their own if their coach isn’t teaching these techniques.
How was your coach trained? Do they have the right skills to help you excel? Maybe it’s time to ask these questions. Become a Certified FLX® Flexibility Instructor and learn everything you need to teach a better stretch class using FLX® research-backed techniques that really work. However, for maximal flexibility or what may seem like extreme flexibility, a more advanced certified professional program may be needed. The advanced range of motions can be difficult to obtain. The Maximal Flexibility Certification would be the next step to achieving these moves safely and effectively.