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Q: Should I stretch everyday and what time of day is best?
A: I stretch everyday and what time of day is best? I feel everyone is different, for example some people are morning people and that time works best for them. I peak in the early afternoon. Also it is important to pick a time that works with your schedule and commit to that as you would brushing your teeth. Listen to your own body clock in regards to best time of day.
It's alway good to warm up and cool down before and after you train. For serious or professional dancers or athletes, 5- 6 days a week of stretching is good with 1 or 2 rest days a week. The body needs time to process, heal and repair. As far as daily training in your sport, it helps to cross train and work different muscle groups. So the other muscles can repair. This helps one progress. Most importantly, make sure you are stretching correctly with good form. Never force or bounce.
Q: What are the most important areas or muscle groups to stretch for increased flexibility for legs (for arabesque, develope, split leaps, splits etc)?
A: Since everything is connected- it's good to take the time to stretch the entire body and do it in the correct order. I like to start with upper body to get the energy going. Then work my way down, with each stretch gradually becoming more intense. Don't forget to stretch your calves, it will make it easier to stretch the hamstrings and low back. You want to get that whole line stretched.
Make sure you really open up your outer hips (t-band) & stretch the waist to get the low back to open up. Don't forget the inner thighs too which is also a necessary area to prep to do moves listed above in the question. Ankle weights are good once you are warmed up they help tired and strengthen the muscles to help you go the extra length!
Q: How do I know if I am overdoing it?
A: If you are feeling constant fatigue, soreness and your body is not performing at it's best. I recommend getting plenty of sleep and taking some rest days so the body can repair and store up energy. This will help tremendously. Also, massage and going for a walk can help get rid of the lactic acid.
Q: How can I recover flexibility after a hamstring injury?
A: It's helpful if you are able to see a chiropractor that does the activator method and knows how to use the activator gun. You don't want to stop training completely. Train around the injury with stretching and in your sport. This will keep you in shape and get blood circulating to the injured area.This method can help one come back even stronger. Don't do anything that causes the bad kind of pain. It also helps to visualize and see your body pain free and in top form.
Stacey's complete bio and DVD's are available at...
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/user/staceynemour
Stacey's articles in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacey-nemour/
Stacey also provides expert instruction in the DVD "Flexibility Training on StretchGym™" (www.stretchgym.com)