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How your Fingers can Increase Back Flexibility

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How your Fingers can Increase BackFlexibility for Arabesque, Cambre &WalkoversWhen we think of back flexibility, of a beautiful arabesque or lithe cambre or effortless walkoverthe first thing that comes to mind is probably not the fingers!What could the fingers possibly have to do with the spine?Well quite possibly they are the difference between staying ‘stuck’ and getting anywhere nearthe pics in this post!I’ll explain more in a sec but let's have a look at the 2 key areas that stop back flexibility andfreedom from being achieved and then maybe using the fingers will start to make sense!In working with dancers and teachers over many years I have heard pain as the reason for notbeing able to progress any further in range countless times.And that pain is never ‘just’ pain without another key reason for lack of freedom in the spinealmost always present…And that is tension.So pain and tension basically seem to be the main reasons that the leg goes no higher in anarabesque, the back no further down in a cambre and the only thing progressing at all isstiffness!But what is causing these 2 spinal freedom killers in the first place?Over emphasis on outcome and under-emphasis on process…

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What that means simply is that the end goal (leg up, or back down or backbend) is oftenattempted over and over again without regard to the pathway each individual must find forthemselves to get there.If the attempt pretty soon equals the outcome then that’s not a problem obviously!But if it doesn’t and you keep attempting it in much the same way there’s definitely a result butit’s not going to be the one you want!Tension and then pain start to accompany every micromovement in the direction of the goaland are then embedded in a completely unconscious process that re-enforces that the goalitself is unobtainable except at the cost of more pain and tension.So thank God for fingers!!!!In this article I will be showing you how to eliminate pain and movement blockages in the spineand enable effortless improvements in range through a very specific use of the fingers andhands.So first of all compare: Do an arabesque or back bend to get the feel of where your range isatm. You can also try rotating as far as you can to see what your rotational range is.Then..Step 1. Stand in 4th position slightly turned out with your left leg in front and put your right handat the top of your right gluteStep 2. Put your left hand around between your right ribs and hip boneStep 3. Start to contract your left fingers and as you do so rotate your spine to the left only tothe extent that your fingers grip, followed by rotating back to starting position as your fingersrelax the gripStep 4. As you do this look for tension in your glute under your right hand and relax it.Step 5. Begin to transfer your weight to your left foot until you are in a tondu derriere with theright leg and make sure that you only proceed to further weight shift through relaxing tensionand not pushing through it.After this pause and then check the range of motion, flexibility and freedom you have in all theareas you compared before.What did you notice? More length, range, ease? Whatever it was please share in the healYourself and Move FB group here:

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And if you would like a bit more detail on how to adapt specifically for your own training or thatof your students, feel free to find a time to get a free breakthrough session here: soonZac©Zac Jones Heal Yourself and Move 2022