The Other S(exy)-Word: Stretching!

September 2, 2012

Sassy, steamy, spicy, saucy, sultry. All words that are conjured up when I think of teaching my dance classes.  One of the top contenders of why I love to dance so much is that allows me to connect to my femininity.

So, what’s the other S-word?

Stretching!

While it’s not an adjective like the others, it definitely deserves to be on the S(exy)-word list!  Here’s the 411 on why:

When it comes to working it out, there is a triangle of fitness that is comprised of cardio, strength & flexibility.  At Hipline, Shimmy Pop is our cardio (not just booty-poppin’, but also heart-pumpin’!). Power Pop is our strength (targeting & training muscles in the most beautiful of ways).  So, where does flexibility fit in, you ask?  Currently, it is worked in at the end of each class.  It is an essential part of balancing your fitness program, as flexibility affects your performance in the other areas.  If you have ever had to leave class early, you have probably heard us hollar at you “Don’t forget to stretch!!”  For real.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Stretching after your workout when your muscles are warm is best.
  • Stretching before is fine & dandy, but be sure to be warmed up (i.e., go for a short walk), as stretching cold muscles can actually lead to injury.  Yikes!
  • When doing static stretches, do NOT bounce!  Even though there is a fly Flashdance scene with Jennifer Beals bouncing, don’t do it!  This can definitely lead to unwanted injury.
  • Be sure to hold the stretch position right where you feel a gentle pull. You should be feeling luscious lengthening happening; it shouldn’t hurt.  If you are making a face, back up off of it.  If the stretching sensation dissipates, use your breath to slowly sink deeper in.
  • See how deeply you can relax into it.  Rather than hold on, flexing your muscles; imagine letting to & releasing.  Ahhh, feels good, right?
  • Hold each stretch for a 15 second minimum–up to 30 seconds is good; a minute is even better!  Just sayin’!

Need some stretching ideas for home? Check out my home-made stretching video.

Why is stretching so hard to get in the habit of?
It always feels so wonderful to do it, so why don’t we dedicate more time to it at home?  Here’s my theory.   Our lives are so fast.  From internet speeds that seem instantaneous (Do you remember when it used to take a looooong time for a page to load?) to food being already prepared for you to get it & go to driving at fast speeds to next day delivery of packages, life has us programmed to move rapidly.  Stretching, conversely, asks us to slow down & demands us to show up for ourselves in these precious moments.  Look at stretching time as a beautiful way to connect with & thank our delicious bodies for all they do for us while we lengthen all of our gorgeous muscles.

So, be like J(ustine) T(imberlake) & bring your sexy back with enhancing your fabulous flexibility!  Live Lusciously, sassy, steamy, spicy, sexy, saucy, sultry stretching people!

In peace, health & happiness, Heather


Heather is an advocate of giving the body the love it deserves!  She always stretches at the end of classes, a few extra times on her own & greatly appreciates the stretching that is incorporated into Shiatsu massage.  You can find more body-love information & inspiration on how to Live Lusciously through her website, CreateYourOwnBeautiful.com.

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