In various occasions, we have talked about how to improve your toe point, but as you know, in Synchronized Swimming having your legs straight and extended means having the best score. We normally see the legs well extended on ballet and rhythmic gymnastics, but in synchro is a bit less common. Anyway, we can all agree that the straighter they are, the easier is to obtain a good score. Also, on the aesthetic level we find that the leg extensions gives a better artistic touch than a leg with no extension in knees or feet.
Even if you were born with poor extension, everything has a solution: more work. I always say that when I started I had bad extension, and if you don’t believe me, ask my coach Bet Fernandez (creator of the Watlicam) the many hours she spent molding me! Even though it was not easy and it meant to go through a lot of pain (everything has to be said) I am thankful for all the work that was made and now I enjoy super extended legs!
How can we improve this aspect in Artistic Swimming?
Mostly out of the water. First, we have to gain flexibility and then, in the water, we shall remember EVERY moment how to apply the extension. The more you practice this concept in the water the faster you will achieve this goal. It is a priority!
This article was requested through Instagram by Laura and we haven’t been able to write it until now, since there are some exercises that could be complicated to execute if they aren’t clear on how to do them well. If you believe you have an injury, its better you don’t try them at this time. It is most recommended to try it under coach’s supervision. We leave you exercises that a lot of physiotherapist wouldn’t approve of, but as you know, the only way to obtain flexibility is to extend hard the fiber, it has to hurt, but not to an extreme. You know that point where you feel like crying? That’s enough.
Now, if you are already flexible, you just need to improve with a touch of pain. On the contrary, you won’t be getting better, you would just be maintaining your same range of motion. One thing is to stretch for health or to recover from a hard training, but another is to work on your flexibility to gain range of motion and that involves existence of pain through the exercise. For this case I share with you one of my favorite phrases:
Pain is required, but suffering is optional! Pain is only a physical sensation, don’t need to be attached to a negative emotion. Actually, it can be positive as is helping you to improve!
Here some exercises that can help to extend your legs, and one last advise: Be constant, is the key to improve! (is better 10 minutes every day than 1 hour every 2 weeks!
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