646 posts
Location: Mpls, MN, USA

Sorry if this has been done before, I can't use the search function on this site without having Explorer shut down right away. Anyways, do people stretch before twirling? More importantly, what do you do to increase flexibility for behind the back moves, I'm finding out that I happen to be not very flexible. The only stretches I know come from soccer and thus are more leg related. ------------------Ambiguous

Fuzzy Dice.......................................

155 posts
Location: Oxford, UK

Firstly let's tackle your searching problem - which version of IE are you using? I would recommend version 5 (dont get 6 yet) and then stick a couple of service packs on - shoudl sort it.(point?)As for the stretches, I start with the fingers and work back thru the wrists, forearms, elbows and then to the shoulders.Some simple revolutions of the joints to start with then take your left arm and point it directly upwards. Fold your elbow so your hand is behind your head and your elbow is pointing up. Now take your other arm and push the elbow towards your head. This really stretches the outside of your shoulder blades and side of your back.Now do the same for the other arm.Ansd now do the same but in a horizontal plane - arm coming across the body.Now to make the behind the back stuff easier I clasp my hands together behind my back and then lean forward so they come over my head. Puash them as far forward as you can and slowly push forwards.Relax.Repeat.Never push too hard too soon.(point?)---------------------------------------"With a bit of luck, his life was ruined; always thinking that just behind some narrow door, in his favourite bars, men in red woolen suits are getting incredible kicks from things he'll never know."

---------------------With a bit of luck, his life was ruined; always thinking that just behind some narrow door, in his favourite bars, men in red woolen suits are getting incredible kicks from things he'll never know.

210 posts
Location: new zealand

traditionally one of the things poi were used for was to increase flexibility, so just practising will help you become more bendy....having said that tho, stretching like jangla was talking about will definately help you do those moves

CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Jonathan. Thats rightm traditional poi were used to improve flexibility in wrists.That's why traditional poi were seldom any longer than two handspans, and the most common action was a wrap or a bounce with the wrist altenating etc etc.It's a very different style to our "conventional" poi.If you want to improve your flexibility with poi, i suggest wrapping the strings around your hands so you can do the older style of exercises.( or just get a staff
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)------------------Charles (AKA INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.com

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38 posts
Location: san diego, ca

I've got a really good shoulder stretch I learned in my martial arts class.Start by crossing your wrists in front of you with elbows bent, palms together, thumbs facing down. Then slowly raise your arms above your head and straighten your elbows.I had a shoulder injury not long ago and had to set aside my poi for a while and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to pick up learning staff again, but this stretch has really helped me get some of my flexibility back.

750 posts
Location: Adelaide, SA, Australia

I don't know, first we all decide that we are cassandra, and now jonathon is suggesting that everyone become more me (bendy!)
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I often have trouble stretching because I have such loose joints (double-jointed) and am quite flexible. I struggle to stretch my arms mostly because my shoulder pops out of its joint. As a result if I work too hard, I can end up with rather tight muscles.I think the best way to work out if you are stretching right is to do your normal stretches, then have a vigorous session. The muscles that ache later or the next day are the ones you need to stretch more.

Courage is the man who can stop after only one peanut

9 posts
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

I learned a number of great wrist stretches from Aikido. They're used in the various throws to manipulate the attacker, but they work great for making your wrists all floppy. :-) They are....1. Grab the back of your left hand with your right, wrapping the fingers around the pinky side and thumb around the meaty part of your other thumb. Point your right index up the left arm. Now bend your left hand such that your right index finger points up, pull your left elbow down. This stretches the back of the wrist.2. Hold your left arm horizontally and look at the back of your left hand, now bend your wrist so your fingers point straight out from you. Grab your left hand with your right, fingers hooking around the thumb and thumb around the pinky side, index finger pointing with the left hand fingers. Get the thumb wrapped low, right above your left wrist. Now twist your left hand up and towards you, when it is vertical, pull both elbows down. This stretches the outside of the wrist.3. Left palm toward your face, fingers pointing up (wrist unbent). Reach around the back of your hand and grab the base of your left thumb with the fingers, put your right thumb against the base knuckle of your pinky finger. Twist your left hand clockwise and move it down towards your belt. This stretches about halfway down your forearm. (twist anticlockwise for right wrist)4. Point your left hand at your hip, palm down. Grab the front side of your left hand, wrap your fingers around between left thumb and index (right index should be wedged between left thumb and palm), thumb across base knuckle of left pinky. Twist your left hand up and into your armpit (you can't get that far). This stretches the underside of forearm and surprisingly, the side of your shoulder too.5. Grab the inside of your right wrist with the left hand (right hand palm facing you). Bend right hand over top of left wrist so fingers point at you, now rotate it down and towards you as though you're cutting yourself in half with your fingers. Stretches the back of the left hand.6. Left forearm pointing up (elbow bent), left hand palm up so fingers point away (wrist is bent away from you). Grab left fingers with right hand and pull down. Now swing your left wrist in an arc up, out, and down while maintaining pressure from right hand. Left arm ends extended in front of you and wrist pointing down.Do all of these motions ten times each, left hand and right hand. When your done shake your hands up high for a bit, at your sides for a bit, and down low for a bit. This puts the blood back in your arms so you can use them again. :-)------------------Ouch, dammit! Frickin poi, stop hitting me!

Ouch, dammit! Frickin poi, stop hitting me!

210 posts
Location: new zealand

just a quick note charles....unfortunately what traditionally constitues typical poi varies from one tribe to the next, i was more thinking of the old one handed butterfly's and stuff, great for the whole arm, torso and footworkgood point tho

DomBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,009 posts
Location: Bristol, UK

Don't forget to warm down as well
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I don't stretch, but to warm up I just go slow and don't try to spin at 100mph or btb stuff straight away. Do the same at the end of the night. Better than nothing I suppose.

MagsKatBRONZE Member
Don't feed her cookies
113 posts
Location: Surrey side, United Kingdom

I'm finding i have a really limited range of motion btb, gonna give these stretches a go.

Formally known as kat224

We are not friends.. we never were.. but if i was part of your life then i thank you

squidBRONZE Member
382 posts
Location: sur, USA

the last stretch that Jangla provided works well for stretching for the btb moves. Play with it gently though and see if you can rotate from side to side as well.

Take just one yoga class and then ask the instructor about a couple of wrist exercises. They arent too different than anything suggested here, but having them demonstrated in person gives you a better idea of how to do it without overstraining and injuring yourself.

Though, if it were me, I would just take the yoga class all the time. smile

"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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