As she did a pirouette, she was center stage. All eyes on her and she did a pirouette and landed in fifth position. She prepared for this day making sure her muscles were strong and she was more flexible than she was just a month ago. How is she able to improve her flexibility in just a short amount of time? Well, flexibility has to do with our joints, our muscles, and even our diet.
Joints are an important part to our flexibility. There are two different main kinds of joints, immovable and moveable. Immoveable joints are joints that cannot be moved. These joints have little or no movement at all, there is not a joint cavity present in these joints. Immovable joints can be broken down into two types of joints, which are fibrous joints and cartilaginous joints. When you break down fibrous joints there are two types of joints. There is a suture joint and a gomphoses joint. Suture joints are joints in the skull. They are found between the skull bones, and they are held together by special fibers called sharpey's fibers. This only allows little to no movement. Then there is a gomphoses joint, this is also an immovable joint. This type of joint is found in our teeth. Yes this type of joint is found in our mouths. This joint has very little movement. The only way that they can be moved is over time and that is why we use braces to move our teeth around.
Moveable joints are what we think of when we hear joints. There are four main types of moveable joints which are Pivot, Ball and Socket, Hinge, and Gliding. How do these joints work? Well a joint is where a bone moves on another one. These to bones are held together by ligaments and ligaments are pretty much elastic bands that keep the bones in place. Then muscles lengthen and shorten to make the joint move. There is also a coating of cartilage on the bone so it stops the bones from directly rubbing against each other. Pivot joint is when one bone rotates in a ring of a bone that doesn’t move. This joint is found in our neck and forearm. Then there is the ball and socket joint. This is a rounded joint that fits into a cuplike cavity, and an example of this is our shoulder and our hips. Also there is a hinge joint this type of joint is a back and forth movement like a door. We find this type in our elbows and knees. Lastly there is the gliding joint. This joint is where one part of a bone slides over another bone. We find this joint in our spine, ankle, and wrists.
How does a muscle work? Well there are three different types of muscles and while dancing you use your skeletal muscles. There are also smooth and cardiac muscles. A smooth muscle is found within our eternal organs. These muscles are located in places like our stomach, intestines and bladder. Then there are cardiac muscles, and these are fibers found in the heart. Both smooth and cardiac muscles are involuntary, and this means that they are automatically controlled by the nervous system and cannot be controlled by will.