Ballet Exercises - Feet, Turn Out and Muscles!

by Elaine
(Canada)

Ballet Exercises - Feet, Turn Out and Muscles!: -





Hi Odette!

I have three major questions:

1) I don't have a good arch. How do I get well-stretched feet?

2) I have okay turnout when I'm stretching, but I can't hold that turnout when I'm dancing. How can I improve my turnout?

3) I cannot hold my leg up without using my quads in a fondue. Is there a trick to finding the right muscles to use?

Thanks!

============================================

Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet Exercises - Feet, Turn Out and Muscles!

Hi Elaine,

Thank you very much for your questions, it's great to hear from you!

1) Do not worry if you don't have a good arch. As long as your feet are strong that is what's important. You can use a theraband to strengthen your feet. One of the ballet exercises you can do is, slowly pointe your foot, going through the demi pointe and go through the resistance of the band.

The popular plie, where you roll through the feet into demi-pointe, and then rising in releve is a good way to increase the flexibility and improve the arches.

The main thing you can do is during all your ballet classes is to focus on fully stretching the feet to the maximum at all times, and work through your demi pointe to get them more pliable.

2) Maintaing turn out is a common correction many dancers are constantly trying to improve. At least you know you have the facility so now it's just a case of becoming more aware of maintaining it through movement. In all your dancing think about the turn out coming from the top of the legs, not just the feet.

Turn out comes from the glutes (bottom) so by strengthening the glutes will improve turn out. Pilates is great for strengthening so find some pilates exercises which target the glutes. Your teacher may be able to help with you with some specific ballet exercises for the glutes.

3) Again, in order to not use the quads you have to think about using the glutes. When your leg is in the air, think about it initiating the movement from the glutes.

Whenever your leg is in the air, make sure your leg and foot is fully stretched to the maximum and focusing on feeling length right through your leg. Visualize yourself growing taller and taller which will take the strain off the leg, making it feel less heavy.

All the best

Odette

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