Ballet Exercises - Spilts and Flexibility

by Ashton Noelle

Ballet Exercises - Spilts and Flexibility

How Can I Get My Splits? I, was not born to be a dancer. My body form is short, and I'm not exactly skinny, but the most annoying thing about my inheritance is my trait from my Dad- the runner- the flexibility of a two by four. I stretch for fifteen to twenty minutes every night, and my flexibility isn't improving. Any help?



Ballet Exercises - Spilts and Flexibility

Reply by Odette

Hello Ashton,

Thank you for contacting me, it is great to hear from you.

Although you may think you are not born into a natural body form for dancers, you can still work your body to its maximum and you'll be surprised at what you can achieve. Work hard, push yourself and aim for length through your whole body. You can be a wonderful dancer.

Along with the physical ability and athletic body, it is absolutely crucial to be mentally prepared to succeed in ballet. The Seven Secrets, on the 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page, will give you the key answers of how to thrive in the ballet world.

When it comes to improving your flexibility, firstly, which particular stretches are you doing? Perhaps you need to alter your stretching regime and include more or different types of stretches. To gain more intense flexibility (getting high legs in adage/ grand battement), try and focus on stretching when your muscles are truly warm. For example, after your ballet class is the ideal time to push your stretches as your muscles are safely warmed up and you should be able to push beyond your usual range.

Also, check how long you are holding the stretches for. I would advise about 30 seconds, however there are many different opinions on this.

Placing the leg on the barre in devant/ a la seconde/ derriere are also good stretches to do. Keep practicing the splits, mostly when you are warm, to gain more flexibility. Remember it takes time and patience to improve your flexibility. It improve straight away, but it is the continuous practice which is most important.

Perhaps also approach your ballet teacher before or after class and ask if she can give you any stretches to practice.

I understand it must be frustrating, but do not give up. Keep trying and experimenting - you will get there!

Best Wishes,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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