Dream2Dance

Why cant I do the splits properly?

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When I try to stretch out my splits I have trouble keeping my hips square; also I have trouble doing a turned in split. Why can't I do this? I guessed that I'm tight in some sort of muscle but I'm not really sure....

 

Dream2Dance

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You're trying to achieve two useless goals. You don't need to square your hips in a split, and stretching for turn-IN is just silly.

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Exactly. Why must you be able to do a perfect split for ballet???????????

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Well, it gets your extensions higher...

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Yes, but DOING them is the stretch for getting your legs higher, therefore, it's about stretching, not about DOING them perfectly. They are not a part of the vocabulary of ballet, they are just a stretch that is used, when one is fully warmed up of course, to help flexibility. Doing them with the hips square turns in the back leg, which is then doing nothing at all to help your arabesque. Doing them turned in is also unnecessary, as Mr. Johnson said. If you are doing them with your hips square at least one leg is already turned in, so what are you doing that for?

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Another dancer from my studio said keeping the hips perfectly square was how I was supposed to do the splits correctly. Thank god I don't actually have to do that. :clapping:

 

Interestingly I found that I got a huge stretch of the quadriceps with my back leg when I stretched with the splits turned in. :nixweiss:

 

Dream2Dance

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Learn from teachers, not from other students, unless they are considerably older and WAY more advanced.

 

There are other ways to stretch the quad muscles.Just stand in parallel facing the barre, bend one knee with your foot going towards your derrière, keep the quad straight down with the knees together, hold the foot on the instep and pull it towards your derrière, being very careful not to sickle the foot, of course. Be sure that you are aligned and lifted up out of your hips. If the pelvis tilts then you won't get the stretch. This is very simple and painless, but a good stretch if you do it correctly. :)

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The quads are the muscles on the front of the thigh, right?

 

If so, I have a question. My brother's soccer team does a stretch where they basically genuflect, grab the back foot, and pull it forward. This stretches the thigh muscles at the front. They keep their tailbone toward the ground. Is this a safe stretch?

 

In a gymnastics class he took a while ago, the teacher also had them do a second part to this stretch. They would let the back foot go back to the ground, then extend the front leg so it was straight, and bend forward at the waist. The teacher said it was a stretch for the splits. Does it have any merit for ballet dancers?

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It's not one of my favorites because it is harder on the knees, and as far as the second part of it goes, a dancer probably does not need that to help with splits as you can most likely get that far down with both knees straight and turned out.

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Ok, thanks Ms Leigh!

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