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Leg muscle

Guest ballet_barbie72

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Guest ballet_barbie72

My teacher is always telling me that when i develope, that I'm using my top leg muscle instead of my underneath thigh muscle. I've tried so many times to not do this but it just seems impossible. How am I to do this exactly and are there any excersises I can do to help me along?


love Erin xox

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Erin, I have found that the best way to get the hamstrings to motivate the extension, instead of overusing the quad muscles, is more through imagery than actual exercises. The quad muscles have to work, but we can use them much more efficiently, with less energy, if we engage the hamstrings. At the top of the extension the quads will be fully engaged, but the getting there can be helped a lot by the hamstrings.


To do this, you need to feel that the energy for the move is coming from underneath the leg, and the best way I know to do this is to take a breath on the retiré position and exhale as you lift and extend the leg. You might be able to find this easier by working first on grand battement. With this you feel like you are inside a big wheel, like a ferris wheel, and the force of the wheel going over your head and down behind you until, as you exhale, it just pushes the leg from behind into a front grand battement. For a side battement make the wheel go around you in a side to side circle instead of a front to back circle. This is hard to describe, and very easy to show when I'm teaching, so, if you don't understand, let me know. Don't forget the breath, as that is an important part of it!


You can also try it on the floor. Lie on your back, take a breath, and as you exhale feel the energy from under the floor lift your leg for you. This is of course not literally what happens, but it can help you to feel the motivation from the hamstrings instead of the quads. :yes:

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