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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Big Thighs

Guest prettyinpink

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Guest prettyinpink

I have really big thighs, I think it is because I used to use them to lift my leg. I try to use my stomach muscles but sometimes it just doesn't work. How can I stop using my thighs and use my tummy? :wink:

Edited by Mel Johnson
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In order to start using the abdominal and hip flexor muscles to produce extension, the work has to start all the way back at tendu, when you make sure that you are holding the body up with a balance of effort of both abdominal and back muscles, and also holding the lower abs (tummy) up and in. If you have allowed yourself to sink into the supporting hip while you work through these early elements of barre, your quest for extension is already half lost. You cannot do extensions, however, without the quadriceps muscles (top thigh) being involved, but they only allow a bend to the knee, and cause it to straighten at the end of the extension. In any movement away from the centerline of the body, the movement must be controlled by the back muscles, the hip flexors and the hamstrings. This goes for everything - tendus, degagés, ronds de jambe, frappé, you name it! Clenching the thighs will only result in the dreaded "thunder thighs", and getting rid of them is a chore, once you've got the extension under control.

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I also have the sam e problam as prettyinpink- I have started to take pilates, and already feel a difference! You concentrate more on your "power house" to improve your dancing. It has also helped me in breathing diffrently and holding myself. But most importantly Pilates has helped me not to "grip" my thighs when dancing, and now I can see and feel muscels I didn't even know I had! :o I really think it will help you- it's helped me!

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  • 1 year later...
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I believe that is explained by Mr. Johnson, in a post above, and also by the students who are taking Pilates.

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Yes, it is possible to minimize the genetic effect, but that takes a lot of quad and glute stretching - done slowly and carefully. You've heard the old expression "Rome wasn't built in a day"? Well the same goes for unbuilding. It will take some months before you will begin to see any change yourself, but it will happen, slowly and surely. How much you can do depends on how much your heredity will allow, or as one memorable poster once said: "Genotype determines phenotype!" Put another way, "What you got is what you see!" :clover:

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