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Ballet Talk for Dancers

strenthening


Marjolein

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My ballet teacher told me the muscles at the back of my legs (don't know what they're called), my buttocks and my back are weak,(yup, weak arabesque) and that i need to work them. Unfortunately she didn't tell me how to strengthen them. Taking more classes is not an option, are there any excercises I can do to strengthen these muscles, like floor excercises?

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Marjolein, I am not an expert at strengthening exercises for the back, however I do have a good one for the buttocks muscles. As for the hamstrings, I do not find that dancers generally need a lot of strengthening there, as the work itself does that as well as all the stretching we do, which of course stretches them, but that is what we need more than strengthening there.

 

For the buttocks, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front. Sit up very straight. Contract the muscles of the buttocks, which should slightly "lift" it off the floor, hold a few counts, relax, and do it again.......and again and and again, etc. This one is totally harmless and can be done A LOT! Be sure you are getting the lift only from those muscles, buttocks and outer thighs, and NOT from the shoulders!

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Guest IrishKitri

Hi!

 

I have similar problems with my arabesque. I once asked my modern teacher, who has the most beautiful muscular back I´ve ever seen :thumbsup: , and she told me to practice the following:

 

1.) Stand in II. position (turned out or parallel), roll down and up trying to feel every single one of your vertebrae. It sounds weird but it actually really helps. Just remember to imagine your back muscles pull you up

 

2.) This exercise is frowned upon by some teachers, but gives great strength. Lay on your stomach and put your feet under a radiator or the like or have someone hold them. Hold your stomach muscles and pull your upper body up by using your back muscles. It´s quite hard at first, but it gets better. If your pelvis bones hurt b/c of the pressure against the floor, try using a towel and it´ll help.

 

Please Mr. Johnson and Ms. Leigh, if you don´t like those exercises, delete my post, but they have actually helped me.

 

:sweating:

IrishKitri

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I actually give that second one to certain students for "therapy". It's better to use a human partner. The radiator won't adjust its grip if you tell it. In fact, it won't change anything unless you hit it VERY hard, and then all it will do is break. You have to remember to release the abdominals at the same time you curl backward, and keep the shoulders down.

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Thanks a lot. I tried those exersises and they really help.

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