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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Knee Stretch


Guest thumpinhippo

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Guest thumpinhippo

Ok everyone. Sorry if I'm being repetitive and forgive me further for my incapability to use the search function on this message board :sweating:. I did try to look for a previous answer to my question since you've almost certainly answered it before but i just can't find one. So here goes:

 

I have a white flag of a back foot. In my penché arabesque, grand battement, anything where my leg is considerably away from the ground, I am unable to feel or more control my feet. Therefore, my foot hangs off the end of my leg "like a dead fish". It's really letting me down as it does somewhat break the line of the position :sweating: .

I also have recently been told that I really need to increase the stretch behind my knees and that I have all of a sudden stopped stretching them when I am working. The cause of this eludes me. :)

Somehow, I feel that these two are linked. Also, the exam's less than two months away so I've got to get to work hard and fast.

Does anybody have any suggestions for stretches to improve the stretch behind my knees?? :shrug: Apologies again for any monotony experienced. :blushing:

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Welcome to the wonderful world of gangly.

 

One of the problems teens often encounter is that when growing, the bones usually grow first, then the muscles, then the nerves. This makes the teen dancer often feel tight and out-of-control, and sometimes even hurts. (Growing pains)

 

The runner's stretch is one that's good for the back of the knee, and also the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle below it. Take a fourth position neutral, no turnout. Bend the front knee and keep the back leg where it is with the heel on the floor. You can do this up against the barre, against a doorframe, or even just a bare wall. Change feet by stepping back to sixth position (first neutral) and bringing the former back leg to the front. Repeat a few times.

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Yep, it does sound like you just have not grown into your feet yet, thumpinhippo :)

 

As for the knees, the best one I know for stretching the back of the knee is to sit on the floor, legs straight out in front of you. Place a rubber ball, or a semi-dead tennis ball, under one knee, flex that foot and squish the ball. The ball should be hard enough to make you work to bend it, but not so hard that it won't bend. Do a few reps of this with each leg, and repeat. It's easy, and can be done several times a day if you don't do too much at onece. This also makes the quads work, but try to make the knee the major factor, not the quads.

 

You can also use a theraband to work on this. When the foot is flexed push hard against the band, making the knee flaten out. Then pointe against the band, to increase the connection to your feet!

 

Time and patience and a lot of work, and you will get through this :sweating:

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