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I am having a lot of trouble with my extension. I can get my leg as high as i want, but i just can't hold it there! Also, it feels like i am using my quads, not my inner thighs. I have been doing stretches, working my inner thigh muscles, and taking pilates but nothing seems to work!!!! What am i not doing, and what can i do to make it better other than what i'm already doing?????

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Hello tinydancer16, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! :)


Extension first, strength to hold it comes later. It takes a while. It involves really good control of the abs and lower back muscles, alignment, rotation, and weight placement. Then the strength in the muscles that actually hold the leg up will come. Patience and hard work are the only answers to this problem. The more advanced you become, the slower and more held the adagios in classes, and this helps to develop that strength to hold the legs longer.


To release the quads in the process of the extension, try exhaling at the moment that you lift the leg, and feel the energy coming from underneath the leg. It's sort of like a circle of energy that moves up and over your body and down under your leg and lift it without you pulling it up from the quads. At the top of the extension the quads must work, or the leg would not be straight. But if you can get the hamstrings to do more of the actual work of getting it up there, it is a much more efficient use of energy.

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