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what exactly is hyperextension

Guest dancinqueen15

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Hyperextension is a structural characteristic of any joint which allows it to make full travel in BACK of straight. If, when you allow your knees to go all the way as far as they can, the legs bow backwards, that's hyperextension.

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It is a structure that is beyond normal, such as a leg that straightens beyond straight. In this kind of leg the knee goes back further than a "normal" straight leg. It can be seen just by looking at the legs when they are supposedly straight. The knees will curve slightly back. It creates a very nice line, especially when accompanied by a high arch and instep in the foot and good rotation. The problem with the hyperextended leg is when standing they push back too far and cause the pelvis to be out of alignment, or the pelvis is tilted and/or the weight of the body is in the heels, and causes the legs to push back too far. The hyperextension has to be controlled on the standing leg, but can be used to very good effect on the extended leg.

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My knees are hyperextended and it causes a lot of problems! When I stand I look my knees making it very uncomfortable. Also when balancing it pushes me back a lot for some reason it makes me go back!

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AEDancer, that is what they will do if ALLOWED to do that. You have to learn how to align and place yourself so that they do not do that! If you are pushing into your hyperextension, then you are not properly placed. Your teacher needs to work with you to show you how to use the alignment of the bones and the weight placement to control this hyperextension.

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Guest cheeriodancer10

I have considerably hyperextended knees and sometimes have trouble aligning my pelvis correctly. I had no idea those two things were connected! Now that you mention it, I can see how that makes sense. Sometimes I just wish I could get rid of my pelvis ( although then I could NEVER learn how to align it properly) haha.

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Yes, my pelvis is CONSTANTLY tilted :) but another trouble that I have is straightening my legs in fifth...any advice?

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Straighten your legs only until they look straight. If your legs are so hyperextended that they won't go straight even that way, then make it a short fourth position - a matter of inches! Whatever you do don't lock the knees!

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Either straight or hyperextended can work very well. The larger problem is hypOextended legs, which is the kind of leg where the knees don't straighten enough. The most important thing is to have good line, and that depends on the rotation, the flexibility, and the foot, and of course the kind of training that teaches you how to use these things well. :blushing:

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Guest dancer522

I have hyperextended legs, but not crazily, and it's never caused me any problems. I never developed the habit of locking my legs during dance. But what's really annoying is my hyperextended elbows! I always get corrected about them being too straight. They're so hyperextended that when I have my arm "straight" it's reeeally bent backwards and it always freaks people out. :happy:

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Yes, I have those elbows too. They can look really ghastly when straight. The key is to never totally straighten them, and you do need to do a lot of work on port de bras, being very sure that you know how to use your back muscles. Those of us with those kind of arms have some extra work to do, but the good news is that it IS controllable! :happy:

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Are hyperextended legs often related to a swayback if not properly corrected and held properly? I was thinking that the entire triad of hyperextension-swayback-improperly placed pelvis must be related, but I'm not sure.

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Yes, hyperextension is often found in conjunction with a sway back. They may even be a causative factor.

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