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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hyperextension vs natural flexibility?


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Dear Moderators, dear fellow BT- fans!


I have very strong hyperextension (being double jointed) on both of my legs and a very slight one on my elbows.

Usually that is a sign somebody was born with a very good natural flexibility.

Not in my case- I am strong but not the most naturally flexible person in the world- I am achieving my extensions after hard continous work ONLY. :sweating:


Now I am wondering what the matter may be with me- is it possible that my ligaments might be relatively flexible but my muscles are tense for whatever reason?

Or may it be that my natural flexibility still is hiding somewhere?

In general is it possible to be born with hyperextended joints but no natural flexibility?

Just wondering. :shrug:


Shula :yes:

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Actually Shulie, you have one knee joint on each leg! :shrug: Hyperextended, yes, but still just one joint! And yes, it's possibly to be hyperextended and not extremely flexible. A lot depends on the hips, and then of course the hamstrings and also the back. While the knees may be hyperextended, it doesn't necessarily mean that the other joints are loose naturally, nor that the muscles are flexible. Sorry :yes:

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Over the years, I've learned that hyperextension is a marker for potential for the development of flexibility and the ability to do high developpés, etc. It's rarely built in, but in hyperextended students it may be an indicator that it can be achieved more easily than in the relatively straight-legged students.

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i'm slightly hyperextended in my knees, and alot in my elbows. i am naturally flexible, can do all splits, bring my leg up to 180 + in the foot in hand stretch...i can basically do anything...but although i am flexible, i have very little streingth. if we are doing a long adagio in class, i have a very hard time getting my legs high...is that due to the hyperextention? how can i get stronger? (especially in my devlope front? side and back arent too bad, but front is really low) :pinch:

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People who are naturally very loose, whether hyperextended or not, often need to work much harder for strength. I would suggest Pilates or Gyrotonics, and be sure the instructor understands that you are working for strength, not flexibility. :pinch:

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Thanks Major Mel and Ms. Leigh.


I guess nothing comes without hard work- if you are a natural in terms of flexibility you may have strength problems and if you are strong but not too flexible from the start you got to work for flexibility.

There is always something to work on :jump: - but won`t life be oh so boring if there were no goals to achieve? :thumbsup::wacko::pinch:


I know I have the potential for nice extensions- when I start stretching I usually get my flexibility back in a very short time- but I am no natural by any means- even though I am hyperextended.

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