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Ballet Talk for Dancers

knees always look a little bent...


Guest grandallegro

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Guest grandallegro

Hello everyone!

I have quite a problem. I do NOT have hyperextended legs, not even in the very least. Whenever I do steps, such as arabesques en pointe, my knee always looks a little bent, even though I'm trying my darndest to hold it straight, and even if it IS straight.

I was wondering if there were any exercises to lengthen those muscles so I can straighten my knees.

Thank you all for your time!

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This is the one where you sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, then put a (very dead) tennis ball under the backs of your knees and then straighten your knees, with a view toward squishing the tennis ######. If the tennis ball is too firm, then get something a little less dense, like a small Nerf ball. (foam rubber)

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It does stretch cartilage, which does have a little give to it, whether they be tendons or ligaments. What we're talking about here are matters of millimeters, and that much stretch a ligament has. Once that point has been reached, though, bones can break before certain ligaments will give! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, little off-topic but still related. What is it that makes an unstraightened knee techincially incorrect? I mean, in what specific ways is it wrong/what weakness does it signify? Ive gotten corrected on this a few times recently, when I wasn't even aware I was doing it (oops!) In the one case I was really tired and jet-lagged. In the other, I was cheating a little to get my extension a bit higher. In both cases it was an extension to the front.

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An unstraightened leg can be evidence that the leg extensors are not working up to par, and in the supporting leg, can provide an unstable base. It shows an unattractive picture, that's neither one thing nor another, if it's in the gesture ("working") leg. It can also be symptomatic of hypoextension, where the joints cannot extend fully because of structure. This latter condition can only be corrected by major, major surgery.

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Guest Rubberband

This past year when my knees were sore a lot because I have the habit of standing around putting my weight back into my hyperextension. My physical therapist gave me that same excersice , among others, to do! He said all the excersices he gave me are meant to strengthen the quads and inner thigh muscles so you use those muscles to pull up on your leg rather than leaning back into your knee.

 

:)

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  • 10 months later...
Guest falloutoftheyear

Hi, I'm new to the forum and I have a question about knees as well... I don't dance in a ballet school or have ever been FORMALLY taught ballet(although, I'm planning on starting classes soon), but I do colorguard and we do a lot of ballet and modern dance in it....I was just wondering...I have very...big...kneecaps....and it never looks like my leg is straight...is there any way to remedy this? Can i look decent if i can't fix this? I really want to improve my skills and to look graceful when i dance....Please help

~Richard

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  • Administrators

Hello Richard, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers :)

 

Straightening the knees can usually be accomplished, with a lot of work, but you will need to do some extra work outside of ballet class. In class, the teacher will need to work with you, to show you how to use the quads, and then hopefully give you some exercises to do. Some one-on-one instruction with a Pilates teacher might also be helpful.

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