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Ballet Talk for Dancers

leg on the barre stretch


DewDrop5392

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About every few classes one of my teachers will do a combination with the leg on the barre, and it will have a part in it where you slide into a split on your tendon. Now, I have heard that this is very bad and can cause tendonitis. In recent times, I have slid more on the calves area helping myself along the barre, so it isn't messing too much with my tendon. Do I need to talk to this teacher about not doing this stretch, if so how could I do this politely.

 

~*DewDrop5392*~

 

 

P.S. I usually only have this teacher once a week.

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  • Administrators

Probably best to just fake the stretch that one day a week. Just don't slide on the tendon, and if the teacher asks why you are not sliding, just say it hurts your tendon, or your knees, or whatever. They can't argue with that, and you do not want to argue with the teacher on this.

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I'm not so worried about the weight bearing on the tendon as I am on the lateral stress being exerted on the supporting knee. The knee wasn't designed to bend or take force from side to side - only straight to back! And if you're hyperextended at all, that straight-to-back stress will really do a number on your kneecap and surrounding structures. If you're straight-legged, it won't do them any good, either!

 

While I wouldn't exactly advise lying to your teacher, say that the slide "hurts your supporting knee." If asked, "Do you have pain?" and you don't, THEN lie. Say yes. :yes:

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I'd actually like to second what Mr. Johnson said. :clover: I strained my knee last Thursday in class doing that stretch, and while weekend classes were cancelled, I haven't been able to go to class yet this week. I strained a tendon or a ligament (I can't remember which is which) on around the inside back of my knee, and like -- it hurts when I touch it, and I've been limping around with a knee brace and ice for the past week. I can't even point that leg, because it involves my knee. It's just a mess.

 

I'm really hyperextended and my knees have a tendency to accidentally move side-to-side if I'm not careful when I'm walking, so ... yeah. Not fun. :clover:

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  • Administrators

It is a bad stretch, for everyone, but especially anyone with hyperextended legs. And it's an unnecessary stretch. You can accomplish the same thing with splits, where you are in control of gravity by keeping the weight in the arms and by not going beyond what is safe for you.

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