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Hi! I need help with extension to the front, side, and back. I have a full splits and a pretty good back but I just can not develope my leg high at all. When I go to the front, it does not reach higher than 90. When I go to the side, it is the same. How do I get my legs higher and what muscles should I use. Are there any exorcises that I can do to increase me flexibility and/or increase my strength to hold these positions? Thanks

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Hi, bmcl1991, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :wub:


In order to get decent extensions, which you must have before you have high extensions, you have to have a middle. Your lower abdominals must be pulled inward and upward in order for you to engage the deep-down muscles like the compound muscle the iliopsoas and the soleus which will help to get the thigh raised to the level allowing the extension of the leg from there. Remember, once you've raised the knee, you're committed! It must never drop once it's up there! In order to get more muscles engaged, you must make sure that your working/gesture leg is fully rotated from the hipjoint, and that you are not trying to lift it with the quadriceps muscles. The muscles that lift the leg are abductors, and will not work properly if the legs are not turned out from the hips. Don't sink the weight into the supporting hip, either. That doesn't help a bit. Think of the legs being lifted from underneath, rather than being pulled up from the top.

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