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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Stretching problem

Guest Tagiloni

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Guest Tagiloni

Greetings experts and fellow forum users :wink:


I am a 13 year old dancer and am trying to improve my flexibility, but i am having a bit of angst about front\back splits (not side\side splits). With my legs straight, I can sink down and just about reach the ground, but am still a few degrees off :D . Of course holding this "hovering" position an inch above the ground is strenuous for my knees and arms and I can't hold the position nearly long enough to get the benifits of the stretch.


Do any of our experts have any exercises or stretches that I could do to lengthen the ligamets and muscles that come into play here, without having to hold this strenuous position for long periods of time! :wub:

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There are no short cuts to accomplishing "the splits". As with most things in ballet, doing is the route to success. :) If you do not feel confident practicing on your own, ask your teacher to instruct you on how to work.

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Hi and welcome Taglioni. This isn't to do with your question, but I was just wondering where in New Zealand you were from? :rolleyes: I'm from there too, but had to move to Aus. I go there regulary to visit and stuff.

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I think in order to achieve a full split, you need flexibility in the hamstrings and in the hip flexors.


A really good stretch for the hip flexors, is a runners stretch, but dropping the back knee to the ground, pressing the hips forward, and trying to get the entire back leg flat on the ground, while keeping your back erect and up. A lot of dancers will slide into the position, but not feel the stretch, usually because they don't keep their back straight up, and their front heel in the ground.


For the hamstrings, there are so many wonderful stretches, and everyone has their own. I like to lay on my back and pull one leg in, and past my head, slightly off to the side.


Once you have stretched these muscles fully, then sliding into your split should be easier. Of course the key is consistently stretching AFTER you are fully warm. (i.e. after class). :(


For your difficulty in the "hovering" position, I think it's hard for everyone, especially for those of us with weak arms. But as your flexibility increases, you no longer need to hover, and problem solved.


Hope this helped. :offtopic:

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Guest Tagiloni

If I could fill the whole page with "grins" i would!


Thank you so much, dancerwithwings that was just the information I needed! Most of my problem was indeed in my back leg, because I do feel that the hamstrings are ready for the stretch, but my back leg was holding me back because of some unknown muscle's inflexibility!


And by the way Skye90, I live in Wellington.


Thank you so much everyone! :wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

what i did to achieve my splits was i put one foot on a step and just did the splits! i am glad i can do them now cause my ballet dance has them in it!!!

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