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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Bulky muscles


Guest harrietthedancer

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I have noticed more and more in the past few weeks at class that although I am not overweight I have really bulky muscles especially in my thighs and bottom, which is getting really awkward! It just ruins the line of everything I do and means I am constantly getting told off for 'not tucking my tail under' when I am, I just still stick out!!

 

I think it's probably because I do a lot of hillwalking and stuff, and I was a late starter, and probably party genetic too, but is there anything I can do about it apart from losing a lot of weight and starting again (not something I'd really consider)? And does anyone else have this problem? I'd appreciate any help!

 

Harriet

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Harriet, if it is genetic, there is really not much you can do about it. If it is from the hillwalking and "stuff", then perhaps that could go away. If it is from working incorrectly in class, then that is correctable with the right training. The idea of "tucking under" is a VERY, VERY old fashioned and wrong thing. If you are being taught to do that, run, don't walk, to a new school!

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A few years ago my thighs seemed very bulky and muscular. I found that simply stretching my quads out really well after class helped to reduce their size. Perhaps this is something you could try? It took about six or eight weeks for me to notice the results, but it was well worth the effort. I still do have more prominant thigh muscles than many people, but, as Ms. Leigh said, you can't do much about genetics.

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Thanks for the tips!

 

Ms Leigh, I didn't realise 'tucking under' was the wrong thing to do!! I can't quite believe that you're just meant to leave yourself sticking out behind, so what is the correct position/ feeling to have when dancing? I am starting a new school in september, hopefully taking 3 classes a week, so maybe this will improve things!

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Harriet, the body has to be aligned with the back as straight as possible. When the derrière is sticking out it's because the pelvis is tilted forward (hip bones going forward and down). You must place the pelvis with a feeling of lifting those bones upward. Then you use the abs and the back muscles and the muscles in the gluteus maximus to maintain the alignment. "Tucking" causes sitting in the legs, an inability to move well, and definitely can cause bulky muscles. Keep in mind that everyone HAS a gluteus maximus, and that your structure will determine HOW straight your back will be. If there is any derrière at all, then it's not a perfectly straight line back there! :yes:

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  • 4 weeks later...
I have noticed more and more in the past few weeks at class that although I am not overweight I have really bulky muscles especially in my thighs and bottom, which is getting really awkward! It just ruins the line of everything I do and means I am constantly getting told off for 'not tucking my tail under' when I am, I just still stick out!!

 

I think it's probably because I do a lot of hillwalking and stuff, and I was a late starter, and probably party genetic too, but is there anything I can do about it apart from losing a lot of weight and starting again (not something I'd really consider)? And does anyone else have this problem? I'd appreciate any help!

 

Harriet

 

I've had the same problem! I took a fitness class at school that required a lot of running and jumping, so my teacher thinks that that was where the change began. She's suggested that I stretch my quads a lot so I guess we should both try it!

 

Jessica

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my quads suddenly started to look buly, and i changed my training schedule arond a little. i added Balanchine classes [my main trainiing isnt, but i've done it before-just not regularly] and added extra stretching--and now, my quads have "stretched out" and the line is longer and leaner-thank goodness!

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Knock knock..

I am 14, but I too do that 'tucking under', to get the 'straight back'. One of my teachers has really been working with me, she is always saying lift up and out of your waist and stretch your tail bone. It seems to work for me!

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  • 9 months later...
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Besides working correctly in ballet class, the main stretch for quads is the "runners stretch", where you stand in parallel, bend one knee taking the foot back and up towards the buttocks. Hold the top of the foot and be sure not to sickle it, and pull the foot to the buttocks. The knees stay together, don't open the bent leg to the side. VERY important to maintain correct alignment and not allow the buttocks to go back. Hold for a slow count of 8, do other leg, and repeat as needed. It's an easy stretch and does not usually hurt, but it does stretch the quad muscles.

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The stretch Ms. Leigh mentioned is IMO the best for stretching the quads. But I also do another where you lay on your back, legs straight in front. Tuck one leg under itself (heel to buttocks). If you have really tight quads you won't be able to lay you're knee on the floor or keep your legs parallel. This also helps release the hip flexors :blink:

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  • 4 months later...
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Camilla, I believe that has been answered above. Also, please do not substitute single letters for words on Ballet Talk for Dancers. I have corrected your post above to replace the "u" with you.

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  • 2 months later...

I have never seen your physic so it is almost impossible for me to tell you what to do but I know alot of people who say to me 'This is to big' or 'this is to small' but personaly I believe that it is all about preportions. Perhaps your calfs could be worked on therefore your thighs wont look as big. But if you are looking to reduce the size of your thighs try to turnout from the inside of your legs and not the outside. Also when jumping always use the feet and think of using your calfs.

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  • 1 year later...

I have the same problem as Harriet but I think mine is mostly genetics so not much can be done but I think I will start stretching my quads after class a lot more and hopefully this will help. I love this website so much you can get so much useful information so quickly. Thanks!

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