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Using the wrong muscles?


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It seems to me that I use the muscles on the front of my thighs (Are those the quads?) too much when I'm holding my leg in an extention (to the front, side, or in arabesque) . I know that it isn't really possible to always avoid using those muscles at all, but I think I'm getting some overdeveloped muscles while the 'right' ones aren't getting used much. Also, sometimes it feels like my muscles get in the way of my leg and I could get it a lot higher if the muscles in that part of my leg weren't engaged. Even when I try very hard to use the right muscles, it seems like I really can't control which muscles I use.


How much use of the quads is 'okay'? Are there any excersizes I should be doing that will help me to isolate the correct muscles? Or is there really nothing I can do except keep on practising?

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Magdalena, the quads are the muscles in the front of the thigh. They do have to work in extensions, but they should not be gripped and overworking, as that is what adds to overdevelopment. The leg can lift by feeling that the energy is coming from underneath the leg, and only really using the quads at the top of the extension, so that the knee is really straight and you can hold the extension.


I cannot quantify the use of the quads for you. One of the best exercises to help you feel the leg lifting more from underneath is to use breathing. Lift your leg to retiré, take a breath and lift the thigh to the side with the knee bent, exhale and release the lower half of the leg to the extension. Keyword: Release. Don't PULL it up there, let it go up there. The exhale helps. Imagine a circular energy, like a big ferris wheel, going around your body and lifting the the leg for you as it moves from underneath to the top.


This will only work if you are very well aligned and placed, with your weight lifted out of your legs, feeling very free and ready to move.

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Thank you for your advice. :lol: I'll be working on that.

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I've been practising my developes a lot and just in the last couple days I've noticed considerable improvement :yes: I can now do them in arabesque and to the side without overusing my quads, but I think I'm still gripping when I do a develope devant. Is that normal to use the quads more in devant?

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I did a Search on "Gripping", and this is what I came up with:


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I seem to have the exact same problem, I am going to take your advice and work on using my hamstrings. But there is one problem, my hip flexers. I feel as though something is stuck when I lift my leg up, and when ever I bring my leg down it pops! Has anyone ever had this problem? Does anyone has advice? :thumbsup:



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it sounds like you may have an overall alignment issue. Check with your teacher to see exactly what the problem is, and if there's any pain, you need to see a doctor ASAP. Good luck and keep us posted.

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