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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Full splits


Shobana Patrick

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I am presently having a problem with my splits. I used to be able to do a full split but now I cant seem to do it properly or at least completely ! Is there any stretching technique that I can do to help me to get a full split ? :wink: thank you !

Edited by Shobana Patrick
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Splits are their own training ground. The best way to stretch into a split is to do one, and keep doing them. Never, ever go into a split without first being thoroughly warmed up.

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well a good way to stetch for the splits is that you can try and put one of your legs straight in front of you then put your other leg bended behind you sorta like as if its in attitude but on the floor then you can just bend your head down to the knee of the leg in front of you. :) i hope that helps a little!

 

If you needed help with the splits the other way otherwise known as the straddle splits then you can sit on the floor then spread each leg to the side as much as you can. Next you can bend foward or streach your arms in font of you but dont let your legs turn in (keep them facing the ceiling) hope i could help! :D

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My teacher taught me to face the barre then put one leg on it, then you slowly move the leg on the barre down or further away from you but remember to keep it turned out. good luck! :)

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Oh! Oh! Oh-oh!!! :)

 

Now, that first method of getting a stretch is out of a "jazz split", which is safe, and certainly productive of some stretching of the hamstrings, and the second is really about the only way to do straddle splits safely.

 

The third method, involving sliding the leg down the barre, isn't a good idea. Even if you retain turnout on the supporting leg, that exercise will force/jam the knee back into a locked position and then stress it. It used to be done a lot, by many teachers, but since about the 70s, when performance medicine began to take a more public place, it's been clearly demonstrated to be dangerous. I used to do it myself, when I was a student, but I don't give it now, now that I'm a teacher.

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It also causes serious rolling on the supporting leg and excess pressure on the achilles tendon of the leg on the barre. VERY BAD STRETCH!!!!!!!!!

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Sorry, wesalot, but your post had to be removed. I know you are new, so perhaps you didn't know that parents cannot post on the Young Dancer forums. :wink:

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Sorry, wesalot, but your post had to be removed. I know you are new, so perhaps you didn't know that parents cannot post on the Young Dancer forums. :yes:

 

 

No, I did not realize that I did that - and I do pride myself as a rule follower! Thank you for watching out for me!!!

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It also causes serious rolling on the supporting leg and excess pressure on the achilles tendon of the leg on the barre. VERY BAD STRETCH!!!!!!!!!

Oh wow! thank you for telling me that :(

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Oh, NO!! We do this all the time-"The third method, involving sliding the leg down the barre, isn't a good idea." How do I address my teacher regarding this? I don't want to continue doing it BUT how do I best approach her when she is definitely old school?

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The only thing you can do is to tell her that that particular exercise hurts you, and you're wondering if there is an alternative exercise that she could offer you instead. That and find another teacher, but quite honestly, there are still huge masses of teachers that still give that and 4th position grand pliés, and frog...... :(

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Thank you Ballerina.girl, Sir Johnson and Miss Leigh ! :) I'll begin working on the first two that you recommended .....i used to do the third one that you mentioned ( stretching on barre ) but i guess i should stop that now :)

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Health medicine professionals along with famous ballet teachers discivered that there is no reason to do grand plié in fourth position, because when the legs are in 4th, the deep knee bending puts too much torque on the knee joints and too much pressure on the tendons.

 

Most co. classes will have some form of temps lié or put in a useful port de dras exercise in place of it. Demi pliés in 4th however need to be worked on because they are usuful for set-up to pirouettes, among other things.

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