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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Stretching across the front of the Pelvis....


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I've always felt that my pelvis and upper thigh area are the tightest in my body. I've been working a lot over the past few months on rotation, and feel that it's improving -- but mainly noticeable when the gesturing leg has no weight on it, and in my stability when standing on one leg. I've especially be concentrating on all types of rond de jambes, and on constantly thinking about increasing turnout through movements like developes, etc. My extension is far from stellar, but I think looks better, and I've found that place (although I don't always get to it!) where there is room for the leg to go higher, I just need to build the strength and consistency to get it there.


But when it comes to standing, I'm increasingly aware of a slight stretch -- and this is hard to explain. I think the best sensation is that there's a rubberband, hooked to each one of my hipbones horizontally across the front of my pelvis. When I turnout, I feel the legs working in opposition to each other, but it's like I've stretched the rubberband as far as it can go. I also feel the tops of the insides of my thighs working against each other, but in a good way. I feel like I'm working the turnout from underneath in the back, and that the stuff I feel in the front are the muscles stretching/adjusting to my slight improvement in turn out, but again, when standing on both legs, I almost feel like that rubber band has reached its limit. Is there any good way to stretch that oppositional feeling, in the hopes of it slightly loosening up? I sometimes lay on my back with my legs open in second, but that doesn't seem to quite get to the feeling that I have when standing. Or am I doing something completely wrong?


Edited to add: I just had a related thought -- I'm one of those whose pelvis tips naturally -- the sway back look where the sit bones point back instead of down. So, working on turnout and alignment also means stretching vertically across the front of my pelvis.... Anyways, I just got up to check in the mirror when I feel the tightness, and its definitely when I'm working in correct (or as correct as I can currently get) alignment. So maybe it's a combination of vertical/horizontal tightness I'm feeling???????? ugh. Darn complicated body!

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It sounds like you're working correctly and the stretching is the right feeling....


Most adults need psoas stretches and IT band releases, and you could add in some of the stretches on the largest Yoga b a l l. Other than that, it sounds like you're in a good place!!!!!!! :)

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Thanks Clara -- I'll try to be better about focusing my stretching to ensure that I address these areas. My variations class this summer conflicts with yoga! Boo. I may have to invest in a b a l l to use at home.

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  • 2 months later...

I also have a natural swayback/slightly tilted pelvis and have been trying to improve on my turnout, along with my placement. When I am working in correct alignment (and am working on really holding my turnout) i feel tight in the front of the hips. Is this also a reflection of tightness/shortness of the psoas muscle? That is what my AD told me. Are there any specific stretches that I can do to loosen the muscle? And will this in turn aid in increasing my turnout?


Thank you in advance for any advice that you're able to give me!



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Hello Julietxo and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. Your question is a very good one, however one that does require a bit more "hands on" instruction than I am able to give in cyberspace. Perhaps you might like to ask your teacher to help you a bit with the appropriate stretches. It is important that you are instructed how to stretch correctly. A physical therapist could guide you as well. Most impotant is to work correctly with your posture. It is very good that you are aware of the things you need to work. :)

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While I'm not sure if it answers any questions (it's 2:30 am here) I will volunteer that I have a huge lordotic curve and I find it helpful to stretch my hip flexors several times a day to help with my alignment.

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