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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hyperextension and poor turnout -- control and improvement


Lucia Prada

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I have knee hyperextension (probably caused/increased by wrong attemps to do perfect turned out positions when a child), and my turnout is not good. The situation now is that when my knees are straight and face front, my feet are appart AND they even look (very) slightly turned outwards. I have very narrow feet, and I tend to put the weight of my body on the inside of my foot (plus, my small toe is ridiculously tiny, it almost doesn't touch the floor, so it doesn't help with my balance even on flat feet). All this makes me tilt my pelvis forward and arch my back. Also, as a consequence, my fifth is AWFUL. My legs do not look straight (my knees crash against each other!), and my feet don't look wide open (nothing close to a "tip-against-heel" position).

 

What can I do to control all these issues and:

1) Control my hyperextension, so that it's not a handicap.

2) Improve my fifth, so looks nicer.

3) Improve my turnout.

 

Please, give me advice with actual exercises, so I can put in practice whatever you have to say to me (detailed descriptions and pictures/videos will help!).

 

Thank you very much. -- Lucía.

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Lucia. I moved your post to this forum, as it is about technique, not about health or nutrition. :)

 

The first thing you have to do to improve ANY of the things you listed above is to improve your alignment and weight placement. You cannot control the hyperextension without those things, nor can you improve rotation. Without rotation you cannot improve your fifth position. I'm linking an excellent post on alignment for you: http://dancers.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=35504

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Hi! Do your knees look like the picture on the left?

 

http://optimumsportsperformance.com/blog/w...valgumvarum.jpg

 

I was wondering by your description of your feet being apart if you are slightly knock kneed along with hyperextension? One of my dancer friends was built like this and her teacher had to work very carefully with her to find a good fifth position.

 

Once she understood correct alignment, as Ms. Leigh suggests, she actually had really good balance :o

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Hi Lucia.

 

I'm no expert, but I'm just wondering whether you've ever seen a podiatrist? From your description (the fact that your weight is on the inside of your feet, plus the fact that they turn out slightly) is making me wonder whether you may have over-pronation. If that is the case, the podiatrist will give you exercises to strengthen your feet and ankles. If this is part of the cause of your alignment issues, then strengthening your feet/ankles will put your feet in correct alignment which can have a huge effect on the alignment of your legs and knees.

 

As I said, I am not an expert! I don't know how much of an effect exercises will have on adult feet!

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