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Plie depth difference in legs, uneven hips


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I notice that when I'm doing plies in fifth or fourth position, one of my legs can't go as deep as the other one and I can't keep my hips square (one is higher than the other). One of my instructors told me to only go as low as the less flexible leg, but I'd like to be more flexible.


It doesn't happen in first or second position and when I force my back leg into more of a turnout, the depth improves a little bit.


Are there any other ways besides calf and soleus stretches to help me improve my plie depth? I did the measurements listed in Perfect Pointe and my right leg is a full centimeter closer to the wall than my left, which I believe has to do with an injury that resulted in tendonitis a couple of years ago.

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Let me ask this: why is depth so important to you?

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Let me ask this: why is depth so important to you?


I guess I'd just like my legs to be more even when I plié, especially when I'm about to jump, and the depth of the weaker leg might not be enough to do a decent jump. Hope that makes sense.

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I worry about the tendonitis, since plié depth is often related to the achilles tendon. Before you start working on forcing achilles tendon flexibility, I hope your body is healed up from its previous injury. Tendon injuries are tricky beasts! Tread carefully with this one. I mean, if one side cannot go as deep as the other, and if you're injured, then it might be safer for you to only plié as far as the shallow side is able.

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There you go! I think the most important thing here is not depth, but equality between the 2 legs. Go only as far as the shorter leg allows, but, focus on the quality of your movements.

Focus on your weight distribution: is your weight too far back in your heels?

Focus on your rotation: are you feeling the muscles controlling your rotation all the way through both the bending and the straightening?

Focus on tracking your knees directing them to stay on one plane which should place the knees directed over the 2nd and 3rd toes both throughout the bend and the straighten

Focus on your alignment, including and especially, your abdomen and ribcage: Are you engaging the abdominal band all the way around the body so that it acts like a belt holding your ribcage aloft? Are you being certain you are not bending forward or backwards? Are you certain your sitz bones are directed straight down neither tipping forward or back? Are you moving your plié so that it never stops?

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Just to clarify - we're talking about a demi-plie only? If so, I agree with Clara, if we're talking about a grands plie we need to look in other areas...

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For what it's worth, I have the same problem. My demi-plie in 4th and 5th is always very shallow and I often feel like one heel is more flexible. This is a problem because my instructor continually asks me for a deeper plie, but I generally feel that my back foot (on both sides) is tight. I've tried to stretch my soleus and achilles, but I have a hard time getting a good stretch. Any suggestions?

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Maybe you could look at some alternatives to stretching such as massage, trigger pointing or even dry needling/acupuncture. I know many people who have had good success with these sorts of techniques, however the involvment of the appropriatly trained practioner is highly advisable - you don't want just anyone sticking needles in you! Maybe start by trying a bit of self massage at home and see if it makes any difference.

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My best suggestions are above :)

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