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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Knee bending in fifth?


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I honestly feel like I can not close to any fifth position (fifth and also sous-sus) without one of my knees being bent. And this goes for if I hold my self up on the barre, lying on the floor with my legs up, while jumping entrechats or hanging from something- there is ALWAYS a gap between my feet and my knees hit eachother. and it also goes for whether I am turning out only to 90 degrees or 180 ( I have near perfect turn out- its not quite the perfect 180 but very close)


I am quite hyperexteded and also have "knock knees" - unfortuneatly not bow legged.

This being I have weak inner thighs- from using my hyper extension to sit in the straight leg rather than pulling up through the inner thighs


Teacher A (SFB) says its because the above problem of a lack of inner thigh strength


Teacher B( SAB, MCB soloist) says its because I am hyper exteded and I will always have to shift and bend more to close to fifth than girls who are not


Teacher C (ballet az) says you will always just have to keep your knees slightly bent


I'm not sure who to listen to...


there are two girls that are hyperexteded as I am and they seem to have the exact same problem


so is this because I am not using my inner thighs and pulling up enough, or is it possible that I actually cannot close to fifth because of the structure of my legs? something else?


does anyone else have this problem??


when I watch videos of class on youtube, it seems like a lot of people do this?

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Having hyper-extention does create an issue with a student feeling the knees stretched in closed positions, particularly 5th position. Without seeing you it is difficult to direct you on which teaching practice to follow. The answer is not always the same for all. Students with hyper-extention may never feel as if their legs are stretched fully however strengthening the upper thigh muscles to pull the knees up can give the student more strength not to sit back in the knees where the student feels "straight".

I would say you need more inner thigh strength and upper thigh strength. In order to do this you will also have to strengthen you body to pull up more. Working with your legs only will not achieve your objective.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have the exact same problem! My legs are extremely hyperextended, If i locked my knees completely back with my thighs touching then my feet would be in a second! I really have to pull up especially on my knees. When I wrap and use my turn out in first and then place my foot in fifth only using rotators I always feel that my knee is bent! It is very frustrating!

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  • 9 months later...

I has this same problem and it really is about inner thigh strength to a large extent. When you do tendus squeeze the muscles that yoe would squeeze if you were holding in pee lol. It sounds weird but it really helps to keep perfect turnout which will give your legs the best possible position to be straight as they can. Good luck!

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