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Anybody have some great exercises to do while at work?


NoTwoSnowflakes

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So, like a lot of adult dancers, I spent a large portion of my day at the office. I figure there's got to be something I can do while I sit, and I found this one: if you sit with your pelvis aligned on the edge of your chair and your feet on the ground, and then lift your knee up, and then down, you really work your hip flexor, leading to greater strength for extensions. I decided to start it this week, and goodness! It really does isolate that hip flexor! It looks like it couldn't possibly, due to the minimal movement, but I spent less than 5 minutes doing it and I'm sore. Plus it's totally normal looking while at a desk to do it. As I get stronger, the suggestion is to add a theraband, and that's totally do-able at work, too. Another article discussed how hip flexor strength is critical in ballet, but not really isolated for strengthening in the same way other things are while actually in class, so the study was aiming to find out if easy targeting exercises could result in significant gains. The answer? Yes! Dancers gained an average of 6.5" height gain in active extension simply for doing 5 minute exercises targeting the hip flexor three times a week. The exercises the dancers did in the study were similar to the one in the other article, but the dancer was sitting on the floor instead. Obviously the one I'm going to do is more office chair friendly!

 

Anybody have other suggestions? I'd love to have a few go-to exercises when I'm bored or reading. Perhaps something for foot and ankle strength, too? I am getting increasingly more stable up on high demi-pointe on one foot, and anything I can do to encourage that process while not at class would be great since I've got plenty of time.

 

I brought my therabands in!

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How about this one? Sitting straight at desk chair, feet flat. Theraband around both knees. Separate knees, hold, return. Repeat.

With my hips at 90 degrees and my feet not exactly under me as they would be if I were standing and doing a plie, does this still help my turnout strength? The strength to hold turnout while doing other things has been slow in developing. Because if it's still a good exercise, I can sit here with a theraband around my knees all day if I wanted to. Of course, I should probably remember to remove it before going to get coffee. Or, even if I make it to the kitchen with a theraband around my knees, prudence suggests one should probably not risk the way back with a hot cup of coffee, hee. :rolleyes:

Edited by NoTwoSnowflakes
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I think that always being aware of your core, and pulling in & up while sitting can be really important. Something one can do all the time.

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How about this one? Sitting straight at desk chair, feet flat. Theraband around both knees. Separate knees, hold, return. Repeat.

 

With my hips at 90 degrees and my feet not exactly under me as they would be if I were standing and doing a plie, does this still help my turnout strength? The strength to hold turnout while doing other things has been slow in developing.

 

If you are doing this with your legs parallel, you would be working your abductors - the muscles on the outer side of the thigh which are not really the ones you want to be focusing on to increase your turnout (or external rotation) strength. They are important muscles still, but they can also get very tight easily so I would make sure I foam rolled them every day you did those exercises.

 

If you wanted to work your inner thigh muscles (your adductors) at your desk, you could try squeezing a ball between your knees, hold for 10 then relax. To work your calves, take your shoes off an do mini rises with your knees bent. You can work to strengthen your feet too - pointe and flex, articulating your toes (toe swapping), doming exercises - lots of fun things that will never be seen under the desk! :)

 

I think there is athread somewhere that explains toe swapping and doming if you want to search.

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I will think about some exercises to do at your desk - studying to be a PT so should be able to come up with something.

In the mean time I wanted to ask you the link to the article of the dancers who gained so much extension - wanted to PM you but you haven't made enough posts for that yet.

 

If you don't want to post it here or if that isn't allowed (although I think it is?), I think you could send it to one of the board moderators who could then pass it on to me.

 

Thanks :flowers:

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I was just about to ask this, but I didn't know how to phrase it!!! I read a lot and try to think creatively often (which feels like "doing nothing") so I've been wondering exercises I can do at the desk. !!! :) Love the hip flexor one--mine tend to be tight so I'll not do too many, but I'd jump up and down if I saw a 6.5in gain particularly devant!!! awesome. keep em coming yall.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, this really isnt an exercise like you are talking about but more as one for sore feet etc.... but, I have a tennis b a l l in my desk drawer which I regularly toss on the floor and with my shoes off roll around underneath the ball of the foot... also great for releasing knots in the back if you wedge it between your back and the back of your office chair and just keep shifting your weight ever so slightly so it rubs the knot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will think about some exercises to do at your desk - studying to be a PT so should be able to come up with something.

In the mean time I wanted to ask you the link to the article of the dancers who gained so much extension - wanted to PM you but you haven't made enough posts for that yet.

 

If you don't want to post it here or if that isn't allowed (although I think it is?), I think you could send it to one of the board moderators who could then pass it on to me.

 

Thanks :flowers:

Hey, sorry I missed this. Anyway, the article was here: http://www.danceadvantage.net/2010/02/11/deb-vogel-developpe/

 

Oh, wait, maybe you wanted the academic article, not the exercise that I found to achieve what the article was discussing. I don't know how I got the original article when I did, but now I can't seem to find it for reading online. The article was originally published here, though: http://www.dancemedicine.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=63

Edited by NoTwoSnowflakes
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I work at a fairly conservative office environment, so I don't take of my shoes or anything like that but here are some things I do in order to keep my body warm and to be aware of my body more while I'm at work:

 

1) I keep my shoulders back and sit only at the edge of my chair, with a straight back.

2) When I take a bathroom break, I try to use the bigger stalls and stretch neck, shoulders, thighs and arms.

3) SHOES: I wear heels almost everyday, but I try to find shoes with flexible soles and stretch my arches. For those of you who can discreetly take off your shoes at work, you can do these exercises too. I found a book on Amazon Kindle (Ballet Feet & Pointe Shoes (An Aspiring Ballerina's Guide To)) by Gemma Pearce and there are some stretches you can do for your feet and ankles.

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So, like a lot of adult dancers, I spent a large portion of my day at the office. I figure there's got to be something I can do while I sit, and I found this one: if you sit with your pelvis aligned on the edge of your chair and your feet on the ground, and then lift your knee up, and then down, you really work your hip flexor, leading to greater strength for extensions.

 

I did this at work today, and oy vey! Not only did I feel it (after an embarrassingly low number of reps), but my lower back felt strangely crunchy a little while afterwards too...

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Novaverse-

You were likely arching your lower back. It should not feel "crunchy" if you stay in straight alignment and engage your abs!

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Thank you for sharing this! I just did it at work. On the second exercise to do "Once that becomes easier to do you can lean back in your chair so your back is against the back of the chair (your lower back and pelvis may be slightly tucked under, that’s okay for this exercise – even though it isn’t for your standing alignment)"...are you still sitting on the front part of the chair?

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I walk on my toes a lot! I'm hoping this helps strengthen them quite a bit over time.

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I'm hoping you mean demi-pointe, Roseweave! Please do not walk on the tips of your toes. Very bad for you!

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I said my toes, not the tips, lol. That's not physically possible for me right now, I think. I'm used to walking on my toes anyway. I've done it more consciously recently since my reasoning is that demi-pointe uses most of the same muscles that pointe does, so if I ease myself into it pointe will be easier for me at some point.

Though as an extension of that, should I start wearing high heels? I've always kind of subscribed to the angry feminist high heels = torture devices thing but if I'm going to wreck my feet anyway maybe i'd be at a disadvantage down the road if I do start point if I wasn't used to walking in them?

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