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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Question about rotation/turnout exercises


morninglorie

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I hate to make a whole topic for this silly question, but I couldn't find the answer in all my searching...

 

How often should one do the rotation exercises (in the sticky above, from Ms. Clara)? A lot of my current problems/corrections in class are stemming from my sometimes lack of rotation, so I wanted to start doing exercises and stretching more regularly. Should I do them daily? Every other day? More than once a day? :)

 

I don't want to over do it, but I also want to make sure I'm doing them often enough to help. I'm doing two classes a week at the moment, but I will be moving up to at least 3 within the next couple of weeks (and the studio wants me to start taking the advanced class, eep!).

 

My turnout isn't horrible, but I've definitely lost strength in my inner thighs/hamstrings that I'd like to get back. When I try to lift my leg higher, I start losing the rotation and lifting with my quad and hip flexor. Boo, hiss!

 

P.S. I have Deborah Vogel's book about turnout (thanks for the recommendation, Pas de Quoi!) and have been trying to do the exercises/stretches in there, and from the IADMS article, but again, not sure how often I should be doing these things!

 

Thanks as always, everyone! :wub:

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I don't think there is any answer to the should. In general, the idea is to keep doing any kind of exercise like those mentioned over a long time period. I like to insert exercises like those in my regular exercise program and to make them part of my warm-up for class. I like doing specific exercises irregularly, sometimes doing them intensely for a short time and then not at all for a time. Experiment. You'll probably find that they all don't work equally well for you, which is fine. Trust yourself to find the way to use them that you believe is best for you.

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Also, some of the exercises I describe are simply to get you to be able to feel the muscular sensation you need to in order to then begin to make that muscle group engage while you are turning out in ballet class!!

 

The exercises will not necessarily suddenly make your legs/body/whatever work well in class. You have to make them work- but first you have to identify what to do!

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Ah, Ms. Clara, you’re right—I need to remember to pay attention and use/engage those muscles in class, not just at home when I’m exercising! :blush: I feel like I know where they are/what they feel like, but am having a hard time using/engaging them; other muscles like to take over and then I have a hard time isolating that feeling again (especially when my leg is in the air). I hope that made sense.

 

Everyone here is so lovely and patient (especially as I’ve been asking so many questions lately). I’ve been getting so excited about being back in a proper class that I’ve been cruising through the forums and absorbing as much information as I can. Unfortunately, this has also had the consequence of making me fret about everything I’m doing wrong, and trying to figure out how to fix it (I probably just need to relax.)

 

As far as my turnout is concerned, I was fretting both about strengthening the muscles I think are weaker (inner thighs, hamstrings), and stretching the ones that are tight (hip flexors, glutes—thanks, desk job!). During my aforementioned forum surfing, I noticed that a lot of my problems (the tightness in my hips/glutes when I try to close fifth properly, my hyperextended knees (grumble), my tendency to use my quads/hip flexors when lifting my leg to second, etc. etc) can be controlled or helped by making sure to strengthen/use one’s turnout muscles. Hence my desire to work on them. At the same time, I didn’t want to overwork or over-stretch anything.

 

Garyecht, the hard part is trusting myself! It’s been a long time since I’ve had to listen to my body so carefully. That’s probably why I’m spazzing out about it. :D I like your relaxed approach.

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