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Ballet Talk for Dancers

I found the muscles!


dansair

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I just realised that I have developed inner thigh muscles (vastus med) and can actually use them without activating the front (rectus) muscles.
This makes it possible to maintain turnout.

It is very difficult to understand corrections if there's no "internal feedback" in your body.

Turnout is a movement, yes! Not a position you once take and then forget about. I just have to remember that, cause now I have the tools!

:hyper:

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Great to hear dansair! I agree, I always tell my students 'turnout is a verb - not a noun'. It's a doing word, and action - not a position. Keep it up andlet us know how you progress!

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Great ! will probably develop more as you go on , strange how sometimes with muscles, you don't see them one minute the next they have appeared ! Keep it going

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That's great - let us know how your turnout improves over the coming weeks, now that you found the muscles. I've always felt that I had to "pull" from the outside of the hip to get turnout, and don't really understand how the inner thigh helps turnout. I'll have to go research more...

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Guest Pas de Quoi

One thing I believe helps my students in this regard, Andy32, is to focus on turning the legs "over" at the top. as opposed to simply "out". You can try lying on your back and extending one leg up and seeing how much you can turn the leg both in and out. This will give you a sense of the rotation idea, and how to maintain it, using the inside thigh muscles.

 

There is a great book I suggest my students consider purchasing - Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Haas. It is a very good resource, easy to understand, and not expensive.

 

It is available from Amazon.com.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's great - let us know how your turnout improves over the coming weeks, now that you found the muscles. I've always felt that I had to "pull" from the outside of the hip to get turnout, and don't really understand how the inner thigh helps turnout. I'll have to go research more...

The difficulty here is not developing muscles but to learn how to activate the right ones. That I have tried to learn by doing exercises in positions that rule out wrong muscles and thus make it easier to use the target muscles. As for sartorius (the muscle in your inner thigh running from inside knee up to your groin), take the first position and don't pull up your knees. Since in this position you dont have to extend knees, your quads can be relaxed. Now, focus on turning your legs out from the knee (not the hip), without activating quads. And Mr. Sartorius will salute you. :)

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Although we always must e very careful in turning out from the knees, rather than the hips. If they twist out of range, or near the edge of one's range, knees can be damaged. I'd say that keeping the quads completely relaxed (so knees aren't pulled up) would be necessary to take the tension out. But still, it's not something I'd feel my knees were comfortable in doing.

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If the sartorius is engaged, then the whole thigh will turn ("flat front"). Focusing on the inner side of the knee and starting the turn from there, using muscles only.

I don't understand how this can damage knees. Besides, this was only a method to engage the inner thigh muscles. Now that I've made the discovery, it is difficult to not activate those inner thigh muscles; external hip rotators and inner thigh muscles are working together.

 

I do not understand how using only external hip rotators could be enough for turnout. You need to turn your hip, knee and ankle. That's how my body seem to be willing to work. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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Oh I see what you mean now - that you are also engaged muscles in the thigh which work to turn & hold the head of the femur in the hip socket as well.

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