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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Concrete legs??


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My teacher did a bit of floor barre this weekend and she showed us this exercise.


You sit with your legs in wide second, back straight. YOu place your hands in front of you on the floor and lean forward slightly so some of your weight is on your arms and hands, back is still straight. Then you attmept to lift your legs one at a time, not using the major quad muscle on top, but rather a combination of your inner thighmuscles and abs.


Did my legs lift? I tried and I tried, I managed about a centimeter today, but all in all they felt like concrete...and I am shocked at how such a simple exercise could be so difficult and why is it? I tried the mind over matter thing, and the relaxing thing and the breathing and nothing helped.


What is this exercise telling me? what do I need to work on? and has anyone or does anyone else do this exercise and if so were you as appaling as I was when you first started it?


Jeanette :confused:

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Well, since I am at work right now and anyone could walk into my office, I'm not going to try this exercise just now :) BUT it sounds really hard! - I don't imagine I would have much more success than you did :( Sounds like it might a psoas thing though?

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Indeed, sounds very difficult! I tried and I think you need to lift from underneath. I find they are often the hardest muscles to engage anyway. I was not very successful!:(

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I'm also in my office right now so I'm not going to give it a go but it sounds awfully hard. I was given an exercise once to strengthen my lower back which sounds similar (and I can only get my leg off the floor an inch or so): Sit in a L-sit (legs straight in front of you, back is straight up and down. Sit against a wall and then tip your hips/lower back forward (towards your navel) so the the lower back does not touch the wall behind you. Flex the feet, which are turned in, and lift the ankle off the floor making sure the lower back does not curve back out and touch the wall. This is really hard but I should do it every day. Xena, I like your exercise better because it works the turnout.

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I tried it. It's very hard. Definitely using those rotators and psoas muscles. Off to pilates class I guess....

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I gave it a try, too! Not very easy, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could lift both of my legs about 2 centimeters. I could only do this a few times before my abdominal muscles started to kill me, though...


It felt like a good excercise for abdominals and the back of the legs, and not unpleasant to do either (unlike the rubberband thingo my teachers insists I should do at home ;)). I might try and add that to things to do at home. Thanks, Xena.

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I may be the only one on this board who is not at work! (Although I am neglecting some work that I brought home with me.) I'm just back from ballet class - one where I did not feel particularly graceful. I tried Xena's exercise on my living room floor, and guess what? My quads cramped up. I have such a hard time extending to the front without over-engaging the quads. I think I'll try to work on this exercise regularly - it may help me find the right muscles yet. And hopefully increase extention (about 60 degrees on a good day!) By the way, whats psoas?

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Guest Lola_Doggy

Ouch..., I gave it a try.


Doing each leg on its own they rise about 6-7 inches followed by an immediate mega cramp in my upper top thighs.


Trust you to find the difficult stuff.



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