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Ballet Talk for Dancers

quad muscles in penches

Guest Medora

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I can do a supported penche at six o'clock easily, but when I have to do it center my leg never gets there. My teacher told me it is because I push back in my legs, which are hyperextended. I am having trouble not pushing back while keeping my legs straight. I think this deals with the quad muscles because I feel them engage the more I try not to push back, but my standing leg needs to be straight. How can I fix this?

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  • Administrators

Medora, with a lot of hyperextension, penché has to be really controlled by the weight placement and the supporting leg quad muscles, and of course the abs too. The supporting leg must be straight, but not hyperextended, which means the quads have to work and the weight must be forward enough to not allow the hips to push back into the hyperextension. It's a bit tricky, but quite possible, although one does have to work on it a lot! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been working on my penche a lot this week, and I think my problem is strength. Wow, it sure takes a lot of strength not to push back! I practice penche at the barre, getting my leg up and keeping my weight forward and not letting my back go, and of course not pushing back in my legs. Then I let go of the bar and try to hold it. My legs are shaking when I hold the penche, especially the standing leg! Gosh it's so easy to get my leg up as long as I can hold on to something! I guess this must be one of those flexibility before strength things that takes a lot of time. Wow, what else is new? hehe

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I was getting really discouraged with my penche in class tonight. My legs are REALLY hyperextended too. As soon as I start to bend my weight goes back and my leg goes out to the side. It might help to think of being really square.

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Read my answer to Medora, above, SwanQueen. The weight only goes back if you allow it to. The post tries to explain what to do to avoid that. :D

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