CriticalDance Forum

improving core stability
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Author:  aude [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:12 am ]
Post subject:  improving core stability

Can anyone advise what are the best exercises to improve core stability for My daughter aged 12 who is hypermobile with swayback knees. I've been told swimming is beneficial :?:

Author:  Beth Kurtz [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:36 am ]
Post subject: 

Aude, not sure of your meaning here. Is your daughter doing ballet training now, and if so, does she hope for a professional career, or is she in it just for pleasure?

Author:  aude [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:41 am ]
Post subject: 

She has done ballet since the age of four and currently does approx 8 hours per week. She is hoping for a career as a classical dancer and was offered a place at vocational school last year but decided to wait and continue her ballet at home.

Author:  Beth Kurtz [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:01 am ]
Post subject: 

Aude, my own instinct (I could be wrong, having not seen her) would be for her to strengthen her abdominal muscles, and swimming is not necessarily the best thing for that. Special training for the abs at a health club might help.

As for her knees -- well, again, I have not seen her, and really she should be helped by someone who has -- I can only give you suggestions from my own experience, which are not necessarily right for her. Try to find a teacher or trainer who knows this problem and can work with her.

My own approach to the problem of hyperextended knees (I had a mild version of it myself) is to practice standing in 1st position with the heels together and gently pulling up the kneecaps, using the ab muscles strongly at the same time. Heels together will prevent hyperextending; strengthening the muscles above the kneecap will help stabilize the legs. (If she observes them in the mirror she should see that her legs are straight, though they may not feel so at first.) Then she will need to translate this position to other steps.

Author:  pixie [ Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

hi there,
personally i have hyperextended knees.... i find it difficult to work.. but after a while... it has its benefits...
i would suggest that your daughter to do pilates. pilates helps with the abdominal strength and her core, and there are some exercises that involves the straightening of the knee (Leg circles). she could try this with a theraband (for resistance) when she is lying on her back, with one of her leg lifted, advise her to stretch the leg but thinking of reaching/pointing her heel towards the ceiling/sky, rather than hyperextending her leg which will result the heel to face her head.

and if your daughter does pointe, facing sideways to a mirror, getting her on pointe in parallel. ask her to hyperextend her knees. she could see how much 'curve' her legs are achieving, and from that hyperextension; let her relax her knees into a parallel plie, then straighten from her quads (imagery of her quads have strings attached to the ceiling like a puppet think of pulling upwards from the quads). she could eventually practice this with turnout legs, once she gets the feeling of pulling her legs up...

these exercises are some that worked for me... hope they will help you too :)


Author:  Gina Ness [ Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Hello aude...perhaps some Pilates training would be beneficial for your daughter. In her ballet training, it will take time and muscle memory for her to know how to not go "too far" in her placement regarding her hypermobility, such as not "locking" back her hyperextended knees, for example. Sometimes, a tiny space between the heels is okay for very hyperextended knees...she should ask her teacher. A very well-known and highly respected teacher whose workshop I attended several years ago had an interesting suggestion for working with hyperextended knees. She suggested wearing knee pads backwards to help with the feeling of keeping the knee straight, not locked backed. Just a thought...

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