CriticalDance Forum

Hip flexibility
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Author:  Rhadobis [ Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Hip flexibility

Hey everyone! a new member here :)

I am an adult beginner in classical ballet, I started a year and half ago aged 31. I am doing a class once weekly and a DVD for ballet conditiong four times a week. My turnout is not that good but also not bad.

My main struggle is with hip flexibility , it does not seem to improve. My develope, grand battement (anyhting involves lifting the leg) is still very low . I can't manage to reach 90 degree without very visibly tilting my hip and it is accompanied with pain in hip of the working leg. There are other students in the class almost the same age as me with no background in dancing and they are getting better.

After a year and a half, it started getting frustrating :( I know that the proper technique is more important than how high you can left the leg but I believe it is asethetically important.

I am 5 foot 1 , 95 pounds and more toward a pear shape, if that makes any difference.

Is it a flexibilty problem, turnout issue, too much tension in the body or lack of strength ? Sorry but I think too much about

Advice will be much appreciated,

Many thanks

Author:  Gina Ness [ Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip flexibility

Hello Rhadobis, and welcome to Critical Dance! It's really wonderful that you have taken up ballet... As you are discovering, it's very challenging but rewarding. Ballet is not just exercise but an art form... :) It's not unusual at all for an adult beginning ballet dancer to have hip flexibility issues. If you are having any pain involved with a movement, you need to modify or back off a bit. You don't want to develop any inflammation in your tendons and ligaments. One of the best exercises for turnout is to lay on your back with your legs and hips relaxed in the butterfly position. Try to feel your lower back making contact with the floor. A good simple exercise for the hip flexor is to lay on your back, both legs stretched out and together; then, gently lift one knee (keep the other leg on the floor) and draw your knee gently to your chest. Repeat with the other leg. Any exercise that gently stretches your hip flexors is a good thing. When you are executing your developpe a la seconde, for example, try to feel that it's not just your quadricep that is doing all the work. Are you using your hamstring and inner thigh to help lift that leg? Try to feel that your muscles are lengthening, not gripping... Above all, don't worry that someone else has higher extension. We all have to work sensibly within our own unique bodies. There is much more to dancing than high extensions! Hope this helps, and above all, enjoy what you do!

Author:  Rhadobis [ Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip flexibility

Hi Gina,
Thanks alot for the tips, I will try them and hope things will get better with time, as I have not intention to stop whatsoever :)

Author:  jazzymiles [ Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip flexibility

Hi there! it is really my pleasure to have a tips of hip flexibility from you,even thought it's quite late for me to learn that but i can still share it to other who are interested the tip. have a nice day ahead!

Author:  Lindsey [ Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip flexibility

I'm wondering on strengthening the core muscles of the centre will hold the pelvis stable. Focusing on lengthening the leg out of the hip socket and engaging the right muscle group (back/under the leg) when lifting. In developpe, lift your knee to the highest point you can technically master and then fight to hold it there as you extend the knee joint. Good luck :)

Author:  Dean Speer [ Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip flexibility

Technical achievement is also cumulative over a long period of time. By virtue of doing the routine exercises consistently, you'll find that your body responds correspondingly. Gina's tips are good and yes, getting your "core" strong is also critical in building overall strength and control. Then one day, you'll find that your ability will "suddenly" be there -- kind of like the person who finds themselves an overnight success, after years of work!

Sticking with it and enjoying it for all its worth is the most important thing.

Best wishes for happy dancing!

Author:  BethK [ Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip flexibility

Sorry I'm so late to chime in here. My teacher, Byron Mitchell, showed me how important it is to use the core muscles strongly while at the same time relaxing the muscles around the hip joint. And to understand which muscles must be used for each direction you are extending the leg, and which ones will get in your way. Those are the ones you must learn to relax in order to achieve your maximum extension. It is quite a coordination exercise -- but it definitely works.

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