Functional Flexibility and Strength Training for Ballet
Having normal flexibility and strength -- and beyond-- is needed to obtain the
beautiful lines in ballet. One of the gold standards in ballet is having enough turn-out.
Turn-out is influenced by joint mobility and by tri-planar muscle length.
Single plane stretching does not prepare the musculature for the demands that are placed on it during the three dimensional tri-plane motions of ballet. And lack of turnout can often be contributed to inability of the musculature to lengthen maximally to allow for the turnout to occur.
In attempting to gain turnout, at the hips, dancers often sacrifice positioning at the pelvis/low back or lower leg. This can cause hyperlordosis(excessive arching) at the low back or increased rotation at the knee. Most often this poor position is not a skill error, rather it is a muscular or structural deficiency somewhere in the chain of the body.
All too often, the dancer’s technique is critiqued but the dancer no matter how hard she tries will not be able to hold or get to correct position. This is not a lack of concentration or lack of talent but rather is often a tight muscle that will not lengthen to allow the joints to move in the direction or the amount that is needed.
Traditionally weight training and stretching are often performed in a single plane of motion and in non-functional positions. To truly achieve full lengthening of the musculature and optimum strength and turn out for dance , functional biomechanics would dictate that the muscles need to be lengthened and strengthened in all three planes of motion . In addition, also working in the neuromuscular patterns that re-enforce the demands of the sport.
Using TRI-STRETCH® for three dimensional stretching maximizes turn-out motion and using TRI-STRETCH® for three dimensional functional strength training maximizes the use of that available motion during dance.
For more information on functional training click here.