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Ankle weights in ballet


SBallerina
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Working with weights may increase your strength which in turn will improve endurance & power but won't necessarily increase the height of your extensions. I'd personally recommend working with a resistance band (theraband/ cliniband/ dynaband etc) rather than weights.

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I would imagine that using weights not only enhances bulking of certain muscles but also uses a different muscle. Adding weights usually engages a different muscle than the ones which "lift" or "extend" a limb, don't they?

 

No. Adding weight won't change the muscle that moves a limb. My legs have got heavier over time (but not by adding ankle weights!) but the muscles that move them in class are still the same ones that moved them in class 15 years ago.

 

It's also not entirely true that adding weights increases muscle bulk. Adding a lot of weight is likely to, but light ankle weights might not, especially if the movements done are quite quick and work through full range of motion.

 

As for resistance band work - there are hundreds of exercises you can do, depending on what you want to strengthen. Secure the band so that the exercise you do works in the opposite direction to the direction that the band is pulling - ie if you want to strengthen an arabesque, attach the theraband to something static in front and around your ankle, and work against the resistance. If you want to work your extension to second with the right leg, attach one end to something secure near the ground on your left and slightly behind you. Wrap the other end around your right ankle/foot and do your developpe. 

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No. Adding weight won't change the muscle that moves a limb. My legs have got heavier over time (but not by adding ankle weights!) but the muscles that move them in class are still the same ones that moved them in class 15 years ago.

 

It's also not entirely true that adding weights increases muscle bulk. Adding a lot of weight is likely to, but light ankle weights might not, especially if the movements done are quite quick and work through full range of motion.

 

Interesting input, thanks. I didn't specify but was referring to heavier weights as opposed to lighter ones. I suppose ankle ones are only light, anyway!

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In the book and film of Mao's Last Dancer, Lee Cuxin wore heavy weights round his ankles and jumped with them up stairs and pretty much everywhere in order to improve the height of his jump, but then much of his training appeared to be tortuous to me - he had to slide down into splits and then come up reversely again using his leg muscles only!!!!!!!

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