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Strength Help?


balletkai
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Hi! I have a question and I am hoping somebody on this site can help...
During class, I am praised for my flexibility, but scolded for my lack of strength.
My instructor says when you are flexible and turned out, you are loose and you tend to lack strength and stability, and vice versa.
I do core strengthing independently and body conditioning through out the week at class, but are there any tips to get a stronger everything?

^_^ Thanks!

 

balletkai

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Iyengar yoga is very good for strength especially core, and also particularly good at teaching you to stretch safely. I hear Pilates is good for core strength though never done it myself. Both are compatible with ballet (not all sports/exercises are). Elliptical trainers are very good at strengthening and stamina without risking impact injury (like you might get running).

Why not try going to your local gym and telling them what you need to strengthen and see what they suggest?

I'm sure there will be lots more advice from people on this forum more expert than me!

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Hi Balletkai, welcome!

 

I am in the same position as you regarding flexibility vs strength- I was advised to join the gym, which I have done, I also take classes in Pilates, Bodybalance (a mix of yoga, Pilates & tai chi) and yoga, so hopefully that will help... :)

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Body balance is amazing for strength and flexibility ... I am personally a big fan of it. It's one of those classes that looks easy to the uninitiated, but it builds strength, flexibility and stamina. It is also great for overall toning.

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You can also build strength as you work in your ballet class.  A good example would be in grand battement.  After kicking up don't allow the leg to drop - lower it slowly.  Up quickly - down slowly.  When you do tendu - use the floor as an isometric resistence.  If your teacher allows you to stretch on the barre - lift your leg from the barre - lower it and lift again.  But you must be sure that the body is correctly aligned and should do this under your teachers supervision.

 

Your teacher is correct that those with flexibility often have to work on strength.  However, your teacher should not be scolding you - he/she should be helping you.  It doesn't do any good to scold.

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All of the advice so far is excellent. I am much more an advocate of functional strength ie strength that you can use in the situation where you want it. Anjuli_Bai's suggestions are very good - ballet specific strength exercises are great. Have you tried doing barre in the centre? This really works you hard and forces you away from relying on the barre. the best way to do functional strength training is to do the exercise in which you want to build strength, and repeat it until fatigue, then have a short rest period (30 -60 seconds) before repeating another set or two. Be careful with this though - as you get tired, make sure you're still using the correct technique otherwise you'll end up strengthening the wrong muscles and end up with technical issues. It's better to keep your legs fairly low with good technique while you're building up strength, rather than forcing the height. Height will come once the strength builds.

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Guest dancer2027

I always start class with floor barre exercises, if you do it properly keeping hips in line and square, squeeze your glutes and turnout from hips you really start to feel it. I start with plies, then tendus etc onto developes and a slowed down grand batteument. Make sure you don't put pressure on your arms and shoulders. I love feeling the inside of my leg working especially doing Demi rond de jambre.

 

Sorry for my appalling spelling of ballet terms I am ashamed ; I was never good at French gcse....

Edited by flutterby
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Ask your teacher if they can recommend any specific exercises for your core. 

 

My dd had the same issue, great flexibility and fabulous turn out but needed core strength.  Her ballet teacher gave her a number of exercises which she does daily, including 200 sit ups!, and in 3 months her core strength has increased dramatically and the power in her legs has really improved.

 

However you do have to be prepared to work really hard at it! 

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