Jump to content

Strengthening legs?


Pointytoes22
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I can't lift my leg very high in a developpe at all, not even to 90 degrees! I am flexible enough so I'm guessing it's a strength problem, I have the same problem doing arabesques as well. Does anybody else have this problem? And does anyone know how I can strengthen my legs so that I can lift them high?

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some ideas which you may wish to try:

 

Be sure in each excersive you are correctly alighned and you are not pulling on the barre.

 

 

 

Stand with one hand on the barre developpé your leg onto the barre to the front. Make sure your leg is definitely aligned correctly, hips/shoulders and leg squarely in the front where they should be. Now, lift the leg off the barre as much as you can, even an inch or two will do. Count to two and then lower your leg back down to the barre. Repeat several times and then repeat with the leg in second position. I found this extremely efficacious. This must be done religiously. Progress will not be speedy but it will occur.

 

 

 

Another thing:

 

Do your developpés (front/side/back) in fondu, make sure you are aligned correctly, then when fully extended, straighten your supporting leg. Usually we are able to develop the leg a bit higher when in fondu and so taking advantage of that, try to keep the leg at that height as you straighten the supporting leg.

 

 

 

Another thing:

 

 

Rise onto either demi-pointe or full pointe, stand at the barre and do your developpés, after fully extended slowly come down to a flat foot. Since this was done on a demi or full foot the extension was probably a bit higher, and now as you descend try to keep that extra bit of extension.

 

 

 

Another thing:

 

 

When you do grand battements don't allow the leg to drop back down, - lower it with control. This will take advantage of the stretch through the back of the leg on the way up and build strength to keep it there. Brush up quickly with a strong push off through the toe, then retard the descent as much as possible.

 

 

Another thing:

 

 

This is a visualization - and visualizations can be important. As you develop your leg picture a hand lifting the thigh from underneath and another hand pulling up your foot right where your shoe ribbons cross on top of your foot.

 

 

 

Another thing:

 

 

When you start your extension lift the knee as high as you can, and then develop the rest of the leg from there.

 

 

 

Another thing:

 

 

If you can do the stretch where you take your heel in your hand and extend to second position, try to slowly let go of your foot and maintain it in the air. If you can't do it holding onto your heel, then hold onto your ankle or calf.

 

 

 

A good stretch/strengthener for arabesque:

 

 

Stand at the barre in fifth position with one hand on the barre. Tendu your outside foot to the back. Now, do your very best back bend, remembering to obey all the rules of alignment and with ABSOLUTELY no weight on your back tendu foot. Now at the depth of your backbend, lock into that back leg with your back muscles, come up bringing your tendu back leg with you into arabesque. Don't come up one inch without bringing your arabesque leg with you.

 

 

Keep it coming up, up, up, and then go into penché without unlocking that arabesque leg from your back. When you've hit the extent of your penché, come back up to arabesque - leg still locked in your back.

 

 

None of these things will work over night - but with dedication and work - they will help.

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think core strength could have anything to do with it also? I have trouble lifting my left leg full stop, and it's nothing to do with leg strength, but because both my abdominal and back muscles have been cut through during many surgeries so my core strength isn't very good on the left.

 

I watched my dd doing developpes this evening and her core muscles seemed to be working just has hard as her legs, so that must also play a part?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As the word implies - all things stem from the core. Yes, the thigh muscles play a part (especially from beneath the thigh) but that is connected to the core - abdominal quadrant and the muscles of the back. I would think that surgery - especially several - would make a difference.

 

But - I have to say one of the loveliest developpés which has lingered in my mind was done by a dancer to "only" 90 degrees. She put so much meaning into it - I've never forgotten it - from the early 1970's. So, concentrate on making meaningful that which you are able to do. That's what an art form is about. :)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...