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Four Exercises to Improve Dance Technique and Strength

 

1. Hip Flexor Pulse
a. Purpose: Improves strength in hip flexors, especially Iliopsoas, to increase leg height. This exercise works best in combination with stretching the hamstrings to allow greater mobility and active range of motion.
b. How to do: start sitting with legs extended and leaning back on hands. Perform a posterior pelvic tilt and lift one leg with the knee bent. Pulse the leg closer to your body for about 4 reps while concentrating on using the Iliopsoas. Repeat 4-6 times.

2. Attitude Raises
a. Purpose: To increase turn out (external rotation of hips) and leg height in second position (to the side).
b. How to do: Start lying on one side. Raise top leg (both knees facing forward and knee bent). Turn out the leg into attitude al second (to the side with knee facing ceiling). Repeat this while bringing the leg closer to the trunk with each rep. Repeat 4 reps 4-6 times.

3. Hip Flexor Stretch
a. Purpose: To stretch hip flexors more efficiently
b. How to do: Start in lunge with both knees at 90 degrees. Perform strong posterior pelvic tilt. Add more of a stretch by bending the trunk to the same side as the front leg. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

4. Calf Raises with ball
a. Purpose: To improve strength and control of plantar flexion in heel raises without inverting at the ankles.
b. How to do: Place small ball in between the ankles. Raise heels off the ground while squeezing the ball. The goal is to not let the ball fall to the ground. This helps train the muscles to not invert, but to remain neutral in plantar flexion.

 

-Lauren Rowell