3 Essential Stretches to Improve Your Turnout

Whether you’re trying to improve your flexibility, warm up for class, or just relieve some muscle soreness, stretching can be extremely beneficial. For this tutorial, we’ve picked our favorite basic hip-opening stretches inspired by our favorite yoga poses and in-class exercises.

Each of these poses can be modified to be either more or less intense, so choose the best variation for you. As always, listen to your body and keep in mind these tips for safe stretching:

  • Repeat the stretch on both sides. Don’t give up on one side when it can’t quite do what the other can. Symmetry makes for good alignment!
  • Breathe. It seems obvious, but it’s a natural tendency to hold your breath during a deep stretch. Taking deep breaths sends oxygen through your blood and to your muscles, which both feels great and helps your stretch.
  • Move slowly in and out of stretches, and never force yourself past the point of pain. Protect your instrument!

Drop-Second Plié

Stand in a wide second position, turning out only as much as your hips will allow. Hold onto a barre, table, chair, etc. for support as you bend into a deep grand plié. This stretch will be wider and lower than a proper grand plié, and you’ll want the weight of your pelvis to drop between your heels. Be careful of over-rotation — always keep the arches lifted, with all five toes rooted into the floor.

If you feel stable enough to balance in this position, try lifting your hands off the barre and placing them at your chest, palms together. Place your elbows at the insides of your knees and push your hands downward to push the knees back and open. Remember to breathe! To recover, gently take your elbows away from your knees, place your hands back on the barre, and use your glutes to rise and straighten your knees.

DROP 2nd

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Check out these core workouts to help improve your stability + more for ballet!

Featured Image modified from CCFoodTravel.com with CC permissions

Join us for the #AdultBallet TweetChat this Sunday, June 14 at 8PM EDT!

twitter-chatWe’ll be chatting all things #adultballet on Twitter this Sunday at 8pm EDT. If you’ve never participated in one it’s pretty simple. The @adultballerina twitter account will ask a series of questions and will include the #adultballet hashtag in each one of the questions. Anyone can answer them, just make sure to include the #adultballet tag in your answers so everyone can see them!

Personally, I like to use TweetDeck (it’s super easy and just connected to your Twitter account) to follow along, but there’s also a new website called Twubs that makes chats super easy, and you can check out the #adultballet page here. You can also just follow along by searching #adultballet on plain old Twitter, too!

Let us know your coming by clicking yes in the poll:

And tweet to let everybody know to join us:

Is there a question you’d like to see us ask? Leave it in the comments!

What exercises do you do for flexibility?

I’m always struggling to fit stretching and flexibility training into my schedule, although it’s always something I’m trying to get better at. Here are two of my favorite videos for stretching (which are for splits specifically, but they’re good for general hamstring flexibility):

The longer version:

The shorter version:

What are your favorite stretching routines? How do you find time to stretch?

Blog Roundup: Ballet and Barre-Related Workouts


Top image modified from original image by Quinn Dombrowski via Creative Commons

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