Beginner Ballet Tips: Improving Your Turnout

First position of the feet, turned out; intend...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my ballet class, we’ve recently been working on improving our turnout, and I’m always looking for new stretches and exercises to help improve my turnout (in addition to working on stretching out my splits). Turnout in ballet refers to the outward rotation of the feet and hips.  One of my favorites is the frog stretch. Even though it looks a bit ridiculous, it stretches really well. NextDance.com describes the frog stretch as

 This is the popular stretch where you lay on your stomach with your knees bent, legs turned out, and feet pressed together. This stretches your inner thighs, which will help enable better turnout, especially in pliè.

I also stretch my hips out in several different ways, including as described in the rest of NextDance.com article on How to Improve Your Turnout.  As always, remember that your turnout should come from your hips, not your knees. If you force it from your knees, you could injure yourself.  Working on your turnout requires improving strength as well which is often done in class. Check out the video below from Ballet Strength for an exercise on turnout.

How do you work to improve your turnout in class or at home?

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