Try incorporating these exercises into your daily training routine to give an added challenge and stretch.
1.) Twist and Switch with the FLX Ball
Dance Anatomy, a ballet and athletic training literature, asserts that with the rise in “extreme choreography dancers must now take their bodies to the higher levels and their conditioning to the same extent as well.” Not only are dancers called to pirouette, but you may now be called to take that pirouette off balance, quickly, or within a complex choreographic pattern all the while maintaining correct alignment. The FLX Ball can take you there. It is highly effective in activating the abdominals more so than regular crunches or abdominal workouts, because unstable surface requires the muscles to fire at a higher level.
2.) King Pigeon with the Flexistretcher
Turnout describes the position of the legs in which each leg is rotated in the opposite direction from the other facing away from the midline of the body. The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science states that the function of all six deep rotator muscles or “turnout muscles” is to laterally rotate or turn out the leg, relative to the pelvis. It is often difficult for dancers to isolate and strengthen this muscle group through ballet technique alone. In ballet especially, the turnout muscles are recruited for most functional movements which can lead to tight, imbalanced muscles. To counteract this tightness, try a yoga pigeon pose or King Pigeon pose to release tension in this muscle group allowing you to improve correct rotation of the leg.
3.) Relevé Walk with the FLX Ball
Karen S. Clippinger, author of Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology, asserts that “the repetitive use of the demi pointe places a lot of demands on the foot and requires a specialized strength, flexibility and technique development.” When finding this necessary strength it is important to couple the leg and foot together so that you can then master pirouettes among other dance movements while preventing injury. Relevé walks with the FLX Ball target the stirrup muscles needed to work through releve correctly and prevent injury from overuse. You can then take the Small FLX Massage Ball to the arch of the foot to alleviate tension and release the intrinsic muscles of the foot worked in relevé. Thus, making your relevé easier and more fluid.