Muscular imbalances can lead to compensating and incorrect form which can result in injury. The repetitive nature of ballet and most sports can cause certain muscle groups to work way more than others leading to a muscular imbalance. This type of work can inhibit a dancer or athlete from attaining peak performance if a weakness or tightness is never addressed.
A Common area of muscular imbalance for dancers tend to be the muscles of the hip:
1. Tight hip flexors
2. Imbalance between deep external rotators vs inward rotators
3. Tight and weak hip abductors: The ability to externally rotate or turn out the hip is fundamental to ballet
Supplemental hip strengthening is important because dance requires the strength to hold the legs in high ranges of motions that are not utilized in normal day activities. One might choose to only strengthen a certain area required for a certain movement, however for the elite-level dancer a more balanced set of exercises is necessary for perform the advanced movements correctly and avoid injury. Make sure to address each of the muscle groups of the hip; the hip flexors, extensors, internal rotators, external rotation, hip abductors, and adductors.
In order to keep your body in peak performance ... be aware of these common muscular imbalances and make sure to work on them in your daily strength and stretch routines.
Some exercises to practice for the hip are:
- Hip Flexor Stretch
- Monster walk to strengthen Hip Abductors
- External rotation hip abductor exercise