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Setting Realistic Goals in Daily Routines To Improve Your Ballet Exercises

Posted Aug 25 2008 3:21pm
Sometimes working smarter means doing less. For daily routines, realistic goals may be achieved by picking one aspect of your ballet exercises. Optimum results for muscle memory may come from a super slow motion repetition, such as press ups, maintaining your postural plumb line.

For example, if you find the tiniest deviation from your plumb line in a slow motion press up, you can identify a joint or muscle that needs to be relaxed and stretched, or strengthened.

If your weight moves a tiny bit forward at the end of your rise, pushing your hip joints forward, that means your core muscles are not holding at that point of the movement. Or it could mean that your rise was on a tiny slant.

And that movement forward may be the result of a tiny movement backward at the bottom of your demi plie. So which came first?

When your are standing in first position, you require tension in your rotator muscles, your thighs, and your core muscles.

Some students pull down at the front of their diaphragm to add to the stability of their core muscles. This will lead to shallow breathing, the shoulders collapsing forward slightly, and rigidity at the back of the neck.

If you do basic training like this for a couple of years, you will have difficulty spotting when you get to turns, just to name one out of many negative results.

So, back to first position, your core ab muscles can be held tightly, yet the chest can still move up and down easily for breathing, for allowing the chin to be free and for the muscles at the back of the neck to be free. This way you will have graceful head positions, free arm movements, and plenty of oxygen going to your muscles.

You relax your thighs and knees and ease into a demi plie, until you feel the weight press into your heels, and then you push upward, before your heels lose their pressure into the floor, and before your weight moves backward.

If your muscles are working well, you will go straight up from here and end in a perfect rise. No tension in the shoulders, neck, arms or fingers.

And you will be on balance, breathing easily, able to do a simple port de bras, able to turn or incline your head, and able to control the movement down with your foot muscles, until the heels touch the floor.

Now you are back where you started.

No matter how your proportions, your height, your weight, your flexibility, your looks, approximate the ballet ideals, you CAN do basic movements perfectly, if you understand them.

No matter your level of ballet exercises, if you decide to, you can re-learn the correct muscle memory, apply daily routines to optimum results, and set realistic goals. This is working smarter.

Go here to see more information, self-assessment charts, the finer details of daily routines, strengthening for ballet exercise, and an edge toward getting to pointe work sooner. I recommend this to advanced students and male students as well. Working smarter for pointe work applies to all your ballet exercises.
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