Taylor Darwin, DPT
June 7, 2020
Our talented PT Taylor Darwin created an excellent breakdown of some dance-specific exercises. Having a history of being a competitive dancer, Taylor is your go-to PT for any dance-related injuries or questions!
For dancers, there are specific muscle groups that need to be strong in order to achieve specific goals. There are also muscles that require a certain amount of flexibility. These few exercises target muscles that contribute to adequate turnout, hip flexor, quadriceps, and calf strength along with posterior chain flexibility. Turnout is very important with this population and learning to work through what they have naturally along with strengthening the muscles that control it can prevent further injury.
1. Quadruped Tendu Extension: With leg at 45 degree angle, adduct and externally rotate while lifting your leg towards the ceiling while maintaining pelvic control. This exercise is great for improving turnout and glute strength!
2. Inchworms: Start by standing and walk hands down into a plank position. Hold the plank, and then walk both legs towards hands, doing your best to maintain knee extension. This exercise is great for hamstring flexibility and core strength!
3. Second Plié Squat: While standing in second position and maintaining hip external rotation, alternate between a deep squat and high relevé with an added hold for balance. This exercise is great for improving turnout and quad/calf strength.
4. Standing Marches: Add a band underneath feet for increased tension, and perform standing marches. This exercise is perfect for improving hip flexor strength and control!
5. Side-lying Passé: While side-lying, externally rotate your bottom leg while keeping the other leg behind. You foot should be flat on the mat and your knee bent in a passé position. With a band around your knees and maintaining pelvic control, slowly externally rotate the leg that is in passé.