I am a stickler for technique when I work with my clients and students! Proper technique is the largest prevention method to injury available. Proper form allows the muscles to work at their optimum while achieving the results you are working so hard for. But even the best teachers can not be correcting every student in the class simultaniously. So, why not learn some of these tips for yourself.
Here are some basic tips you can implement for yourself. Go ahead, give them a try right now and you’ll be ready to go when you get to class.
Knees over the toes. This is something that you should monitor during your entire class. Anytime you are not standing with you feet directly below your hips, check to see where your knees are.
Knee should be lined up with the ankle joint, not pushed over and beyond the toes or back behind the foot. Also remember to keep the heel of the front foot on the floor.
Ex: Turned Out Squats / Plies
(This is for both Narrow (1st Position) and Wide Stance (2nd Position) Plies 🙂
Knees should be in line with your toes, not pushing forward (inward) toward one another. Check that your knees are directly above the ankle joint. If they are slightly forward (inward) you can easily correct this by adjusting the turnout of your feet. What this mean is plain English: narrowing the distance between the toes of the right foot and the toes of the left foot can release the pressure of your knees. You can also use the muscles in the upper leg to gently press the knee back. This can help to take pressure off the knee joint while intensifying the exercise.It’s really important that you are in a natural turnout position. Be sure not to over extend at the ankle to get your feet further out.
There is a general tenancy of people across the board to lift the shoulders when learning something new. Do your best to be mindful of the shoulder blades and keep them down an away from your ears. Just trying to press down with your shoulders may not get you to the desired result, and truthfully, it’s not very comfortable to do.
Instead, think of pressing your shoulder blades down and inward toward one another. This engages the muscles of the back that naturally release the tension in the top of the shoulder (upper trapezius) muscles.
When doing exercises like squats and lunges; or anything that lowers the body with a bent knee, the correct position of the back may vary.
1) When doing plies with the toes turned outward, maintain a neutral position with your pelvis. This is generally a safe place for your lower back and can prevent pain from hyper-extension of the low back (lumbar) muscles. It also happens to be the position that will allow the correct muscles to do the activity, giving you the most gain.
2) For a squat to be done correctly, (that is when your toes are straight forward), you’ll need to have a slight curve in your lower spine. You’ll also want to be sure to keep our chest up to maintain proper form for the squat.
Students – Remember, the instructor is there to help. If you are not sure how to do something correctly, or if it just does not feel right. First adjust your movement so you do not get hurt. Then, ask for help. A good instructor will be glad to assist you!
If you are an instructor you may find Essential Anatomy, a multimedia anatomy course for dancers and dance teachers interested. It is an excellent resource for teaching technique well!
Source by Patty Rose