Core Control Combo

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There are many ways for dancers to increase their extensions and gain strength to hold their extensions for longer periods of time. Dance experts Adina Pajak and Ali Geraets will demonstrate leg extension exercises.

One drill to help with a basic leg extension is to start holding a barre. This leg extension exercise can be done alone, but it’s best to utilize a partner in this stretch so he/she can help push your flexibility. You will begin by grabbing the bar and starting in first position. From there you will develop your leg to a turned out passe position, making sure your hips are stacked on top of each other. You want to be sure you’re not pulling away from the barre in any direction. If you were to stop holding the barre, you would still be able to balance. After your hips are stacked on top of one another, you will extend your leg into your best extension. Once you are in this position, your partner will slightly push your hips forward as they pull your leg back. Be sure you’re communicating with them for how much they can push so you don’t get injured. Once you feel you can do this well with a barre, try moving to center to test your balance.

Another leg extension exercise to help with the extension of your attitude is to start facing the barre in first position. You will brush through first position and aim your knee to the back off your head. You want to be sure that your leg is staying turned out for this exercise.

If you have more flexibility in your back, you can put your back leg on the lower barre and turn yourself away from the barre. The goal is to have both arms reaching behind you on the barre. It’s important to have your hips in the correct position to prevent injury.