I don’t need to tell you that turnout is one of the most important aspects of being a dancer. So, it’s pretty important that you understand what the turnout muscles are, how to activate them, and how to strengthen them.
Turnout consists of 2 main components: mobility AND strength. Oftentimes, dancers spend too much time focusing on stretching into turnout and not enough time on strengthening it. The truth is, you can have all the flexibility in the world, but if you aren’t strong, your leg will turn in as soon as you lift it off the floor. You must gain the strength to access your full range of motion, otherwise all your flexibility goes to waste. That being said, we are going to focus on the best strengthening exercises to improve your turn out.
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This is a tried and true turnout exercise, but I love adding in this little modification. Talk about feeling the burn!
SIDE PLANK CLAMS
Another great modification to the traditional clam is the side plank clam. This exercise adds in strengthening for the gluteus medius muscle, which is important for standing leg support.
HIP EXTERNAL ROTATION AT 90 DEGREES
It’s important to strengthen your turnout in various positions that you may encounter while dancing. The next exercise helps strengthen your hip rotators with your leg held at 90 degrees, which is something dancers do often (think developpe).
The previous exercises are all considered “open chain” exercises, which means the foot is not planted on the floor when moving into your turned out position. This is great for the gesture leg, but not as functional for the standing leg. Try these next 2 exercises to work your support leg instead.
STANDING ROTATION WITH FOAM ROLLER
LUNGE WITH TRUNK ROTATION
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