Sunday, November 21, 2010

Movement Specific Drill for strength

This movement drill is specifically for a mechanical advantage. Even though this exercise is ballet related, it is designed to strengthen the muscles you need in the lower portion of the body to execute a perfect plie jump. It is mechanically equivalent to performing a plie jump, because it is the first half of the movement (the preparation phase) except without the take off.  This drill is used to work each leg independently to increase specifity for that one leg, to make a 2 leg plie jump that much stronger.

Stance: Start grounded on 1 leg, with the other hip externally rotated, and behind you.  Your main focus is the standing leg.
Preparation: Plie (flexion) of the knees slightly.
Follow through: Rise up onto relevee (ball of your foot). Stay lifted throughout the standing leg to ensure balance.
Landing: Roll down onto the ball of your feet and then onto the heel. Be sure to plie as you come back down.

Repeat as necessary, do not go too fast.

Movement Specific Drill for technique

This drill is to help a combination of things; technique, coordination and strength. It is for a mechanical advantage being that it is the beginning of the first phase of the follow through and the landing phase of the jump. It helps strengthen the gastrocnemius muscle and the muscles in the ankle. However, it also a drill for neurological purposes because it helps engrave the coordination of the jump so that it is improved with this repetitive exercise.

Stance: Stand in "first position" (meaning, with your hips externally rotated and your arms in first position (rounded at the bottom).
Preparation: Flexion of the knees about 45 degrees. Do not use too much force, because you are not jumping, but get used to feeling your feet push through the floor.
Follow Through: Rise up onto releve (balls of your feet). All toes should be touching the floor. Be sure to pull the abdominals in to help balance you.
Landing: Press down through balls of the feet into your heels.

Repeat as many times as desired.