When it comes to stretching and splits some dancers place intense emphasis on achieving the ideal static position, forgetting that this type of flexibility is only part of the picture. They compromise the health of their instrument – the body – as they push to extremes to get results, and get results fast.
The iliopsoas is the only muscle (well, technically group of muscles) that attaches to the spine, pelvis, and femur (or, thigh). The three muscles which make up the iliopsoas are deep, running very near the spine and beneath other major muscle groups. Therefore, awareness of the iliopsoas must come through visualization.
Too much tension in the musculature around the hip joint is often responsible for limiting the degree of turnout. Therefore, releasing that tension is key if you’d like to improve outward (and inward) rotation. Tight inward rotators inhibit outward rotation and visa versa. Dancers have varying methods which they use to accomplish release in the hips. Some use passive and lengthening stretches and others utilize props like balls to facilitate an opening within the joint.
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