Practice this exercise to focus on correct alignment when performing your side developpé. Make sure to concentrate on the external rotation of the femur(thigh) bone in the hip joint as the leg is lifted to the side. The initial stages of the movement should really focus on keeping a neutral pelvis rather than unnecessary movement in the pelvis.
SETUP: Lie on your right side and place the FLX Ball at your waist to help lift the torso allowing you to work in a neutral spine and effectively engage the abdominals throughout the exercise. Legs are stacked one on top of the other in an external rotation.
1. Bend the top leg into a passé with the knee facing the sky.
2. Lift the knee towards your shoulder and extend leg up toward the sky in a developpé motion.
3. With a straight leg, lower down to your starting position.
REPETITIONS: Repeat 10 times. Reverse the movement.
SETS: 3-5 sets
Make sure the hips stay stacked on top of one another and don’t rock back or forward.
Maintain your neutral spine.
Watch out for tucking of the pelvis to complete the movement.
Extend through and active the bottom leg.
Avoid “gripping” in the hip flexors to begin the movement. This happens when the pelvis is not in alignment.
MODIFICATIONS - Change the FLX Ball position:
Take top hand and place it behind your head with elbow wide.
TARGET MUSCLES: Hip Flexors(iliopsoas), hip abductors, and external rotators.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: Pain in the hip flexors or a past hip injury.
Bring focus to activating the bottom leg and engaging the abdominals to complete the movement as this is what will help perform the movement standing up.
Concentration on external rotation. For dancers with “snapping hip syndrome” or hyper-mobile joints this is a great exercise to practice that will help to implement correct form, concentrating on maintaining the external rotation in the working leg without the limitations of gravity. Snapping hip syndrome often occurs in dancers when hip external rotation is not maintained. Strengthening the hip external rotators, abductors, and psoas while working on technique to maintain turnout can help correct your developpé and increase leg height. Studies strongly suggest that the “snapping” occurs when the iliopsoas tendon passes over the head of the femur. When the femur or thigh bone is rotated inward, the iliopsoas tendon moves over the head of the femur and can produce the snap. So, concentrate on maintaining external rotation in the working leg to avoid this sometimes painful syndrome!