A penché in dance is a challenging move. If you are still struggling with it, don’t fret. We are going to continue to break it down.
How did last week’s adductor stretch go? Check out that article here for a recap.
If it has been a week since you started the new adductor exercise and you’re still not seeing any improvement, let’s take a look at why that is.
Not Targeting the Adductors Enough
If you are finding that you are not feeling this stretch in your adductors, or inner thighs, enough, you may be performing the exercise incorrectly. Often when first learning this exercise, you may try to rotate the back leg by lifting the hip. However, just as you would not lift the hip this way in an arabesque or penché, you do not want to do this here either.
What this means is that you need to try to keep the hips as square as possible while bringing the rear leg into external rotation. You do not want any turning in the pelvis upward. It will turn open to the side to accommodate the action of external rotation, but do not let it lift upward from the glutes.
Then, when dropping the toes back down to the ground, it is important to try and release the back side of the pelvis as far as you can. Each time you move back into the Target position, it is imperative to continue dropping the hips closer to the floor. This will help you increase your range of motion. The action of using the external rotators properly in the first step will also help to improve the stretch in your adductors, too.
Flexibility, but Not Enough Strength
Have you ever fallen out of your penché?
If you happen to already have your split and a good penché, but struggle with your strength, what can you do?
From either perspective, working on your strength to hold the position is an important part of this technique. The penché is an adagio move, which means it is performed slowly over a long period of time- usually 4 or 8 counts down and/or up.
To train your back and supporting leg to get stronger, take it to the barre. Make sure you have given yourself a thorough warm up first!
Face the side and place your right hand on the barre. Fold forward at the hips and lift your left leg into your penché position. From here, keep your leg where it is and begin to lift your back up while extending your left arm forward. Once you reach as high as you can without the lifted leg moving, hold here for a few moments. You can also try to test your balance by releasing your grip on the barre.
This exercise is a wonderful way to strengthen your back and abdominals so that you can control this position when performing adagio movements. If you have a tendency to fall out of it, this will help you because you are working against gravity on the way up. It is important to always feel a connection between what your back is doing and what your leg is doing. If there is a disconnect, that is where weakness will occur.
Try this exercise to get stronger in your penché this week, and continue the Zaichik Stretch for your adductors in the meantime as well. Come back next week for another great tip to get you closer to your dream penché in no time!
In the meantime, move closer to your goal with our training videos below:
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- Tags: adductors, ballet, dance, easyflexibility, kinesiological stretching, penche, pointe, strength