Soutenu Analysis – EasyFlexibility
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Soutenu Analysis

Posted by Paul Zaichik on

Soutenu is a term in classical ballet which means “sustained.” The ballet dancer turns in sus-sous or in fifth position en pointé and ends up with the opposite foot in front.
Let's take a look at the video below:
We will be discussing the seven stances included in a Soutenu. We will be looking at the positions of your spine, hip, knees, ankles, shoulders, and your elbows at each given stance; and the prime muscles involved at each body segments when you are performing the actions.
The first stance includes: Tombé croisé en avant.

MAJOR JOINT: SPINE

MOVEMENT: EXTENSION—concentric, stabilized by eccentric contraction of ABDOMINALS
PRIME MOVER: ERECTOR SPINAE (Spinalis, Longissimus, and Iliocostalis)

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: R FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: ILIOPSOAS, RECTUS FEMORIS, SARTORIUS

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ER, concentric

PRIME MOVER: GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, DEEP LATERAL ROTATORS, SARTORIUS
(ERs the hip especially with hip flexion)
To achieve and maintain external rotation of the hip: Strengthen the deep lateral rotators or stretch the hip internal rotators, capsules, and anterior ligaments.

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: L EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: HAMSTRINGS, GLUTEUS MAXIMUS

MAJOR JOINT: KNEE

MOVEMENT: R FLEXION, concentric stabilized by QUADRICEPS
PRIME MOVER: HAMSTRINGS

MAJOR JOINT: KNEE

MOVEMENT: L EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: QUADRICEPS FEMORIS
To prevent excessive extension of the knee (knee hyperextension), strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and deep lateral rotators.

MAJOR JOINT: ANKLE-FOOT

MOVEMENT: R DF, concentric
PRIME MOVER: TIBIALIS ANTERIOR, EDL

MAJOR JOINT: ANKLE-FOOT

MOVEMENT: L PF, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GASTROCNEMIUS, SOLEUS
To prevent insufficient plantarflexion of foot, strengthen the ankle plantarflexors and intrinsic muscles Tibialis posterior, FHL, FDL, FDB) that support the medial longitudinal arch of the foot; and stretch the dorsiflexors of the foot.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ABDUCTION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: MIDDLE DELTOID, SUPRASPINATUS
To prevent rounded shoulders, stretch the shoulder internal rotators and horizontal adductors; and strengthen the scapular adductors, external rotators, and thoracic extensors.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL HORIZONTAL ABDUCTION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: TERES MINOR, POSTERIOR DELTOID

MAJOR JOINT: ELBOW

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL SLIGHT FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: BICEPS BRACHII, BRACHIALIS
The second stance includes: to demi-rond the back leg
en dedans to 2nd, bringing the body en face and opening the arms à la seconde.

MAJOR JOINT: SPINE

MOVEMENT: EXTENSION—concentric, stabilized by eccentric contraction of ABDOMINALS
PRIME MOVER: ERECTOR SPINAE (Spinalis, Longissimus, and Iliocostalis)

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: R FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: ILIOPSOAS, RECTUS FEMORIS, SARTORIUS

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ER, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, DEEP LATERAL ROTATORS, SARTORIUS
(ERs the hip especially with hip flexion)
To achieve and maintain external rotation of the hip: Strengthen the deep lateral rotators or stretch the hip internal rotators, capsules, and anterior ligaments.

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: L ABDUCTION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GLUTEUS MEDIUS, GLUTEUS MAXIMUS

MAJOR JOINT: KNEE

MOVEMENT: R FLEXION, concentric stabilized by QUADRICEPS
PRIME MOVER: HAMSTRINGS

MAJOR JOINT: KNEE

MOVEMENT: L EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: QUADRICEPS FEMORIS
To prevent excessive extension of the knee (knee hyperextension), strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and deep lateral rotators.

MAJOR JOINT: ANKLE-FOOT

MOVEMENT: R DF, concentric
PRIME MOVER: TIBIALIS ANTERIOR, EDL

MAJOR JOINT: ANKLE-FOOT

MOVEMENT: L PF, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GASTROCNEMIUS, SOLEUS
To prevent insufficient plantarflexion of foot, strengthen the ankle plantarflexors and intrinsic muscles (Tibialis posterior, FHL, FDL, FDB) that support the medial longitudinal arch of the foot; and stretch the dorsiflexors of the foot.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ABDUCTION to nearly 90 degrees, concentric
PRIME MOVER: MIDDLE DELTOID, SUPRASPINATUS
To prevent rounded shoulders, stretch the shoulder internal rotators and horizontal adductors; and strengthen the scapular adductors, external rotators, and thoracic extensors.

MAJOR JOINT: ELBOW

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: TRICEPS BRACHII
Start working on your Ballet Techniques today! Click on the picture below to learn about our Ballet & Dance Combo:
The third stance includes: to close the leg front into 5th croisé en relevé, closing arms to 1st and turning up-stage.

MAJOR JOINT: SPINE

MOVEMENT: EXTENSION—concentric, stabilized by eccentric contraction of ABDOMINALS
PRIME MOVER: ERECTOR SPINAE (Spinalis, Longissimus, and Iliocostalis)

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: EXTENSION—concentric, stabilized by eccentric contraction of ABDOMINALS
PRIME MOVER: ERECTOR SPINAE (Spinalis, Longissimus, and Iliocostalis)

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ER, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, DEEP LATERAL ROTATORS, SARTORIUS
(ERs the hip especially with hip flexion)
To achieve and maintain external rotation of the hip: Strengthen the deep lateral rotators or stretch the hip internal rotators, capsules, and anterior ligaments.

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: L SLIGHT FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: ILIOPSOAS, RECTUS FEMORIS, SARTORIUS

MAJOR JOINT: KNEE

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: QUADRICEPS FEMORIS
To prevent excessive extension of the knee (knee hyperextension), strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and deep lateral rotators.

MAJOR JOINT: ANKLE-FOOT

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL PF, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GASTROCNEMIUS, SOLEUS
To prevent insufficient plantarflexion of foot, strengthen the ankle plantarflexors and intrinsic muscles (Tibialis posterior, FHL, FDL, FDB) that support the medial longitudinal arch of the foot; and stretch the dorsiflexors of the foot.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: PECTORALIS MAJOR (CLAVICULAR), ANTERIOR DELTOID
To prevent rounded shoulders, stretch the shoulder internal rotators and horizontal adductors; and strengthen the scapular adductors, external rotators, and thoracic extensors.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: PECTORALIS MAJOR (CLAVICULAR), ANTERIOR DELTOID
To prevent rounded shoulders, stretch the shoulder internal rotators and horizontal adductors; and strengthen the scapular adductors, external rotators, and thoracic extensors.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL HORIZONTAL ADDUCTION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: PECTORALIS MINOR, PECTORALIS MAJOR, LATISSIMUS DORSI

MAJOR JOINT: ELBOW

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL SLIGHT FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: BICEPS BRACHII, BRACHIALIS
The fourth to sixth stance includes: to transfer the weight onto the front foot, continuing to turn upstage, readjusting the back foot around the 5th in front, and lifting the arms to 5th en haut.

MAJOR JOINT: SPINE

MOVEMENT: EXTENSION—concentric, stabilized by eccentric contraction of ABDOMINALS
PRIME MOVER: ERECTOR SPINAE (Spinalis, Longissimus, and Iliocostalis)

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: R SLIGHT FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: ILIOPSOAS, RECTUS FEMORIS, SARTORIUS

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ER, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, DEEP LATERAL ROTATORS, SARTORIUS
(ERs the hip especially with hip flexion)
To achieve and maintain external rotation of the hip: Strengthen the deep lateral rotators or stretch the hip internal rotators, capsules, and anterior ligaments.

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: L SLIGHT EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: HAMSTRINGS, GLUTEUS MAXIMUS

MAJOR JOINT: KNEE

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: QUADRICEPS FEMORIS
To prevent excessive extension of the knee (knee hyperextension), strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and deep lateral rotators.

MAJOR JOINT: ANKLE-FOOT

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL PF, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GASTROCNEMIUS, SOLEUS
To prevent insufficient plantarflexion of foot, strengthen the ankle plantarflexors and intrinsic muscles (Tibialis posterior, FHL, FDL, FDB) that support the medial longitudinal arch of the foot; and stretch the dorsiflexors of the foot.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ABDUCTION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: MIDDLE DELTOID, SUPRASPINATUS

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: PECTORALIS MAJOR (CLAVICULAR), ANTERIOR DELTOID
To prevent rounded shoulders, stretch the shoulder internal rotators and horizontal adductors; and strengthen the scapular adductors, external rotators, and thoracic extensors.

MAJOR JOINT: ELBOW

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL SLIGHT FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: BICEPS BRACHII, BRACHIALIS
The seventh stance includes: to finish in 5th en demi-pointe, opening the arms en dehors to 2nd.

MAJOR JOINT: SPINE

MOVEMENT: EXTENSION—concentric, Stabilized by eccentric contraction of ABDOMINALS
PRIME MOVER: RECTOR SPINAE (Spinalis, Longissimus, and Iliocostalis)

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: R SLIGHT FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: ILIOPSOAS, RECTUS FEMORIS, SARTORIUS

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ER, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, DEEP LATERAL ROTATORS, SARTORIUS
(ERs the hip especially with hip flexion)
To achieve and maintain external rotation of the hip: Strengthen the deep lateral rotators or stretch the hip internal rotators, capsules, and anterior ligaments.

MAJOR JOINT: HIP

MOVEMENT: L SLIGHT EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: HAMSTRINGS, GLUTEUS MAXIMUS

MAJOR JOINT: KNEE

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL EXTENSION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: QUADRICEPS FEMORIS
To prevent excessive extension of the knee (knee hyperextension), strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and deep lateral rotators.

MAJOR JOINT: ANKLE-FOOT

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL PF, concentric
PRIME MOVER: GASTROCNEMIUS, SOLEUS
To prevent insufficient plantarflexion of foot, strengthen the ankle plantarflexors and intrinsic muscles (Tibialis posterior, FHL, FDL, FDB) that support the medial longitudinal arch of the foot; and stretch the dorsiflexors of the foot.

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL ABDUCTION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: MIDDLE DELTOID, SUPRASPINATUS

MAJOR JOINT: SHOULDER

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: PECTORALIS MAJOR (CLAVICULAR), ANTERIOR DELTOID
To prevent rounded shoulders, stretch the shoulder internal rotators and horizontal adductors; and strengthen the scapular adductors, external rotators, and thoracic extensors.

MAJOR JOINT: ELBOW

MOVEMENT: BILATERAL SLIGHT FLEXION, concentric
PRIME MOVER: BICEPS BRACHII, BRACHIALIS
Start working on your Ballet Techniques today! Click on the picture below to learn about our Ballet & Dance Combo:
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  • great post Paul, but I don’t see a soutenu program in the store???

    Alex Colon on

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