Forum: Advice / Strengthening

Leaps!!!!
By CompactDiscomember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 12, 2009 04:05 PM

Hey all!
I wanted to post this here because more than just Highland dancers do leaps or something similar to leaps.... I don't know what you guys call them... jumping in the air and extending both legs out to the side??? Well, when I'm stretching I can get my legs past a 90 degree angle from eachother, but I can barely get past 45 when I go to do a leap!!! What areas are used to leap? Ideas for strengthening those parts?
-M

7 Replies to Leaps!!!!

re: Leaps!!!!
By Ballerinacaz
On Mon Apr 13, 2009 03:23 AM
Do you mean like a fame jump? Where they are in sort of straddle in the air and are touching their toes?
I would guess working on your splits would help as thats pretty much what you're aiming to do in the air. And in splits touching your toes, that sort of thing. And doing lots of jumps so that you can jump higher because the higher you jump the longer you have to get into that position and back?
Hope this helps!
re: Leaps!!!!
By CompactDiscomember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 13, 2009 01:40 PM
Yes, thats what I am talking about!

Thanks for the tips, I will definately try them out!
re: Leaps!!!!
By dancingmonkeyabc
On Sun May 03, 2009 07:55 AM
Also you are going to need to strengthen your abs and hamstrings to really get those legs up there fast. You are really going to want that BAM! factor when doing these jumps so much sure that you are strong and able to pop them up there fast. Good luck!
re: Leaps!!!!
By mazie
On Sun May 03, 2009 01:16 PM
It depends also on how you are getting into the jump.

I find practicing "fame jumps" from standing is a good way of getting a feel of the power you need to get up and getting used to really pulling your legs up. To be able to show of any flexibility you have you need to get height so really practice on powering out of the floor. Things like keeping your head up and thinking "light" thoughts may sound silly but they really help get that little bit extra height.
Once you're solid in jumping from standing you can practice getting into the leap from movement. I usually go into them with a powerful step ball change and really use the plie to power up and fling myself into the air.

As for strengthening specifically for leaps, abs are a must. You need a solid core to get your body into the air. Many sports centres do classes that focus on abs strengthening, sometimes combined with legs and bum as well, so if you can check out whats offered in your area and go along. Even if you only go for a couple of classes you will learn the sorts of exercises that target those areas and you can train at home.

One of the most important factors that a lot of people forget about leaps is that they are as much about the bend before you take off as about actually being in the air. USE YOUR PLIE! If you don't bend you won't get any height. Think of it like a spring, to get it to spring up into the air you have to push it down before. The more you compress it the higher it will go.

I hope that helps you out a bit
Mazie
re: Leaps!!!!
By redbrickdreammember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun May 03, 2009 03:21 PM
I actually cheat mine because I can't get into the full second/straddle/middle-split position - just not flexible enough yet. No teacher has picked up on it yet because front-on you can't see my bum sticking out at the back...

But yes, I'm able to cheat because I'm strong enough to jump high and really throw my legs up - only our gym teacher has noticed I'm cheating and that's only because I told him, so I'll be able to show off at auditions.

I've always been naturally good at leaps anyway, because I've got a really deep plie and the strength to throw myself and my legs as far as they go.
re: Leaps!!!!
By CompactDiscomember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon May 04, 2009 10:23 AM
Thanks for your advice!!

TurkFox: I can't exactly bend any part of my upper body at all, since in competition posture is HUGE and the judges notice everything!
re: Leaps!!!!
By crazytap
On Thu May 07, 2009 11:48 PM
I find that relaxing your leg muscles, especially your quads, will do wonders. Also you can stick your butt out in a comp, its just you can't hunch. Think of it like doing a flat-back excercise while sitting in 2nd or straddle split position on the floor. And the dancin monkey hit it on the head w/ the abs and hams. Abs, lats, and hams is where 99% of dancing is done

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