Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Beginners

Ballet - Beginners
How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By PassionDance Comments: 35, member since Tue Aug 24, 2010
On Sun Apr 10, 2011 09:41 PM

Hey everyone,

I am a 24 y.o adult and want to learn how to open my thighs more in order to help in my beginner's ballet class... Any stretch ideas for this?

I do the butterfly while watching tv as well as sitting my legs straight in front of me and turning them out from the thighs....

I also place me left foot on my right knee while lying on my back, with my right foot touching the ground, then from there I will pull the leg who's foot was on the floor towards me and push the left leg at the knee area away from me in order to have a counter force... I hold for a few seconds and change leg...

But apart from those, any other ideas on how to open those thighs?

15 Replies to How to stretch to open the thighs?

re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By Dancing_EMTmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3410, member since Wed Dec 08, 2004
On Sun Apr 10, 2011 09:49 PM
Time. It won't happen overnight.
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By mileseez135 Comments: 203, member since Sat Feb 05, 2011
On Mon Apr 11, 2011 06:56 AM
When you say "butterfly" stretch, do you have your back or stomach against the floor (try both!)?

Also, working on middle splits (even if you can't go far!) is a good idea.

I think sitting with your legs in a "V" and bending forward from the hips (keeping your back as straight as possible -- again, even if you can't go far) might help.

As the last poster said, it's a slow process -- just keep at it and enjoy the small improvements you notice! :)
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By PassionDance Comments: 35, member since Tue Aug 24, 2010
On Tue Apr 12, 2011 03:51 PM
Thank you! I will be working on those "modified" butterflies and will work on those other two stretches you suggested!
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 15029, member since Thu Feb 14, 2002
On Tue Apr 12, 2011 04:21 PM
Definitely straddle stretch/middle split.

Image hotlink - 'http://0.tqn.com/d/dance/1/5/n/2/-/-/split6.jpg'

Image hotlink - 'http://iradance.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/center-split-stretch.jpg'

It also helps to do the split against the wall, and GENTLY push yourself closer as your flexibility improves.

Image hotlink - 'http://www.newleveldance.com/mobile/DSC01357.JPG'

[img]3.bp.blogspot.com . . . W0/FZlyx1QOpdE/s200/splitwall.jpg[/img]
(yeah, those were the only photos I could find for that. WTF???)

Lastly, if you have a partner, you can also have them brace your legs open and pull you forward. DON'T do this if you haven't learned the limits of your flexibility and so on, and have the friend pull GENTLY until you say to stop. Best done with another dancer, lol.

Image hotlink - 'http://images.teamsugar.com/files/upl0/1/12981/09_2008/straddle.jpg'

And the frog, of course.

Image hotlink - 'http://members.fortunecity.com/tchb1/strprep-101.jpg'
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By PassionDance Comments: 35, member since Tue Aug 24, 2010
On Tue Apr 12, 2011 09:19 PM
Thanks for these tips and photos, I am visual, so it helps me! I am not sure though what you mean by do the frog...?
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? (karma: 1)  en>fr fr>en
By Chihiro Comments: 81, member since Fri Sep 03, 2010
On Wed Apr 13, 2011 06:42 PM



I prefer to lie on my back against a wall and let gravity pull my legs open. It's a gentler stretch, making it easy to relax and stay there for a couple minutes at a time. Maybe I'm just stiff...or old...but all of the stretches mentioned above hurt me somewhere they shouldn't, like my knees or lower back. This is the only one I've been able to make any progress with. Hope it helps!
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By actionwoman Comments: 58, member since Tue Mar 01, 2011
On Wed Apr 13, 2011 08:38 PM
The one above is great. I usually do the frog stretch for at least two minutes followed by this one for at least 10 minutes. It's very relaxing and if you tighten your inner thighs for about 10 seconds, then release them, you'll be able to stretch even more. The longer you stay like that, the more relaxed and open your inner thighs will be.
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By flyingwind66member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 382, member since Wed Mar 14, 2007
On Fri Apr 15, 2011 05:00 PM
frog stretch

Image hotlink - 'http://members.fortunecity.com/tchb1/strprep-101.jpg'

Image hotlink - 'http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3553/3348208913_ca11a117f7.jpg'

as you can see above there's a couple ways you can do it but the basics are the same

you can lay on your stomach with your knees out and soles of feet together like in the butterfly stretch and do 1 of 2 things:

-keep both hips on the floor and let your feet drop with gravity (make sure you point the toes up towards the ceiling to avoid sickling your feet) that's shown in the second picture

-keep both feet on the floor and use your arms to brace yourself as you try to get your hips as close to the floor as you can (I prefer this one) also make sure you keep your back straight so you don't hurt it!

now another way to do this is to have both your hips and your feet on the floor but not have the soles of your feet touching, that's what is shown in the first picture
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By PassionDance Comments: 35, member since Tue Aug 24, 2010
On Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:26 PM
Thank you all very much! I love the pictures to add to the names and explanations of those stretches!!!
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By balletsfriendmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5772, member since Thu Aug 30, 2001
On Mon Apr 25, 2011 04:38 PM
Just be careful not to overstretch. I recently strained my hamstring because I was focusing too much on splits and extensions. Even after I warmed up!

I like everything that's been posted, but I also really like working on my extension with the wall. I'll lay down parallel to the wall, about 6 inches away. Then I'll take whichever leg is next to the wall and I will rest it against the wall and bring it as close to my head as it can get (without pulling or doing any damage, obviously). I'll let it lay there for a bit and then switch sides.

I also love the wall splits that Heart and Chihiro posted. Those help me a lot.
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By sofiaballerina Comments: 4, member since Thu Jun 02, 2011
On Thu Jun 02, 2011 07:00 AM
I do this one too! I pop in my ipod cosy up against the wall and stretchy stretch stretch, you can get a bit stiff though so stretch before and after just in case but I agree I really think this stretch helped me the most in getting down on splits.
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By magdalenemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 427, member since Fri Apr 27, 2007
On Thu Jun 02, 2011 08:15 AM
I wish I could do the wall stretches! We don't have enough wall space in our tiny apartment!

I like getting as far as I can into a straddle, then resisting against the floor.
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By kathyheartballet Comments: 133, member since Sat Jun 04, 2011
On Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:26 PM
Open up your legs into a side split and keep pushing them open against a wall. This is a little painful, especially if you're not used to it, but it really helps you to open up the thighs.

Another thing you could try is lying on your stomach and have your legs in a butterfly position. This is called a frog, by the way. Good luck!!!
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By giselle45 Comments: 20, member since Mon Jun 06, 2011
On Mon Jun 06, 2011 01:00 PM
It depends on what part of the thigh needs stretching. For your quads just pull your foot up towards your butt. For the insides keep doing froggie but also lie on your stomach and put your feet soles together and slide them closer towards your torso. This will stretch your hips as well. Lastly, sit and stretch your legs in front of you turned in and reach to touch your toes.
re: How to stretch to open the thighs? en>fr fr>en
By PassionDance Comments: 35, member since Tue Aug 24, 2010
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 08:36 PM
So I take it I should work on that frog move... I really like the wall ones too!! My frog is not quite there but nonetheless I won't get better if I don't keep pushing. Thank you also for the extra info on the frog stretch, I will add it in!

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