Tips and Exercises for Improving Your Turnout

improve turnout

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcom Gladwell

 Turnout is one of the most essential parts of ballet and it takes practice. With proper training, patience, and the helpful tips and exercises below, you will be well on your way to improving your turnout.

Safety First

Before you start working towards improving your turn out, it is important to remember to be gentle with your body. Improving your turnout will not happen overnight and takes time and patience. However, the more you work on it and the more consistent your ballet training becomes, the more you will see the changes in your turnout form.

You can avoid common ballet injuries by prioritizing talking to your instructor first and asking them for safe pointers. At Alberta Ballet School, our team is professionally trained and there to support you as you train to become a more polished ballet student.

Stretching Your Muscles

Stretching daily will increase mobility in your joints, keep your muscles supple and healthy. Make sure to have a nice variety of stretches to cover the entire body.

To become more flexible, stretch daily and with care to not over stretch, make sure your can breath while stretching to ensure that you are not going too far. Forcing into a stretch can lead to injuries which ultimately puts you further away from your goal. Ensure that your alignment is proper and that you hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.

A popular stretch to gain flexibility in your hips, is nicknamed The Frog. When in this position correctly, you will look like you are sitting like a frog! You should not feel any pain or pressure in your knees. If you do, carefully come out of that position and perhaps try a less intense stretch until you are ready.

Building Strength in Your Muscles

Improving your turnout does not just involve stretching to increase mobility. You must also strengthen your muscles. You can ask your teacher or physiotherapist for a few exercises you can do to work the rotator muscles you need for turnout.

This simple exercise is one that you can do from anywhere to build up strength:

“The Clam”

  1. Lay down on side, knees bend and legs together
  2. Open the top leg slowly, like opening a clam for a slow 6 counts
  3. Don’t not let your top hip roll back. Top hip must stay on top of the bottom hip
  4. Use your rotators to open the leg
  5. Repeat 12 times on each side.

This exercise can be done a few times a week.

It is important to keep in mind that improving your turn out is a process and not something that happens magically. With safe and consistent work, you will be amazed at how your body can open up and adjust to new movements. This way you will prevent injuries and develop your technique at the same time.

If you have any questions about adult dance classes in Calgary, or general inquiries about dance classes in Calgary, please reach out to us at the Alberta Ballet School!