Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Perfect turnout. Very few people have it,  very few people's hips are built to turn out to 180 degrees. This frequently leads to over-compensating through pronated feet and twisted knees which in turn places strain on the ligaments of the knee, and increases likelihood of ankle, knee and hip injury occurring.

Your turnout is largely determined, like your flexibility, by how your skeleton is built. In spite of this however there is still plenty of supplemental training that can improve what you're working with. Improving core strength, pelvic alignment, posture and balance can make a considerable difference to what you can achieve, as will strengthening your deep lateral rotator muscles (which are located deep underneath your glutes), the Sartorius and the adductors, all of which are responsible for turnout. More than improving your turnout, developing these will further improve your technique and general alignment.

The International Association of Dance Medicine and Science website has two in-depth information sheets on turnout which are worth a read if you are serious about trying to understand and improve your turnout,. They're available here.

The main points you will want to consider from these are:

  • Maintaining a neutral pelvis - pelvic stability exercises will help to develop this
  • Building core strength
  • Strengthening the obliques and rectus abdominis (the "six-pack" muscles) - various curls, twists and crunches can improve this
  • Lengthening the hip flexors and ensuring adequate lumbar mobility - long low lunges will stretch the hip flexors, while lumbar stretching can be done both sitting or standing (in parallel) and hanging or stretching the torso forward.
Strengthening and Improving Recruitment of Muscles Responsible for Turnout
  • Focussing on the deep lateral rotators, Sartorius and adductors- a number of dance-specific exercises are detailed in the IADMS resource paper
  • Strengthening of the Sartorius and adductor muscles will further contribute towards improved extension and the fondu and développé movements
  • Mobility of internal and external rotators - Simple stretches can improve this :

It's worth seriously considering how to improve your turnout in a safe and controlled manner. Forcing your feet to turn out will cause numerous flaws in your technique, as well as putting you at higher risk of injury. Not everyone is going to achieve the full 180, but there is room to extend what you have which can make a considerable difference to your performance without putting yourself at risk.

1 comment:

  1. I want to improve my turnout in a safe and controlled manner. I was not aware that forcing my feet to turn out will cause numerous flaws in my technique, as well as can put me at higher risk of injury. Thanks for informing.

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