July 12, 2019 | by admin
Ideally in a second position plié, our feet should be about hips width apart and the toes should be slightly turned out. Our hips stay in line with our shoulders - imagine sliding your back down a wall to keep it straight. Slightly tilting our pelvis forward will help create a neutral spin and engage our lower abdominals. Our knees should be pressed back and stacked on top of our ankles. We are always thinking about that upper body posture as well - shoulders are relaxed, down away from the ears and our chest is proud.
The first common mistake we see is the squat-plié. Most of us are used to doing squats, therefore when our Leader says to plié, our hips naturally want to go back rather than stay tucked under our shoulders. You can see on the left side that Lexy's lower back is swaying due to this positioning which is going to put a lot of extra pressure on her back and could cause pain or injury. The best way to correct this is by slightly tilting the pelvis forward and shifting the bum forward under the shoulders. It is also very likely that she is using little, if any, core engagement here. Drawing up through her abdominal muscles as she inhales and exhales will help her to utilize her core muscles to correct the swaying and to protect in her lower back. If our bum is back, our shoulders and upper body and very likely to hinge forward like Lexy's in the left picture. You can see her beautiful straight back, shoulders in line with her hips, and proud chest in the correct positioning on the right.
Another thing we commonly see is what Alison likes to call "saggy knees." We want our hips and knees turned our equally as much as our toes. If our turn out is too wide for the flexibility of our hips, we often see the knees drooping into the centre seen in the left picture which can put a lot of pressure on the inside of the knee joint. One of our biggest tip when doing any plié is to keep your turn out narrow! This will help to avoid any sore knees after class. We might also have saggy knees due to lack of muscle engagement. We have to actively use that mind to muscle connection our Leaders are always talking about, to activate our glutes and abductor (outer thigh) muscles. Use these muscles groups to pull the knees back and hold them on top of our ankles to ensure that proper positioning like Lexy is in the picture to the right.
If you ever feel like something isn't quite right in your positioning, always feel free to ask your Leader for help! Now hit those pliés with confidence!
Happy Friday, Locals!