Applying Strength

Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital capacity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I apologize to my readers for my lack of writing the last 3 weeks, but an unexpected life event demanded my full attention.  Feel free to take a look back at the last two Movement Wednesday entries, An Internal Relationship and Our Own Unique Strength to recapture the idea of a dancer’s strength. Sticking with the topic of strength, I decided to link the ideas of these two articles (how a muscle works and it’s proprioceptive mechanisms) and apply it to a great dancer specific reformer exercise that I learned while interning with Physical Therapist and Pilate Certified, Jill Vonderhaar Nader (stay tuned for an interview with her for this coming Conversation Sunday piece).

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– Thanks to Jackie Damico for these great pictures.

Before exercise be sure to: Raise head rest to it’s locked position, lay supine (on back), extend arms and fingers long parallel to body, find your neutral pilate pelvis (not tucked nor extended)

Recommendation for number of springs: Women – RY to RR (one red/one yellow spring to two red springs), Men – RRY (two red springs and one yellow)

  1. Place your left heal on the foot bar, slightly turned out (externally rotated) with knees over toes.
  2. Extend the right leg to the ceiling (at a 90 degree angle from the body) also slightly turned out. Point the foot.
  3. Slowly and carefully, while keeping the pelvis stable (like in pictures) push the left leg towards the foot bar and extend the leg – be sure not to jam the leg into a locked position.
  4. Now keeping the pelvis stable slowly flex and point the foot one time, being sure to articulate and roll through the metatarsals (like an ideal slow tendu).
  5. Once foot is fully pointed slowly and carefully bend the left leg back to its starting position.
  6. Reps: 10 times on each leg (repeat if necessary)
Improves pelvic stability, rotation strength, abdominal strength, leg strength, and flexibility

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