We are a moving structure…we consider which ’nodes’ of our body need to be aligned to keep our body safe from ‘forces’ than can stress joints. Not exercising is not a good idea or a solution! While we age, muscle weakness exposes us to many injuries, therefore we need to perform using the brain, even more than the muscles! We need to align our joints following basic geometrical shapes, forming squares and triangles with our bodies…this guarantees the correct distribution of pressure on joints, consequently the muscles we require to work perform in the right line and correctly!
Do you have these questions:
Do I perform the exercise correctly?
So why do I have pain?
Here the most common mistakes and solutions for knees, anckles, hips and lower back!
1- Positioning your head
Your primary focus should be on your head and your center of gravity. Your head should rest over your center of gravity, whether you’re standing or sitting. The center of gravity is located about three inches below your navel and about three inches toward the back of your body. The center of the head is located between your ears. Chin should be always parallel.
Stand in front of a mirror and locate your center of gravity in your pelvic area. Next, place your thumbs inside your ears and place your index fingers on either side of your head, with the tips of your fingers pointing upward. Your hands will effectively be splitting your head into halves, front and back.
This helps to understand how we need to position ourselves. Gently move your head forwards one inch, then backwards one inch. Imagining where the pelvic center of gravity is, gradually find the spot where the center of the head is directly over the pelvis.
Most people find that the correct position of the head over the pelvic center of gravity is farther back than they thought it would be. This position helps us to avoid arthritic changes in the spine. When correctly aligned, the spine is “floating,” free of the friction and misalignment that lead to premature wear and tear.
2- Align toe and knees
One of the key ways you can protect knees is to land (in plies or steps) with your knee directly in line with your two biggest toes, to roll through the foot as you land, and to press your heels into the floor. This distributes your weight correctly and keeps you in alignment, so you don’t put extra strain on your knees. Using the external (turn-out) muscles of the hip joint helps to keep the knee aligned over the toes.When properly aligned, a straight line can be drawn from the center of the knee through the second toe. This is ideal, as it eliminates strain on the medial and lateral structures of the knee.
Depicted side is an extreme example of medial knee stress. Note that the center of the knee is no longer aligned over the toes – it is significantly medial to the foot, and also twisting. This is a prime position for injury to the ACL, MCL or medial meniscus.
3- Turn out from the hips
Let’s look at how turning out from the hip or from the ankle effects the knee.
Who is turning out from her hips – her knees are over her toes, with no deviation of the knee medially or laterally – everything is in alignment. This is the ideal situation as there is no stress or strain on the ligaments and menisci of the knee. Who is turned out from her ankles, not her hips: this may not be apparent until she plies, the effect of turning out from the ankles will be to cause the knee to be twisted, and to apparently cave inward relative to the ankle. In this position the passive structures on the inner side of the knee – the medial structures- are being stressed.
Turn out from your hips, not the knees or ankles. If you only have 150 degrees of turn out in your hips, only turn out to 150 degrees – but use every one of those 150 degrees that you were given. Using your ankles isn’t the way to be more turned out – stretching the hips and strengthening the external rotator muscles is. Keep your knees over your toes, and keep dancing 🙂
Please if you have 8 minutes check the Ballet turnout exploration done by Maestro Greenwood, of course we are not ballerinas, but what is important is learn to be honest with our body to prevent any injuries!