How to do a deeper plié?

by Xydier
(Taiwan)

Hello. I would like to ask u a question. I hope u can answer me, thank u.

I cannot do really deep plié; mine is really shallow. Like really, can't even compare to total beginner. I was told that it was due to my tight Achilles tendon. Is there anyways to solve my problem? I tried stretching it but I have yet to see any results. I have an audition coming up in less than a month's time. I know this would affect me so I would like to solve this problem ASAP.

Comments for How to do a deeper plié?

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Mar 20, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Xydia,

Shallow pliés are indeed usually caused by a lack of flexibility in the Achilles tendon.

You can work that out, but don't expect to have results in only one month. Flexibility is something that can be improved, but it takes long processes of very disciplined and methodic training.

Every dancer has a different body, so some improve their flexibility faster than others. However, the rule is that you will only see improvements after several months of daily routines, working over your muscles. If you want to see great changes, you need years of work.

This applies to all muscles and soft tissues of the body, and not only to the Achilles tendon.

Almost all workouts focus in the repetition of flexing and extending the muscle (or group of tissues) that want to be activated. In the case of the Achilles tendon, you can repeat demi pliés and relevés in different positions, using your bodily weight or not, or using a device (like Tera bands or gym mechanisms).

When standing and doing the plié, it is important that the weight is evenly spread all over the area of each foot, without letting the arch fall towards the floor. One of the signs that this is being done correctly is that the Achilles tendon is stretched when flexing the leg. If you have a tight Achilles tendon, this may be due to a habit of distributing weight unevenly on your feet.

Yet, remember that focalized workout is always recommended to be done after a general bodily workout. So, don't think of your Achilles tendon as an isolated part of your body. It will need that the rest of the body is trained too.

If you want a guide about exercises for gaining flexibility of your whole body, you can check our page about a basic yoga routine:

Basic Yoga Routine


That routine is good for a general and soft workout, but it is not enough for the needs of a dancer. Continue taking your classes, researching about the topic and adapting the exercises that you learn to your own bodily needs and you'll see the results, in time.

Warm regards,

Maria

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