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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

Ballet Envy: Rond de Jambe

An amazing exercise/stretch for the entire outer hip and upper leg

Ballet (and Barre) have become very popular forms of exercise recently, and rightly so. I've been using ballet as exercise for about 6 years, and I can say, categorically, there is no better method for opening your hips. After practicing ballet, I always feel stronger, more relaxed, and even a few inches taller! Perhaps what I love most about ballet is the combination of grace, power, and muscle release from stretching.

Below is illustrated one of my favorite ballet techniques, “Rond de Jambe” or “circling of the leg”. Half circles are created with the pointed toe, stretching and strengthening all the small musculature in the outer hip. This is a fantastic movement if you feel that you've been walking/running frequently and your gait may be off, or even if you slept on one hip strangely, making it feel tighter than the other. I've also found it beneficial for mothers who always hold children on one hip. :)

(These motions are “Rond de jambe à terre”; that is, a straightened leg with pointed toe remaining on the ground to sweep around.)

To begin, stand up straight in first position, heels together, toes open to a narrow “V”, with your head straight up and shoulders back. Hold your arms out to each side at shoulder level for balance.

Begin with the right foot, pointing straight out in front of you. Slowly stretch the right leg from front to back, drawing a big half circle with your toes, lightly grazing the floor. (This motion from front to back is “rond de jambe en dehors”.) Repeat 5 times.

Continuing with the right leg, point the toes to the back, then circle toward the front. (This motion from back to front is “rond de jambe en dedans.”) Repeat 5 times.

Take a moment here to notice if circling from front to back or from back to front was easier for you; this is an interesting note about your hips. If one feels more difficult than the other, that's the one you should spend more time and repetitions working out. Ideally, both motions would be equal on both legs; if not, repeat until they feel at least moderately similar.

Repeat both rond de jambe en dehors and rond de jambe en dedans on the left leg, 5 repetitions each.

Enjoy these stretches, letting yourself relax into the dance for a few moments in your day. With training, the hip musculature can go from chronically tense, to freely moving. And massage therapy sessions help too! The benefit of massage therapy combined with exercise is increased muscle training and circulation, which helps the body to function optimally. I'll see you in my Westport office!



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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT