#1. Hip Abductor Stretching Exercise: Lay on your back. One leg is extended along the floor. The other leg is lifted into parallel attitude position. Gently tug the leg towards you and hold for one minute. You should feel a stretch on the inside of the hip flexor. Slowly release. Turn the leg out in attitude, ensuring you are turning out from the hip. Loop your arms through the leg to hold the outside of the leg. Gently tug the leg towards you to now hold the stretch in the turned out position.
Progression: Grab the inside of the foot (the arch) and open the leg in the turned out attitude position in 2nd. Gently press down on the inside of the foot and hold the stretch for one minute. Slowly release.
Repeat other side.
#2. Hip Abductor Strengthening Exercise: Lay on back. Bend one leg and keep the other leg extended along the floor. Slowly battement the leg, holding at the top and then release. Repeat 10-15 times. Repeat in at turned out attitude position.
Progression: Repeat exercise with a straight legged parallel battement and then with a turned out leg. Increase number of repetitions. Add ankles weights or a Thera-band for further resistance.
Progression #2: Battement the leg with a straight leg in turned out position, slowly. Rond de jambe the leg in the air all the way through 2nd and close. Reverse the other way. The slower you move, the more resistance you are adding to the exercise.
#1 Core Stretching Exercise: When isolating the lateral muscles of the core, make sure to remain mindful to stay lifted and pull out of the spine, creating space between vertebrae. Stand in proper parallel 1st alignment. Raise arms up slowly over head in a 5th or “v,” position, ensuring the shoulders are down, the ribs closed and the tailbone in neutral position. Slowly lift and stretch over in a lateral flat back position. Let the finger tips lead. Make sure core is engaged. Hold the stretch while maintain proper alignment. Hold for 30 seconds – one minute. Slowly come back to beginning position. Repeat other side.
Progression: Take a demi plie in the position.
Progression #2: Repeat the stretch in forward flat back position and diagonal right and left.
Progression #3: Add plies to each position and move from position without stopping leading with an engaged core.
#2 Core Strengthening Exercise: Lay on your stomach. Legs out straight behind you. Arms folded in front of you. Rest your chin on your hands. Isolate the lower half of your body and slowly lift the legs. Hold in the air for a couple of counts and release. Repeat 10-15 times.
Variation #1: Keep legs remaining on floor. Put arms behind your head and slowly isolate the upper back by lifting and holding in the air. Release. Repeat 10-15 times.
Progression: “Swim” or “Flutter”: Extend legs out behind you and arms out straight in front of you. Look down, keeping head and neck in alignment with the spine. Start to slowly, “flutter” the arms and legs, engaging core and maintaining awareness of each change of position. Stretch away from center, getting longer in each direction. Increase tempo, “fluttering” or “swimming” faster and then decrease slowly again until still. Maintain position. Do not release. Hold arms and legs in the air for 10 seconds to finish.