Wide V Knee Bend, or 2nd position Grand Pile, is a barre class staple regardless of the format. For many students and instructors alike, the expectation of perfect ballerina form can come at an unpleasant cost. While we may want our legs wide, knees bent deep, and feet turned out, our knees and hips might need something different.
While teaching Wide V Knee Bends you notice one or all of the following:
- Pinkie toes lifted
- Knees rolled inward
- Chest dropping forward
- Pelvis tucked/posterior tilt
And whether or not your students mention it - they are experiencing or are on their way to experiencing knee and/or hip discomfort.
There can be many reasons why form is out of alignment. A few of the major culprits include:
- Unawareness of the body in space /proper form
- Muscular imbalances - over or under worked muscles
- Anatomical variations of the bones & joints - primarily the hips
Start with correcting form. In need of a refresher? View our Hip, Knee, Toe Alignment video. Understand that muscle "pain" is different than joint pain. If correcting the form causes tension on the knees or hips, consider:
Bringing the Heels In
By bringing the heels in we lesson the range of motion in the hips therefore causing relief for those that have difficulty in extreme hip abduction.
Angling the toes forward
Rather than shooting for that 9 o'clock/ 3 o'clock stance try 10 and 2 or even 11 and 1. This way, the knees can more naturally line up with the 2nd & 3rd toes eliminating stress on the joints.
Lessoning the knee bend
The greater the knee bend the heavier the load. For some, bearing weight causes discomfort on the joints. In order to actively work the thighs without the expense of knee discomfort limiting range of motion works best.