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  Pilates/ballet exercise:   wide stance plie Pilates Information
Pilates Alexander Technique
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Pilates Method applied to standing exercises makes for a good workout. It also becomes a powerful "Alexander Technique" tool for the purpose of posture-movement re-education.
Wide Stance Ballet Plie - Action
  1. Stand with your heels just over a hip width apart, and your feet pointing 45 degrees outwards.
  2. Pelvis Neutral, knees not locked.
  3. Gentle zip and hollow, and scapulars anchored.
  4. Relax your neck and let your back lengthen and widen.
Wide Stance Ballet Plie - Action:-
  1. Breathe in.
  2. (Breathing out): Gently engage Gluteus maximus and lower as far as is comfortable.
  3. Breathe in.
  4. (Breathing out again): Keep the Gluteus maximus engaged and use it to "push upward" back to your starting position.
  5. Relax the Gluteus, and stand at ease before repeating.
  6. Repeat ten times.
Note:-

If you have knee or buttock pain, even 1 cm of downward movement is fine! Quality execution of the plie movement is the all important goal.
(Pilates/Ballet Movement: The Wide Stance Plie. Scroll right>>>...)
Diagrams of Wide Stance Plie:-
Wide Stance Plie: Start Position
Modified Ballet Plie
Wide Stance Plie: Action
Modified Ballet Plie

What the Wide Stance Plie Does:-
  • Encourages the knees to move forward over the toes rather than to the inside of the toes.
  • Teaches the Gluteus maximus to become a more willing participant during movement with an upright torso.
Comments:-

We live in a "weak kneed" society. The Gluteus maximus in modern man is a lazy muscle and engages too slowly(1,4). It engages even more slowly as a result of back pain or ankle injury(5,6). The result is that the knees tend to "look inward" and "knock into" each other. This is what physiotherapist Shirley Sahrmann labels "Hip adduction with Medial Rotation" syndrome. Also, the Tensor fascia lata and Gluteus minimus both tend to be short, and thus prone to Trigger Points, "Iliotiotibial Band Syndrome" and "Trochenteric Bursitis". The wide stance plie will tend to prevent these conditions (further info...Triggerpoint Therapy Workbook).

Reference
  1. Shirley A Sahrman: "Movement Impairment Syndromes" Publ. Mosby, 2002 ISBN 0-8016-7205-8
  2. For introductory ballet exercises, see: http://www.artofballet.com/class2.html
  3. Judith Leibowitz and Bill Connington: "The Alexander Technique: The World Famous Method for Enhancing Posture, Stamina, Health and Well-being, and For Relieving Tension and Pain". Harper and Row (New York), August 1990.
  4. Bruce Thomson: Engage Gluteus maximus!
  5. Bullock-Saxton JE; Janda V; Bullock MI: Reflex Activation of Gluteal Muscles in Walking. An Approach to Restoration of Muscle Function for Patients with Low-back Pain. [Spine 1993; 18 (6) May: 704708]
  6. Bullock-Saxton JE; Janda V; Bullock MI: The Influence of Ankle Sprain Injury on Muscle Activation During Hip Extension [Int J Sports Med 1994; 15 (6) Aug: 330334]
(Pilates/Ballet Movement: The Wide Stance Plie © Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project scroll up^^^^....)