3 Exercises for Success in Second En L’air!

Working on your Developpe or Grand Battement to Second?

Try out these 3 exercises to improve your placement and control!

We see a lot of young dancers who have trouble with working the leg in second en l’air. Many want to improve their leg height into open positions, while others arrive looking for answers to why their hip snaps/pops/clicks either on the way up or down.

Solutions range from simple technique changes to in depth explorations of supporting muscles throughout the whole body.

Here are three exercises to help you find your turnout muscles and then learn how to use these to get the best placement of your hip and leg in second!

Can you make a simple change in your technique to get your

leg feeling like it floats into position?

Before we start ….No pain should be felt during any of these exercises. If you feel pain, stop, and ask your dance teacher, or a physiotherapist for assistance.

 1. Find the Deep Turnout Muscles in Retiré


To identify deep turnout muscles, and relax any other muscles getting in the way.

  • Lying on your tummy, your foot will be pointing to the roof (ready to rotate into retiré), aim to have the exercise band at a 90 degree angle to your thigh. You do not need a lot of resistance for this exercise.

  • Find your sitting bone and the bony part at the side of your hip – your deep turnout muscles live halfway between these two landmarks.

  • Gently turn out, taking your foot down to your calf into a low retiré position. You might feel your thigh bone rotating. Keep the movement free and soft. You may feel a gentle activation of muscle where the deep hip rotators are.

  • You should be relaxed in your upper gluteal muscles, the front of your hip and in your hamstrings.

  • Repeat x 8-10 times

2.  A Side Lying Retiré


To lift leg, maintaining turnout muscles, using less of the front of hip


  • Loop an exercise band around thigh, use your arm to help bring the leg up into retiré (make sure your toe follows the correct path!)

  • Maintain turnout as you go, soft through front of hips. Watch out, your knee may want to turn in here!

  • Repeat x 8

3.  A Side Lying Assisted Straight Leg Lift


To teach the body correct muscle activation for a leg lift to second.

  • Loop an exercise band around your foot, the leg position is as if you were in a releve in 5th. Turn out using your deep hip rotators.

  • Lift leg to 90 degrees, keeping turnout muscles working, letting hip drop into the socket as it lifts. The muscles through the front of your hip should stay soft throughout.

  • Repeat x 8

Now, can you find these muscles in standing??

Having trouble with your leg in second?

Book in for an assessment and an individual exercise plan with one of our dance physiotherapists.

Book An Appointment SS

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