Engagement & Mobility
At the beginning this is best to train against the wall. Commence with an exhale through the mouth and slowly inhale as you roll through the upper thoracic spine. Lift well out of your abdominals and lift away from your fit ball so as not to crunch into your lumbar spine as you inhale slowly through the nose. Exhale again before lengthening through the crown of your head and inhale through the nose as you activate your upper back. Your head should always be turned to one side and check that your shoulders remain square as you extend backwards. Do not extend further by crunching into your lower spine. The legs remain together against the wall. When using épaulement take great care to keep your hip alignment square onto the fit ball.
If taking the option with a partner, you should work with someone approximately the same height. Press against your partner’s feet for support.
Is this exercise suitable to keep training this against the wall?
Absolutely, it is the same activation.
How far back should I bend back?
Only bend as far as you can remain stable in the abdominals without crunching your lumbar spine.
Should the legs remain together on the wall?
Yes you should be striving for the legs and feet to remain together on the wall. This is easier to control when against the wall.
At what age should I be doing this exercise?
The age suggestion is 14 years and above for this combination, although this depends on the maturity and years of previous training. However this exercise has varied levels of training in all 3 levels of training. Yet some 13 year old students may be clearly strong enough to start training this exercise. However they must be completely competent in the senior level of training before moving forward into the Advanced level
What are the advantages in ballet training for this exercise?
This upper body activation will improve the general line in any arabesque, faille, temps de poisson See in the demonstration below – any upper body movement used in ballet or pas de deux.
Demonstration: The Importance of Engagement & Mobility