Tips for Tendu Success

Hi everyone!  Today is kind of a weird blog post.  It is not a technique tip, but I will be talking about barre exercises and things you can do outside of class to improve your tendus.  I hope this is helpful!

Breaking Down the Mechanics

One of my favorite exercises to do at the barre for my tendus involves slowing things down and isolating each part of the movement.  I do the following sections of the tendu slowly and repetitively:

  • Initiating with the heel
  • Bringing back with the toes
  • Retracting the ankle from the fully stretched position

All of these motions, when practiced, help improve the tendu as a whole.

Make sure you are focusing on the following things while practicing this exercise:

  • Keep your hips square – no twisting to help nudge turnout outwards.
  • Stay lifted through the front of your hips.  There should be no anterior or posterior pelvic tilt – keep the bones in neutral mode.
  • Keep your turnout naturally coming from your hips – no forcing in the knees or ankles.  Keep your knees over your toes at all times, no rolling in or out or twisting in the kneecap area.

Conditioning for Tendus

Tendus are initated with the inner thigh, so inner thigh exercises can help improve this mandatory step for you.

You can check out my Strengthening Guide or my Turnout Workout for some exercises.

Here are a few exercises below:

  • Inner thigh rises: Lay on your side, crossing your top leg over your hips to the front and supporting your chest with your forearm on the ground.  Quickly pulse upwards the bottom leg, initiating the movement with your inner thighs.
  • Thera band crossovers:  Have someone hold a thera band wrapped around your foot off to the outside of you.  You can also tie the band to something.  Slowly pull your leg across your body using your inner thigh muscles, and then return it to the starting position of aligned above your belly button.
  • Tabletop pulses: In tabletop position on all fours, lift one leg behind you to a 90 degree angle, parallel to the ground.  Bend the knee without moving the thigh so that is on a 90 degree angle.  Quickly pulse the entire structure upwards, keeping your knee completely in line with the outside line of your body.  This exercise is also called 90 90 pulses.

Finding Articulation

The last thing you can do to improve your tendus to is to do foot exercises to improve. the articulation of your feet.

Again, you can check out my Strengthening Guide for conditioning or Flexibility Guide for toe and ankle stretches.

Here are a few ideas of stretches and strengthening exercies you can do:

  • Prances to stretch out your demi pointe and work on the articulation of your ankle.
  • Thera band exercises, including pointing only the toes and only the ankle.
  • Ankle circles to warm up your feet and isolate the tibia from the rest of the ankle structure.

Thanks for reading this very weird blog post today, and at least I hope you can find use out of some of it!  I’ll see you with my week 4 summer program reflection on Friday.

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