5 Minute 5 Exercises to Improve Your Turnout For Latin Dancing

Exercises to get Great Latin Dancer Turnout
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For many who started dancing as adults, this can be a little challenging, but definitely VERY POSSIBLE. Yes, you heard that right. For latin dancing, we are not talking about ballet type of turnout. All you need is just enough rotation of the inner thighs forward so that you can engage through the centerline of the body. For each of us, that amount of rotation will vary. As long as your feet are not parallel, and you are “working” the inside edge of your heels to face forward, give yourself a pat on the back and say, GOOD JOB! These 5 exercises are awesome to warm up with and build your turnout. Do them while waiting in line at the grocery store, or at Chipotle… or while binge-watching TV… we don’t judge. 😉

Exercise #1: Flippers - Parallel to Turnout Position

1 set of 20 reps. (1 rep = Parallel position to Turn out position)

Tips:
1. ​Start with feet together in Parallel position.
2. Tuck your tail bone under by engaging your glutes.
3. Imagine your inner thighs rotating forward to turn your feet out.
4. Relax your legs to turn them to parallel position, and start over.

Exercise #2: Put Out the Cigarette - Front Position

2 sets of 10 reps. (1 rep = foot parallel, then turnout)
Do 1 set on the Right leg, and 1 set on the Left leg.

​Tips:
1. ​Start in turnout position with one leg in front.
2. Keep your hips square.
3. Relax the front leg so that the heel drops towards the floor.
4. Use your inner thigh muscle of the front leg to rotate the inner thigh up and the heel towards the front.

Exercise #3: Screwdriver - Side Position

2 sets of 10 reps. (1 rep = foot parallel, then turnout)
Do 1 set on the Right leg, and 1 set on the Left leg.

​Tips:
1. ​Start in turnout position with one leg to the side.
2. Stand tall and keep your hips square throughout.
3. Use your inner thigh and hamstrings of the free leg to rotate the heel forward and back.

Exercise #4: Thigh Rotation - Back Position

2 sets of 10 reps. (1 rep = back knee drop, then straighten)
Do 1 set on the Right leg, and 1 set on the Left leg.

​Tips:
1. ​Start in turnout position with one leg behind you.
2. Rotate the back foot parallel to start.
3. Engage the inner thigh of the back leg to rotate the heel and inner thigh of the back leg open to the side.
​4. Use your abs and back to rotate your lower torso to face the side of the free leg.

Exercise #5: Heel Leading Points

1 set of 20 reps. (1 rep = left leg forward + right leg forward)

Tips:
1. ​Start with feet together in turned out position (ankles together and toes pointing out away from each other).
2. Engage your inner thighs to draw your leg forward, making sure to keep your heel pointing forward.
3. Engage your glutes to draw the free leg back in.
4. BREATHE!

A final word about Turnout:

Turnout requires strength and flexibility in your legs, pelvis and glutes. All of which can be built up over time and with targeted exercises.

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Comments

  • Amy
    February 27, 2018

    Thanks for these easy-to-follow videos. Seasoned salsa dancer here trying to fix years or pigeon-tied partner dancing. Wish me luck!

    • Admin bar avatar
      LiWen Ang
      March 5, 2018

      Hey Amy! Welcome to our site and glad you find these helpful! Another little tip for working the turnout during your dancing is to keep pressure through the big and index toes (so you are activating the inner sides of the legs – which helps with balance too). Good luck! Keep us posted on your progress. 🙂

  • T. Dukes
    September 1, 2017

    I think I’ve been doing that Lucille Ball routine lately. Haha!! Thanks for the turnout assistance!! Reminds me of ballet class. 🙂

    • Admin bar avatar
      LiWen Ang
      March 5, 2018

      Ms T.!! Somehow, missed your comment till now. Hah! Why do I think that you doing the Lucille routine will somehow look really cool?! 😉

  • Dennis A. Javelo
    August 16, 2017

    Thank you for these! Keeping my feet turned out has been a huge difficulty for me for as long as I have been dancing, and I have always wondered if there were exercises that would help me with that. I’ll definitely try these out!

    • Admin bar avatar
      LiWen Ang
      August 16, 2017

      Hey Dennis! You’re so welcome! Imagine inner thighs rotating outwards from the back of your legs also can help. Also be sure to keep your knees and feet pointing in the same direction to maintain alignment. 🙂

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