How to Do a Front Leg Hold

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If you're able to pull off a front hold, it's a sign that you're a developed dancer with plenty of flexibility. As its name suggests, the front hold involves holding one leg in front of the body, usually using both hands. While some of that flexibility comes from good genes, proper stretching and technique can help you make your front hold better.

  • Warm up your muscles by walking, jogging or dancing freestyle for about 10 minutes.

  • Perform some dynamic stretches to get your muscles ready for the leg hold, including front kicks and kneeling lunges. Do at least five to 10 kicks and lunges with each leg.

  • Stand in the fourth position of ballet, placing the leg that will remain on the floor out in front of you, with your toes and knees turned outward. The toes of your back leg should be turned outward in the opposite direction.

  • Engage your core muscles as you kick your back leg forward and upward. This is also called battement in ballet. Keep your toes pointed and your leg as straight as possible. At the same time, raise up onto the forefoot of your standing leg, bending the knee of your standing leg for stability.

  • Grab the back, lower portion of your raised leg with both hands, pulling your leg toward you and turning your raised toe in slightly.

Tips & Warnings

  • The front leg hold requires significant flexibility in the hip flexors. As such, it wouldn't hurt to regularly work on flexibility in that area, performing stretches such as the "pigeon" pose in yoga, front splits and static stretches on a barre.
  • Like many dance moves, you should never attempt the front hold without a proper warm-up first, or you'll risk an injury that could sideline your dance career.

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