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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer elisagamal's Avatar
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    straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    in every workshop I've taken led by dancers who really know what they're doing, I've done straddle squats (feet wide, knees turned out) as part of the warm up/conditioning/stretching part. if you've taken a workshop with aziza or suhaila you know what I mean! I know these are good to do, but I can't remember why... is it for the strengthening? the stretching? please feel free to go into minute detail if details are to be had. :) thanks!


  2. #2
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    I've taken workshops with plenty of people who know what they're doing who don't do them in warmups, so it's horses for courses really. To me they're straight out of ballet, and it's a strength/flexibility movement. Plies involve the whole leg and the core IMO, especially strengthen the thighs, and doing them at least nominally stretches the calves so you can start to get a deeper bend. From memory in ballet they really just serve as a preparation for jumping more than anything.


  3. #3
    Fotia
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    I was told they also help open the hip flexors.


  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer firefly5's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    They improve joint mobility in the knees and hips, and strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles (thighs) these are some of the larger muscles so exercising them will warm up your body quickly too.


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer AngelaDiCaprio's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    I love love straddle squats. They also strengthen the gluteus maximus. For safety it is also important that you keep the knees directly over the ankles to prevent injury to the knees and a flat back parallel to the floor stomach muscles pulled in to re-leave any pressure on the lower back.


  6. #6
    Official BHUZzer susuabdo's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    They strengthen, quads, hamstrings and glutes. There is an awesome book by Dr. Richard Stark called "The Stark Reality of Stretching" . He is a sports medicine physician who goes into details about correct stretching of the lower extremites to avoid long term injury. Highly recommended for anyone dancing or teaching dance.


  7. #7
    Ultimate BHUZzer Azhia's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    In addition to the above acknowledged strengthening benefits, 2nd position plié/grand plié (and pretty much anything from ballet) is a centering activity.

    It would be nearly impossible to do these properly and safely without the constant, mindful adjustment during these exercises to find your center. The ancillary effects of which include strengthening stabilizer muscles and improving equilibrium during any dance activity.


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    Others have already commented on why pliés in second position (straddle squats) are beneficial. I think they're useful to teach students as a warmup (ie, as an alternative to walking briskly) because not everybody has enough space when they're practicing at home to do traveling warmups, and pliés can fill that need.

    I don't like seeing them used as a belly dance move, though. Some tribal fusion dancers do that, and I always dislike it when I see it.


  9. #9
    Official BHUZzer jencUK's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    They hurt my knees. I had to leave a fusion group (I only wanted to do egyptian but can't find a teacher who can teach!!!!!!!). They did loads of squats in preparation for using them in dances. Why couldn't they have said it was a bellywood class instead of advertising that the teacher taught Raqs Sharqi


  10. #10
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    They give me knee troubles too if I do them to grand plie level.

    It's funny, of course they must work the hip flexors but I've never noticed it because I've always been very open there. Good to remember!


  11. #11
    Official BHUZzer DeborahDances's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    The straddle squats were what almost killed me in Suhaila's workshop. I could handle everything else (physically, my brain was another issue), but oh the straddle squats!


  12. #12
    Established BHUZzer Candi's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jencUK View Post
    They hurt my knees. I had to leave a fusion group (I only wanted to do egyptian but can't find a teacher who can teach!!!!!!!). They did loads of squats in preparation for using them in dances. Why couldn't they have said it was a bellywood class instead of advertising that the teacher taught Raqs Sharqi
    where are you in the uk Pm me will see if i can help. i only do egyptian-might have some contacts in your area.

    as to the straddle squats-??


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer elisagamal's Avatar
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    Re: straddle squats - why are they good to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by zumarrad View Post
    I've taken workshops with plenty of people who know what they're doing who don't do them in warmups, so it's horses for courses really.
    excellent point - I've taken many workshops from great instructors who don't do them as well. I should rephrase my question to read something like, whenever I've been given straddle squats in a workshop, it has been from somebody well studied on movement and what is good/not good for dancing bodies.

    thanks, everyone! I love bhuz. :) question, answered! :)


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