Improving turnout: turnout exercises

Turnout (noun): To have an outward rotation of the feet and the hips. Mostly used in classical ballet. 


Some people are born with it, some are not, but I believe that with hard work and dedication everyone has the ability to improve their turnout.

I would say that my most used question is “How do you improve your turnout?” or “Can you please give me turnout exercises?”. If you continue reading, you will find tips on exercises along with photos. If you do those daily, I can guarantee you- that you’ll see results. Maybe not the day after, or even the week after, but if you keep doing it everyday and strengthen your turnout muscles, I promise that results will come only after a few weeks.

Stretching is a great thing to do, among with strengthening, when you want to improve your turnout. The splits (and over splits) help to make your hips more flexible. Do a little everyday, in the meantime, your hips will be more flexible and you will have increased the ability of your turnout. The butterfly is also a great stretch, as well as the frog stretch.

The following exercises I will describe, are things you do when you lay on the ground, back facing upwards and stomach on the floor. Make sure to keep the core strong at all times. 

Frog lifts– you know the frog stretch? Put your legs like that but a little less turnout, your feet should not be touching the ground, flexed feet. Arms under your forehead. Do 10 of these, lift your legs up, feel the inner rotation, lower you legs- and so on, up, down, up, down. Continue with doing 5. On each of these lifts, stay up, legs not touching the floor, and stretch out your legs, still keeping them over the floor. Bend your legs again into the frog position, and gently lower, to the ground. Repeat the whole sequence two or three times. 10 regular lift, 5 when staying up and stretching your legs. If you want to strengthen your back at the same time, lift the upper back a little every time you lift your legs.

Leg circles, en dedans et en dehors. Stomach down, back upwards. Keep a strong core and a long neck. Put your hands under your forehead. Stretch your legs, flex your feet and put them in second position. Just like the photo above, the one to the right. Lift the legs from the ground and start doing circles. 10 times en dehors and 10 times en dedans, repeat the whole sequence 2 or 3 times. Don’t ever turn your legs inwards, keep the rotation all the time. 

Turn in, turn out.Parallell legs, keep them together in six position, flex your feet and then turnout into a first position, then stretch your feet. Turn into parallel again, and lower the legs. Repeat 10 times. Try to get your feet in a 180 degrees turned out position. I have no photo on this.

Foot lifts in first. Lay on your stomach. Keep your hands under your forehead, stretch your legs and flex your feet. Just like the photo above to the right, but keep you feet flexed and in first, instead. Start with the right foot: when being in first, lift your foot a few centimetres over the floor. And down. Lift it up again, and down. Do 10 lifts on each foot, repeat two times. Try to be completely flat in your feet, no heels more up than the toes. Keep everything in a clean, 180 degree, turned out position.

Crossed legs “battements” on the stomach. Keep your hands under your forehead, legs stretched and together, parallel. Lift them a few centimetres over the ground. Turnout the legs, still stretching your feet and legs at the max and start crossing over, one leg and another. In a fith position, just like you would jump in the air. Do 20 beats, repeat once or how many times you want to.


Crossed legs, on the ground, but back on the floor & stomach facing up. In this exercise,  your stomach is facing upwards, and your back is laying on the ground. Lift up your legs. Make a 90 degree angle with your body and legs. Flex your feet, and rotate into a first position. Do this at least 8 times. Really rotate your legs at the maximum. Then start by crossing over your legs to a fith position. Do beats like this when you keep changing what foot is in the front, in a fith position. Stretch your legs the best you can, and really work with your insides and to feel the turnout coming from the hips, and also in the feet. Always stretch your legs. Do it with both flexed and pointed feet, see what feels the best for you. I personally prefer to do both. To mix.

Turned out foot lifts. Sit on the floor, stretched legs, flexed and in first position. Lift each leg 10 times. Just like in the photos below.

These were seven, intense turnout exercises. Of course I have a lot more, but I was thinking that starting with these, will be a great thing to do. I really hope you enjoyed reading, and hopefully learned some new things. This has been extremely requested. Do not ever hesitate to contact me in the comment section or at Instagram, if there are any questions.

Keep working hard! 


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