I’m back again! This time I bring you an update on my progress with training for higher extensions. I have continued with the same exercises as before: battement lent and “hand-held developpes”. I also threw in some back exercises, starting a few weeks ago. I do sets of these as often as possible, which usually works out to a few evenings during the week. This next video shows the development of my developpes!

And for comparison, here is my previous effort.

You might notice that apparent progress varies depending on the direction of my leg lifts. So good news first! It seems to me that my developpes to the sides are looking stronger, not particularly higher, but stronger–on both sides. There may even be some incremental height gains.

To the front, my developpes are lower. Yes, lower! This is because I am making a conscious effort to maintain my turnout while extending to the front. (I used to cheat by turning in. ) I try to console myself in knowing that I am performing the movement with better technique.

I am disappointed with the height of my developpes derriere. Battement lent is clearly not working my back well enough. I saw much better gains at the beginning of this challenge when I used to lift and hold my leg off a chair, an unpleasant but apparently pretty effective exercise.

Well, surely then there is only one thing to do. I need to add that uncomfortable exercise back into my regimen from now on. I will just try to keep a mental image of the beautiful arabesques in my future!

Overall, I see some progress but not as much as I would like. I plan to intensify the challenge with more repetitions, especially targeting my back muscles. Let’s give it a month or so before my next update on extensions. But I will be back much sooner to show my latest choreography! See you soon!

Exercise Challenge: Extensions 5
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