Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

Ballet Turn Out Anatomy: Ballet dance is a classic Italian dance that is known for it’s grace, precise steps and gestures. The steps are formalized in such intricate manner that it creates an illusion of an expression that is magnificent to look at.

Ballet dance have 5 basic positions. Here, we are going to talk about the first position and that is Ballet Turn Out. It is an important part of classic Ballet dance. Turn out is actually the angle between the central lines of the feet. A turn out of 180° is very difficult to active with training some muscles groups that we are going to see below.

Besides Ballet dancers, other athletes and performers like martial artists, figure skaters, football players and gymnasts also reply on hip turn out for beautiful as well as powerful techniques.

For a perfect Ballet Turn Out, it is important to have flexibility in internal rotators of the leg and strength in external rotators. Let’s see what are those internal and external rotators and other muscles that are involved in Ballet Turn Out.

Muscles Lengthening

Gluteus Medius (Anterior and Middle fibers):

Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

The Anterior and Middle fibers of Gluteus Medius causes internal rotation of the leg but in Ballet Turn Out, external rotation is done and that’s why these fibers are stretched during turn out.

Gluteus Minimus:

Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

It is also an internal rotator so, it will be stretched to achieve the turn out.

Tensor Fascia Lata:

Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

Tensor Fascia Lata, along with an abductor of the leg, is also a medial/internal rotator of the leg and that is why it will be lengthened.

Adductor Magnus:

Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

Adductor Magnus is a prime adductor of the leg. In addition to this, it also medially rotate the leg and this is against what we are trying to achieve in Ballet Turn Out. Hence, it will be stretched.

Adductor Longus:

Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

Adductor Longus is also a medial rotator of the leg, and also gets stretched by Ballet Turn Out.

Adductor Brevis:

Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

Just like other adductors, it is also a medial rotator of the leg and it is being lengthened to execute the turn out perfectly.


Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

Another internal rotator that will be stretched to avoid getting in the way of external rotation during Ballet Turn Out.


Ballet Turn Out Anatomy

This strap like muscle also helps in internal rotation along with adduction of the legs.


Misc;es ;enghthening

Despite of being an internal rotator of the leg, it will not be lengthened because it will contract during hip extension that is also important in Ballet Turn Out.



Semimembranosus is also a hip extensor and internal rotator, that will be contacted and will not resist external rotation of the leg.

Muscles Contracting

Gluteus Maximus:

Gluteus Maximus

Gluteus Maximus is the lateral rotator of the leg. Its contraction will be crucial in achieving that turned out position.

Deep six Lateral Rotators:

Deep Six Lateral Rotators

All these muscles will be of prime importance while executing Ballet Turn Out as their contraction cause lateral rotation of the leg.


It has assisting role in lateral rotation of the leg at the hip joint. Hence, is contracting.

Rectus Femoris:

It also assists during Ballet Turn Out by extending the knee. Knee extension is required to make the legs in line with the body.

Biceps Femoris:

Biceps Femoris laterally rotates the leg at knee joint. This is why it will be contracting in particular.

Read More:

Gluteus Medius (Posterior Fibers):

Unlike the Anterior and Middle fibers of the Gluteus Medius, the Posterior Fibers are external rotators of the hip. So, are contracting during the turn out.

Muscles causing Postural Tension

Quadriceps Vasti Ballet Turn Out Anatomy:

The Vasti muscles support the posture during Ballet Turn Out by extending the leg at knee joint.

Spinal Extensors Ballet Turn Out Anatomy:

Spinal Extensors help in achieving the erect posture of the spine during Ballet Turn Out. Their strength is also very important.

Transversus Abdominis Ballet Turn Out Anatomy:

Transversus Abdominis helps in stabilizing the lumbar spine and pelvic during Ballet Turn Out.

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