The Penché is a dance step requiring excellent hamstring mobility but also very good eccentric control. Finding the missing element for each dancer is essential in developing the best program for them to improve. Some people lack the neural mobility to allow a clean transition into the forward bend, so we much first look at the neural mobility on both sides. In some cases, the performer may have the mobility in the supporting leg when unloaded but struggles to control the descent into the penché, resulting in an ungainly collapse at end range. Furthermore, some performers can lower into range but are unable to bring themselves back to standing or maintain turnout control of the supporting leg.
How to work through the program
There are many different elements that combine to create the perfect Penché, however this program is going to focus mainly on maintaining turnout and eccentric control on the standing leg. Watch through each of the videos in each section carefully, and then progress through each of the three phases of training, only progressing when you can perform each of the exercises in the phase well. At the end of each stage, make sure to re-film your complete penché so that you can see your progress.
In order to get the most out of this program, please resist the desire to skip to the end and do all of the higher level work first. Please make sure you that you go through all of the videos in sequence, because this will give you a real understanding of all the foundations that need to be developed to support your penché. The program is specifically built in layers to give optimal progress.
First of all, Download the workbook for each Phase so that you can record your progress. This PDF contains reminders of each exercise and tracking sheets to mark your progress. You can remain on any stage anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months, depending on your starting point.
Anatomy of the Penché
Before we start the program it helps if you understand a little about the anatomy of the hip, pelvis and spine during a penché. Understanding the various muscle groups and bony structure around the hip, as well as the difference between Concentric and Eccentric muscle contraction will help enormously with this program. Learning anatomy is much easier when it is directly applicable to what you want to achieve. It is also important that you have a good understanding of why you need to be so specific with the exercises before you start working on the program.