Hip Anatomy & Pilates for Turnout

In line with last weekends ‘World Pilates Day’, Trinity Laban Health have been celebrating this throughout the week, with special themed Pilates workshops for our dance and music students. Check out this educational blog, written by our Physiotherapist, Colette Stanton, (who is also a Mat Pilates instructor) on hip anatomy and turnout. 


Definition of Turnout

Turnout is a term to describe the position of the legs, in many styles of dance, in which each leg is outwardly rotated  and facing away from the midline of the body, if observed from the front.

This outward rotation of the hips is known as external or lateral rotation. Traditionally, ideal turnout has been defined as 180 degrees of external or lateral rotation of both hips combined. However, it is important to acknowledge that there are many anatomical and biomechanical factors, other than hip external rotation, that influence turnout and these factors vary greatly among individuals. Therefore, limitations do exist regarding this expectation.

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Hip Anatomy

The pelvis contains two identical halves, made up of three bones: Ilium, Pubis and Ischium. These three bones help to form the hip socket known as the Acetabulum. The Pubic Symphysis is the joint that connects these bones at the front.

The Sacrum sits between these two halves. It is comprised of five fused bones at the lower end of the spinal column and the coccyx or tailbone that is made up of four fused bones.

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The Femur is the thigh bone, the longest bone in the body. It consists of the round head, the neck, the shaft and two condyles at the base of the femur known as the lateral and medial condyles.

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Structure of the hip joint

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball of the hip joint is the round head of the femur and the hip socket is the acetabulum (as described previously). The depth of the acetabulum is enhanced by a horse-shoe shaped piece of cartilage known as the labrum.

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Capsule and Ligaments of the hip

The hip joint capsule is a sleeve of fibrous connective tissue and holds the head of the femur in the acetabulum, stabilising it. This capsule is lined with a synovial membrane that lubricates the joint by the secretion of synovial fluid. This capsule is further supported by three major ligaments:  iliofemoral ligament, pubofemoral ligament and ischiofemoral ligament.

Hip muscles that produce Turnout

The Gluteus Maximus

The six external or lateral rotators of the hip: Piriformis, External and Internal Obturator, Superior Gemellus, Inferior Gemellus, Quadratus Femoris

The Sartorius

The Adductors

Lower abdominal and lower back muscles are also important for turnout performance, Pilates can also be an effective approach to use to enhance these muscles.

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Pilates can be an effective method to use to target these muscles.

Keep an eye on the TL Health social media platforms and look out for Colette’s upcoming Vlog to see examples of Pilates exercises aimed at strengthening these muscles of the hip!

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COLETTE

Written by Colette Stanton, Trinity Laban Health Physiotherapist