En Cloche: Pre and Post Stretching


The Kinesiology and Health Science Department at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX

Category: Undergraduate

Advisor / Mentor: Chelette, Amber (amber.chelette@sfasu.edu)


An en cloche can be defined as the swinging of the leg to the front and back passing through the first position. As dancers and future educators, we chose to experiment with hip angles, stretching, and execution of the movement.

The purpose of conducting our experiment on an En Cloche before and after stretching is to investigate the potential effects on leg height and muscle lengthening. By comparing the measurements taken before and after the leg swing, we can justify how static and dynamic stretching impacts the range of motion, flexibility, and performance of the movement.

We began by constructing our hypothesis: “By stretching, the legs will exert more force and gain height in the leg swing to the front but not in the back.” We compared the hip angles and leg heights before and after stretching. Using the OnForm app, we were able to use a tool that measured based on distance from the floor as well as created a degree of the angle from the base leg to the working leg. The facilitators demonstrated and explained the movement and then recorded the subject(s) executing the movement. Then, we introduced 2 dynamic stretches and 2 static stretches. After completing the stretches the subject(s) were asked to complete the movement once more on each leg.

For this experiment, some results were found before completing the stretches, such as it being harder to maintain balance, mobility, and height of the leg and hip during the exercise. For instance, we asked our participants how their bodies felt before conducting the stretches. Their responses consisted of feeling their muscles unengaged causing less stability overall in the body, specifically in the before stage. Our participants stretched for about 1 minute on each leg for each stretch consisting of 4 different static and dynamic stretches. Additionally, positioning the arms in a “T” position also helped them to maintain better balance whilst conducting the exercise. After taking time to implement the stretches, we saw results increase in the height of the leg ranging from 5 to 20 degrees. Moreover, we found that after stretching there was a clear increase in performance for both the mobility and height of the leg swing.

We hypothesized that the legs will exert more force after a combination of static and dynamic stretching to increase the hip angles of the front leg swing but not the back leg swing. Our study showed that we were correct about the hip angle of the front leg swing increasing but we were incorrect about the back leg hip angle. Both the front and back hip angles increased after the static and dynamic stretching. This proves that it is beneficial to use static and dynamic stretches to target the hip and hamstrings for a greater range of motion. For future studies, it would be a great idea to find out what specific stretches are more beneficial than the others for more flexibility and range of motion for the hip and lengthening of the hamstrings.

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