Tell me please the correct sentence. The context is I want a person to point his feet out in the setup to a deadlift.

Turn your feet out at 15 degrees.

Turn your feet out 15 degrees.

What about using toes instead, like this one:

Turn your toes out 15 degrees?

Or should I include "to"? For example:

Turn your toes out to 15 degrees?

  • 1
    Would anyone really say this? 15 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise? Do people generally understand angles other than the major divisions of a circle (180, 90, 45, etc) without a protractor in their hand? – Michael Harvey Mar 23 at 8:50
  • @MichaelH - I've heard this sort of thing before. For example, a physical therapist might say it. In such contexts, the word "approximately" is implied. – J.R. Mar 23 at 13:09
  • 1
    It seems tht every answer on this question has been downvoted, but on none of them has a comment indicating why been place, nor do i see any obvious rfeason for such downvotes – David Siegel Mar 24 at 0:11
  • This question is perfectly legit. This is from ballet. That's the lingo even though this is gymnastics. Whoever downvoted doesn't know ballet or gymnastics. – Lambie Mar 24 at 17:14
  • @Lambie - The downvoters may have been downvoting the lack of details in the original question. – J.R. Mar 24 at 18:40

This term comes from ballet where feet are turned out, and we say:

to turn out the feet at x degrees. A x-degree turnout. A 15-degree turnout is a very minimal turnout.

The noun is turnout and the verb is phrasal.

"Turnout is measured in terms of the angle between the center lines of the feet when heels are touching, as in first position. Complete turnout (a 180° angle) is rarely attainable without conditioning.[3] Various exercises are used to improve turnout[4] by increasing hip flexibility (to improve movement range), strengthening buttocks muscles (to enable a dancer to maintain turnout), or both."

ballet lingo

Instruction: Turn your feet out at or to 15 degrees.

definition of turnout in ballet and gymnastics

You turn your entire body. You turn out your feet in positioning them in ballet or gymnastics.


Both sentences could be correct, but they would mean different things.

Turn your head 15 degrees.

These means that, whatever direction your head happens to be facing, you should turn it 15 degrees more in a certain direction.

Turn your head at 15 degrees.

This assumes that there is a reference point, or a known starting position, that would be considered 0º, and you would turn your head to the position of 15º. Another valid preposition would be to:

Turn your head to 15 degrees.

(I'd be more inclined to use to, but I wouldn't deem at "incorrect".)

As far as saying this to a person, you could refer to any body part that rotates (foot would imply turning the ankle, hand would imply turning the wrist, head would imply turning the neck, etc.)

Also, a number like 15º is a small rotation. I imagine most people would use numbers like 45º or 90º more often, but I suppose there are situations that would call for smaller increments, like a therapist trying to help a recuperating patient regain a range of motion, or a photographer trying to help a model pose. The implication would be approximately 15º.

Lastly, your sentences may be correct, but they are quite vague. Unless two people have been working together for quite some time and the context is obvious, I think you'd be likely to encounter a more detailed sentence explaining which direction the movement should go. So instead of:

Turn your feet 15 degrees.

we'd be more likely to hear something like:

Turn your feet 15 degrees more to the left.

Also, instead of:

Turn your feet at 15 degrees.

we might be more likely to hear something like:

Turn your feet to a position of about 11 o'clock.

enter image description here
A: The starting position of the feet.
B: The position of the feet after saying, "Turn your feet 15 degrees."
C: The position of the feet after saying, "Turn your feet at (or to) 15 degrees."

  • I wanted a person to point his feet out at 15 degrees when he was setting up for a deadlift. I am confused about whether I need to include the preposition "at" or "to". For example: "Turn your feet out (at/to) 15 degrees"! – Dmytro O'Hope Mar 24 at 7:01
  • 2
    @DmytroO'Hope - Why don't you include such details in your question? You've been here long enough to have learned about the importance of Details. Maybe if you had added those details, you would have gotten better answers and fewer downvotes. – J.R. Mar 24 at 10:15
  • I am sorry! Should I include any preposition there? – Dmytro O'Hope Mar 24 at 11:15
  • @DmytroO'Hope - I’m not going to clarify in a comment. However, if you put more details into your question, I might revise my answer. – J.R. Mar 24 at 14:05

The sentence

Turn your feet 15 degrees.

is correct but ambiguous. Unless the context makes it clear, this could me a turn in either of two directions, say right or left. Indeed, it could possibly mean a tun along a different plane, where the possible directions would be up or down. A more fully specified sentence would be:

Turn your feet 15 degrees to the left.


Turn your feet 15 degrees counterclockwise.

The sentence

Turn your feet at 15 degrees

is unusual an not idiomatic. It is also ambiguous unless a reference direction is specified. However, in navigation, similar forms are common, such as:

Turn the ship to 15 degrees.

Fly the plane at 15 degrees.

In such cases "15 degrees" is a course. By convention it is relative to due north, which is zero degrees, so 15 degrees is 15 degrees clockwise or 15degrees east of North. In navigation, smaller angels such as 15 degrees are much more common than in describing the motion of the human body.

A similar style and the same convention of measuring directions relative to north is used in surveying and in the legal descriptions of borders. For example:

The property line runs from the stone pillar at 15 degrees for 300 feet. It then turns easterly and runs at 95 degrees for 450 feet.

Both 15 and 95 degrees would be measured clockwise from due North.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.