How to get a dancers body
How to Get a Dancer's Body
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Simone De La Rue is responsible for the covetable toned limbs and abs of a bevy of boldface names like Karolina Kurkova, Naomi Watts and Sandra Bullock. Her clients, devotees of the Body by Simone method (or BBS for short), swear by her powerful dance cardio sweat sessions and tailored toning moves. The Aussie (who was born in England) opened her personal studio in November of 2011 and is quickly taking over the dance fitness world. "At some point in their lives every woman has danced, or wanted to dance," she says of the cult workout movement. But her studio is more than just a way to get in shape for the new year, it's a place to hang with your girlfriends and let loose. "I always say, leave your ego at the door. I don't care if you don't get the step right. Just keep moving!" Click through to learn the secrets behind her BBS method.
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Harper’s Bazaar: How did you get into fitness?
Simone De La Rue: I danced all my life and accidentally fell into fitness. I trained in classical ballet from the age of 3 and worked professionally for 16 years — I did the West End in London and Broadway here in New York. And it happens that one of the shows I was supposed to be doing was canceled two days before we were supposed to start rehearsals. And that was supposed to be a year-long contract. I had been working in fitness on the side at the time and it also happened to be the start of everyone’s obsession with wanting to have a dancer's body — it was The Black Swan era.
HB: So how do you get a dancer’s body?
SDLR: The typical way to get a dancers body is… dance! It’s because dance is a total body workout. You are not sitting on a bike and cycling or running or weight training. The idea is the body is long and lean and never at rest, just really burning calories. It’s fluid, liquid-like movement, and it’s continuous. I developed my technique, Body by Simone, over years of being a professional dancer. You do 8 shows a week, and it gets quite strenuous on the body and repetitive. So before a show, you have half an hour on the stage where you can warm up. And that is where I created my BBS warm up that I used over the years to protect my body from injury. I kind of combined little bits of it into what is now my signature cardio dance routines.
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HB: Growing up as a professional dancer did you always find that the industry had a relatively healthy body image?
SDLR: No, it is tough, especially for me since I grew up in classical ballet. I’m lucky I never had an eating disorder. Some of my friends did. That is why I took a detour to musicals, they are a little more accepting of different shapes. I’ve got really broad shoulders and I still remember the day when I was 16 and the ballet school didn’t even let me dance, it was like being a model, they just made me stand there and turn, turn, turn, while they judged me.
HB: Can you explain the BBS method further and why it works so well.
SDLR: The classes we offer complement each other. It is basically 45 minutes to an hour of dance cardio and the other hour is just strictly toning. Obviously people don’t have 2 hours a day to work out, so we also do some classes that are 45 minute body blasts. You need at least 20 minutes of cardio a day, I think. It used to be you were supposed to do 30 minutes straight and now scientific research has said short 10 minute bursts tend to work better. So you do like 10 minutes of cardio, sculpting and arms, then more cardio. Plus, it goes faster.
HB: Any recommendations for nutrition, any hard fast rules?
SDLR: I think fitness is 80% diet, 20% exercise, which as someone in my field I should be saying 80% exercise, but it really is about what you eat. Obviously the exercise will complement that, and you will see faster results and quicker weight loss with BBS, but it really is about what you are putting into your body. I try to keep the amount of alcohol down as much as possible can. We are going to have a cafe in our studio called Hu Kitchen, and it is based on the Paleo diet, so no grain, no dairy, no gluten, hardly any sugar or starch. It's a lot of vegetables and protein. For me that is what works best — a very heavy protein diet, I don’t have many carbs at all.
HB: Any superfoods you swear by?
SDLR: I’m obsessed with kale. And I love turkey. Other than that I just try to remember my green juice.
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HB: Any plans for more BBS studios?
SDLR: We are definitely going to open up this year in LA. We have also been looking at a space on the Upper East Side. For now, we have BBS-TV, which is like online streaming. It’s a monthly subscription, like Netflix, and you have access to all of the videos. We have 25 videos on there at the moment, you can do 45 minutes of dance cardio, we have 5 different options of that. There is also a trampoline workout and a jump rope cardio for people who don’t want to dance. If you have 10 minutes we have arms. There are abs, and legs, full body blast, and even a couples workout.
HB: Where do you find your instructors?
SDLR: Everyone at BBS is a professional dancer. Three of my head trainers I have known for 15 years. We worked together on musicals in Australia, and London and here.
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HB: What about music and fashion, any workout faves?
SDLR: I'm obsessed with the new Florence and the Machine and Bruno Mars — in cardio you need 132 beats per minute to get the heart rate up. I’m also obsessed with Newton shoes. I call it an old man's triathlon shoe. I love them because they are so light, they don’t smell, they breathe and come in really fun colors. I’m also in the process of doing my own workout line, because I’m wearing it all day long and I think a lot of the stuff out there is quite generic and I want to make it more funky, more street.
5 Simple Steps To A Dancer Body — The CORIO Method
The dancer-body. It’s always been the envy of women around the globe, after all, who wouldn’t love to be able to get toned and fit while doing something that’s so much fun?
In this post, ex-professional dancer, personal trainer and CORIO creator Elle Kealy is sharing exactly how to get that dance-inspired look, which is something that many of our private training clients have come to us to ask for.
Before we begin though, Elle notes, “Dancer bodies come in ALL shapes and sizes. You might not see them on TV, or on stage, or in magazines all the time, because truthfully, auditions favour those of a certain height, or size, or shape, so in some sense it’s a myth that if you dance, you’ll end up looking like a prima-ballerina, or a contemporary dance- powerhouse.
However, you can absolutely train in a way that encourages a leaner, more athletic and svelte look, as opposed to the ripped, gym look that’s popular at the moment. ”
In this post we’re sharing the 5 keys to getting “dancer-fit” that anyone can do, even if you're not a dancer.
If you’re looking to find out how to get a dancer-inspired body, then we’ll share with you:
- What kinds of exercise work best if you want to get fit like a dancer,
- Why it's not all plies & dancing (and what you need to ADD to get amazing results)
- The little known secret to making short workouts effective and great for fat loss.
“The truth is that dancers have incredible bodies but most dancers don’t get those results from the practice of dance alone. And even if they’re genetically blessed, it’s one thing to look a certain way on the outside, but another to be truly fit and healthy on the inside too.”, says Elle.Step #1 Cross Train (Or...mix it up!)
Professional dancers who want to get strong, lean and avoid injury train to improve their strength, agility, power, posture and endurance outside of the rehearsal room too. This blend of cross training helps them meet the demands of dance but also keeps their body in top condition.
When we work with private clients, and in our CORIO Sculpt class, we like using a blend of methods too, from dance cardio, to interval training, strength, bodyweight and resistance band conditioning and core strengthening exercises.
We even put cross-training elements into our cardio-focused CORIO Dance classes, which also work the core, and use bodyweight exercises to sculpt and tone.
If your goal is to get a body that’s healthy, fit and injury free then all of these elements need to be in place.
#2 Move more
Let’s not underplay the most important aspect of getting dancer-fit: Consistency.
“When I was a dancer I was rehearsing and performing each and every day, dancing for an average of 8 hours.
When I wanted to get in my best shape, I went to the gym 3 times a week on top of that to do strength and conditioning work that helped me to get definition and strength. ”, says Elle.
If you’re hoping to get beach-ready in 1 or 2 dance cardio classes a week and that’s all you do, you’ll be fitter but you won’t necessarily see dramatic changes.
Try adding at least two (ideally three) HIIT or strength/HIIT workouts per week, as well as your weekly cardio, to start seeing progress, and stick with it for at least 4 weeks before analysing if it’s working for you.
And don’t forget to move on your days off! Walking, Pilates, barre class, these are all great ways to stay active even on a rest day.
Stay consistent and try to work your way up to enough weekly activity. Don't let lack of time get you stuck here. If that gym class or barre studio is too far from home and you only get there once a week, try adding creative at home workouts, like The CORIO Club to supplement your training.
#3 Eat well, most of the time.
While workouts are going to improve your mood, cardio fitness and strength, fat loss ‘mainly’ comes from the food you eat, but it doesn’t have to be dramatic shifts in your habits or a diet that get you there.
“I firmly believe exercise should never be viewed as a punishment because you ate something, or a green light to have a terrible diet. I sometimes tell my clients they’re like a high performance car. Your meals are your fuel, which should always be high-grade, and your workouts are the fine-tuning, the mechanics and the design that gives you extra oomph.”, says Elle.
She asserts that unfortunately, you can’t outrun that mega-burger and fries just because you danced for 30 minutes non-stop. (Unfortunately, steady-state cardio alone burns less calories than you think and in some people it ramps up the hunger hormones, which is why HIIT workouts, like those in a CORIO Dance class can be more effective than pure steady-state cardio.)
Equally, extreme dieting can put your body into a metabolic mess, slowing down your metabolism and ultimately leading to additional weight gain. Not something we suggest you try!
Instead of fad diets, eating tasty, nutritious food most of the time, and dropping the unhealthy snacks, or heavily processed foods, is enough to get most people the drop in pounds that they want.
( And yes, there’s still room for a glass of wine and chocolate in a balanced diet!)#4 Challenge to Change
You need to challenge your body to change your body. The theory is that if your body can already do something, like lift a weight, plié for 1 minute, dance for an hour, then it doesn’t see the need to adapt to meet the demand of doing that activity.
So if you want your body to create muscle, to build strength or endurance, you need to consistently ask it to do something it can’t already do, called a progression.
(This progression concept that we call CHALLENGE TO CHANGE is a key part of The CORIO Method, where we program each workout to continually push your body so that it changes shape and grows stronger. )
A progression might mean adding resistance to a bodyweight moves, increasing the time or intensity of a workout or making it harder through more challenging variations, or different rest times and repetitions.
If you’re still doing the same workout you’ve always done and nothings working, the chances are it’s time to try something new.
#5 go FULL OUT
Most dancers perform choreography “full out”, which means they’re really trying to move fully through every step and put all their energy into it. If you’ve ever tried it, it’s tough!
It’s a common trap to go through movements but to lack intensity. If you want to see results, add intensity by really moving as fully as possible. Straighten your arms, jump a little higher, push to the end of the timer, don’t stop 2 seconds before, and focus on your technique.
And finally a little bonus tip: While traditional gym stalwarts like squats, lunges and push ups are all great ways to train (and we use them a lot of inside of The CORIO Method), there are nuances to those movements that dictate whether you’re going to use your glutes more (which we want), or your inner thighs, or your quads (less ideal), for example.
This is something that we’ve dealt with for our clients inside of the CORIO Club, with every workout designed to hit the right muscles, and with special programs designed to get great results when you follow the expertly designed plans.
Try the CORIO Method for yourself, with our exclusive, 7 day mini-program, which is yours when you join our in-the-know VIP list. Simply click the link below to sign up. (Those on our priority list are first to find out about special events, training opportunities and new releases, which often sell out quickly.) Sign up now and get your free 7 day CORIO Method plan.
Fitness TipsElle KealyFItnessComment0 Likes
Dive into the depths of the dance. Muscles: zoukability — LiveJournalAuthor: Murasheva Nadezhda
Friends, I am starting a block of articles about the "underwater" part of the dance. We will explore the topic in more depth, how to learn to move beautifully and plastically and hear your partner. If you don't go to some third-party classes and master classes outside of social dances, then these topics are almost not covered in the lessons. In good classes, the correct work of the muscles is sorted out, but this still does not add up to a comprehensive picture.
In one of my previous articles, I likened dance to a big iceberg, the main part of which is hidden under water and opens up to us as we deepen into the knowledge of dance, movement, and our body. When a non-dancing person looks at the dance from the side, he sees the tip of the iceberg - its external manifestation. A beginner dancer continues to see only this top for a long time (and sometimes it ends with this), because the dance for him still remains a set of movements - an external form. Even if these are movements from an advanced lesson. Beautiful, cool, complex, spectacular. "I want that too." Growing dancers begin to master all these complex movements, go into narcissism and show off through figures. When I look at dancers at parties it's 90% of the time I see exactly this - chasing the outer form. Sometimes tops dance like that. Dancers think in figures. But this is only the surface ABOVE the water! All the most interesting is deeper.
And what is there, in the depths, "under water"?
- The world of connection with a partner. What does it depend on? From connecting with yourself. How to feel a partner if you don't feel your own body?..
- Control of your body: muscle tone, ability to relax, control of your body structure, general feeling and awareness of your body.
- Feeling and awareness of oneself as a whole. After all, our body and consciousness are interconnected, and the state of one is reflected in the state of the other. By acting on one, we have an effect on the other, and vice versa. Both in a positive and negative way. What a person has inside is how he moves.
So, today we will begin to consider the level closest to the surface of the iceberg - muscle control . It is also the easiest to understand and use. When you better understand what muscles are performing movements, what to follow, your movements will become clearer, cleaner, more conscious. The movements that you learned by visually copying after the teacher will become clear from the inside: what works, why it works and what you need to make it even better.
Why is this level closest to the surface? Because muscle ownership determines how your movements will look (but not only from this), because your balance, rotations, cambrai and much more depend on muscle tone.
And it is the simplest because it is much easier to pump up muscles than to learn isolation, relaxation and finer sensations. Muscle training is just a physical activity, albeit hard sometimes. Any dancer can pump up the press, which, however, will not teach him plasticity and connection with a partner.
Muscles not only help us perform movements correctly and beautifully, but also protect us from injuries, which is why it is so important to develop our physical form.
One of my favorite themes is that if you just go to the gym and pump something there, it doesn't help you dance properly at all. In addition to having a pumped up muscle, you must learn how to use it in dance movements, keep it in good shape on the machine, without flying out of your attention from the dance and connection, otherwise your work in the gym is useless. This is a characteristic feature of the dance. In the gym, we learn to tense our muscles strongly and relax 10-50 times. We leave the room and forget about them.
In dancing, you need to constantly keep in good shape and control many different muscles at once. This is a lot less tension than in the gym, but getting used to this state of constant soft tone can be very difficult. The dancer must have good control over his entire body in dynamics and statics, must be able to control tension and relaxation (stability and plasticity), feel his individual muscles (isolation), must have acquired the skill of holding passive attention at several points at once (back, abs, feet as minimum), which should not distract from the dance itself, connection, music and the surrounding space.
Note: The article does not take into account physical limitations due to injuries, hernia, protrusions, etc.
Upper, lower and oblique abdominal muscles.
From an anatomical point of view, the abdominal muscles give stability to our spine (in fact, this is somewhere around 50% success). - Balance, rotation, stability, yes, yes
Using the press greatly reduces the load on the back when bending and tilting, it helps to build the axis on rotations. And therefore, a non-working press creates an overload of the lower back and other parts of the spine, which is fraught with muscle and nerve clamps, displacement of the spinal discs, hernia and chronic back pain, especially among zuckers. And with a broken press, you will be chatting on all rotations.
The oblique muscles of the abdomen give us plasticity, beautiful tilts to the sides, light soft work of the body in a circle and, of course, additional stability in difficult positions of the body.
If we talk about the zouk, then we actively use the press in all movements with body inclinations (cambrai, headworks, bones, etc.), on rotations, on counterbalances. Wherever we need stability, a strong body, a straight back (in particular, the lower back). The press is collected on all supports and "falls" on a plank-type partner so that the body does not fall through. Sometimes, for even greater stability and inclusion of the press, you need to twist the pelvis forward even more (a la Michael Jackson) to fix the body even more strongly. I use it on cambra preps, bone necks, long spins. But you need to understand that the press does not tense up in the dance with an impenetrable shield as before the opponent's blow (then the dance would be too hard and exhausting). The work of the press is rather similar to what happens in Pilates: the navel is pulled up to the spine and remains there in a passive tone always. If necessary, the lower or upper press is additionally strengthened.
Interestingly, a number of common movements in zouk require isolated possession of the upper and lower abs. So, for example, when working with the chest (headworks, etc.), we weaken the upper press, but firmly hold the lower one - for stability, balance, so as not to fall apart.
Alas, even with trained abs, many dancers do not use them. They make movements with a relaxed stomach, which is why they fall apart, lose structure in the body. Using the abdominal muscles should be a habit. Spent, automatic. However, like all other muscles, which will be discussed further. In order not to think every time about all the muscles that need to be included.
It is common to see dancers in a position of constant arching in the lower back, even just standing still. This is an indicator that they do not use the press at all;) In the position of the lumbar deflection, it is possible to draw in the stomach a little, but it is impossible to fully use the press. Which is logical, because when in one place there is contraction, tension (in the lower back), then on the other side there is stretching and relaxation.
Another common mistake is the constant deflection under the shoulder blades, which is what they say "remove the ribs" in ballet lessons. This is a deflection above the waist, which means that in this case the upper press does not turn on and, as a rule, the back muscles in the thoracic region and sometimes between the shoulder blades are strongly clamped. It is very difficult to get rid of this habit. Usually combined with a lumbar deflection. Ribs stick out in front, buttocks in the back, and somewhere in the middle in a bend, a poor, clamped spine.
Basicly everyone knows how to pump the upper and lower press. There are a lot of options. I will only add that, firstly, you should not put your hands on your neck and try to lift yourself with a jerk of your arms or head - this is technically incorrect and dangerous, hypertension is created in the neck, and in fact you lift yourself with your neck, not with a press. It is better to keep your hands on your chest or on your stomach. If the press is weak, then it will be more difficult, yes. But now you do not deceive yourself. And secondly, if you swing the lower press by raising your legs, then there should be no deflection in the lower back. If the lower back sags, it means that you do not have enough strength and abs and back, and instead of the lower press, you again overload your back. Press your back completely to the floor and bend your knees - this will be better. And yet, given the peculiarities of the dance work of the muscles, it is better to do all exercises slowly. No need to chase the number of movements. Let them be only 10, but each stretched into 10 accounts, for example.
The oblique muscles of the abdomen are trained with various twists and tilts to the sides. Twisting should be smooth, on the muscles, not jerky. Turns are carried out from the waist, the hips should not turn anywhere - this is important and a common mistake. So that the hips do not exactly spin, you can do twists while sitting on the priest (and at the same time keep a straight back). Still tilts to the sides - both fast (strength training) and slow (stretching, endurance). On tilts to the side, both of your shoulders should look into the mirror, and not at the floor - otherwise you train other muscles, and the obliques remain undeveloped. The chin on the side slopes also looks into the mirror, and not at the floor.
I would like to draw attention to the following points in the photo:
Look how straight she holds her neck. The head does not move forward and does not throw back. That's right, that's the way it should be.
This position can be made easier by bending your knees and rounding your back a little (the press still works, it will be easier). But the option in the photo with a straight back is more complicated and better because the back muscles will also work this way. And the legs extended at the knees are heavier, more difficult to hold them.
There are quite a lot of gluteal muscles, and they will work differently depending on the movements. Therefore, the expression "swing ass" is somewhat abstract. But if you dance only social dances, then you should be primarily interested in the gluteus maximus muscle and the ability, if necessary, to keep (!) It in suspense during dance movements.
The effect of using the gluteal muscle is about the same as that of the press - stabilization of the core. Here it is only necessary to understand that the press directly stabilizes our top (spine), and the buttocks stabilize the pelvis, that is, the bottom (legs, hips, lower back). A retracted buttock limits the mobility and rotation of the hip joint, and the position of the hip joint affects the position of the lower back as well - everything is interconnected. By pulling your butt in, you limit the stride length available to you, this helps to fight drifts in the dance, especially on turns and spins.
What do you need to remember? The fact that if you pumped up a big beautiful ass in the gym, and in the dance she is always relaxed, then there is zero sense in her! Amen.
To dance, you just need to be able to pull it in strongly, "squeeze a coin" between the buttocks. Well, to maintain this position for a while - it's easier here than with the press.
Regular squats are not very suitable here, they just increase the volume of the buttocks and thighs. Much better are leg raises while lying on your stomach, and even better are real bodily tasks in dance: ballet exercises in which you always need to keep your butt. For example, ballet plies with toned buttocks, tandu and all other happiness. The bar is still very good, if done correctly, retract and twist the pelvis forward.
But this is the wrong plank! There should not be such a bend in the lower back, the pelvis needs to be scrolled forward more.
Correct bar . Compare body lines.
LONG BACK MUSCLES
In fact, this is a whole group of closely spaced muscles. It doesn't matter to us now. If you put your thumbs on your spine and step back a little, you will feel such powerful thick seals from the lower back and along the entire spine, passing into the muscles of the neck. It's them.
Muscles are potentially very strong and useful, and therefore sad if they are not working. You have no idea how much you are missing if you don't own them! And often they are non-working and at the same time they are still heavily clogged with incorrect operation of the case in principle. Then they have overstressed painful areas that you do not know how to control, you cannot relax them and strain them at will. Then it's even more difficult, but it's fixable.
The long back muscles pull the spine up and help keep it in a straight, straight position. Just as the abs keep the spine stable on one side, the long back muscles support it on the other side. When the teacher says "we stretch the top of the head up", then the activation of these particular muscles is meant. When you feel and control them, you feel a real physical upward pull. These same muscles keep the spine in good shape and when tilting the body, they also greatly affect your posture and body structure in the dance, the pattern of relaxation and tension, and this affects how absolutely all your movements look and feel.
An ordinary untrained person does not feel these muscles and does not understand what it means to stretch upwards. "How to stretch, what?". Or maybe these muscles are even pumped up by boats, but it's still not clear how to reach up. This is fine. If you are working on yourself, then it is very important to learn how to master them. The technique of your rotations, centering, a smooth, stable exit from any rotations, without blockages, distortions, even with poor partner guidance, will depend on this, and in general your well-being and health will be better. When female partners fall heavily on their side in slopes and fall in turns - they do not work, there is nothing to build an axis with.
Learning to control the long back muscles is more difficult than mastering the abs or booty. First you need to remove the interference of posture, which prevent these muscles from being included in the work. Namely, you need to tighten your stomach, remove the deflections in the lower back and under the shoulder blades, remove the ribs sticking out forward. If your ribs stick out, then you a priori cannot use your back muscles normally. They are chronically tight and shortened. Stand up to the wall and try to press against the wall with your whole back as much as possible, hold the position without the wall. And strive to press the lower back, even if it doesn’t work out completely.
The strength of the long back muscles is well trained by boats and tilt-ups with a straight back, but this does not teach you to reach up. For training the stretch itself, I have not yet come across anything more effective than ballet exercises in the middle of the hall. When you balance on one foot without the support of the barre, your body finds this stretch on its own, it gives stability. That's exactly what happened to me, and pretty quickly.
I wrote an article about headwork rules. You need to know these rules!
Headworks are not done with the neck muscles. But the muscles of the neck must be in a passive tone so that the cervical vertebrae are safe, so that they are not subjected to sudden traumatic movements, are not clamped or overextended. The exercises are very simple: tilt the head up and down, turn left and right, tilt the ear to the shoulder. Exercises are best done slowly and with effort. It is also very useful to work with an isometric load: press your head through the resistance of your hands. All this at the same time is the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis, strengthens muscles and promotes the health of our cervical discs.
Typical mistakes of the zouk : throwing the head back, throwing the head back on a relaxed neck, headwork through the neck muscles, asymmetrical position of the head relative to the work of the body (the head falls forward or back and outweighs).
But besides this, there is a posture error that few people talk about, and it is inherent in many. This error is chin up. We know to reach up with the top of our head. That's just the muscles of the top of the head physically can not pull us up and have completely different functions. The crown is a purely visual landmark (just not everyone is aware). But we don’t even know where the top of our head is and how it should feel. And so we raise our chin and stretch our foreheads up. In this position, the front muscles of the neck stretch upward, and the back muscles, which should work, are compressed. This is exactly the opposite of what the teacher wants from you. In addition to the physiological harm to your neck, this also prevents you from dancing: the stable position of the head is disturbed, the head begins to outweigh and fills you back. This is especially problematic on spins.
It is better to correct the position of the head at the mirror and through the same exercises, carefully watching the position of the head. The simplest and most effective: put your hands on the back of your head. Feel for two bones at the base of the skull with your thumbs and grab them as well. Press your head on your hands and your hands on your head. Holding these bones and maintaining pressure, stretch your head with your hands a couple of centimeters up.
Dancers! The lower back in the dance should be straight! (Well, almost straight, - for the most meticulous) No deflections just like that in every movement. Deflection is not styling! Chronic backbend is a lump of tension that you live with, and hit it even more in all amplitude movements. Then it can turn into a hernia of the lumbar and pinched nerve endings.
As I wrote above, you need to pump the lower press more, and activate the abdominal muscles to align the lower back and hip joint. In addition to this, it is very necessary to learn how to sit on the sitting bones with a flat back. This is generally a mandatory minimum for the normal posture of any non-dancing person. When you can just sit straight, then we go into the fold to the legs, be sure to stretch the lower back. It will be very gross. This is not a leg stretch, no need to dive head first. It is important to start folding towards the legs from the hip, trying to put the stomach and ribs on the legs. At the same time, you can stretch your arms forward, this helps to stretch yourself.
The muscles of the lower back are also trained in different inclinations with a straight back. Also, be sure to keep your lower back pressed to the floor in all pumping exercises when you are lying on your back. Especially when it comes to abdominal exercises. And standing against the wall, we press the lower back into the wall! Out of habit, it will seem that you are hunched over, but in fact, sleeping muscles just turn on, and your back becomes straighter. Try to maintain this position yourself by checking yourself in the mirror.
Depressor of the scapula. If your shoulders often rise, it means that she is not in good shape, and at the same time, the muscles of the neck and trapezium are probably clamped. If this muscle does not work, the female partners do not understand the lead well, and the partners do not know how to frame and twitch their arms a lot. If the serratus anterior muscle is not in good shape, then the shoulder and shoulder blade are not the connecting link between the body and arms. The body moves by itself, and the arms and shoulders move by themselves, without coordination with the body. Connection without anterior dentate is snotty and twitchy (because with hands).
In the dance, you literally need to weld the shoulder blade to the ribs and leave it there forever. Difficult? Possibly)
You can come up with quite a few exercises to strengthen the anterior serratus. Mandatory condition: through "I can not" lower the shoulder blades. You can slowly raise and lower straight arms with a small weight, do rotations in the shoulder joint, you can stretch the elastic in different positions. The slats also pump the front gear well, just do not forget to press the shoulder blades down. All sorts of positions are good with an emphasis on the floor with your hands (I want to relax my shoulder, and then it will climb into my ear).
Muscle that brings the shoulder blades to the center. It affects the spread of the shoulders and the tone of the frame as well.
It is important that the muscle is in good shape, but not overstressed (!). Attempts to dance with the shoulder blades constantly gathered towards the center will kill all the plasticity in the thoracic region, and at the same time you will no longer feel the physical connection with the partner (where it is clamped, energy and subtle sensations do not pass there).
Actively turned on by spreading the arms to the sides with an institution far behind the back, you can use weights, you can lie on your stomach. On your stomach, simply spread your straight arms to the sides and tear them off the floor as high as possible. If you wish, you can find many more options on the Internet.
When training the rhomboid muscle, watch the ribs, do not bend in the chest. It can be difficult)
The fact that any dancer needs strong, trained legs is obvious. And it would be strange to single out some individual muscles and say that they are the most necessary for social dances. All the muscles of the legs are somehow involved in performing various movements and maintaining balance. Everything is important here. Legs need to be trained in a complex and varied way. The health of your joints, especially your knees, depends on the condition of your legs (strength and stretching of the muscles). About them a little further.
It usually happens that dancers perform some kind of monotonous set of exercises that does not fully load their legs. This is not good, as you will be left with undeveloped areas, the weakness of which will affect the quality of your movements and may even negatively affect the condition of your joints. For example, the most common leg exercises (lunges, squats, swings, half-toes, etc. - the basic set) usually do not pump the inner thigh muscles in any way. Ballet exercises, on the contrary, perfectly pump the back muscle group and adductor muscles of the thigh, but load the muscles of the front and outer sides a little. Pilates works very complex with the muscles of the legs (and the whole body).
Conclusion: you need to train your legs in a complex way.
Do not ignore any "heavy" unusual exercises, because "in dance I don't need it." Use both the non-reversible position of the feet in the exercises (feet parallel) and the reversible position (heels together, toes apart, knee joint over the toes, between the thighs "clamped piece of paper"). Stand on your toes and on your heels. Remember that you need to evenly pump muscles and stretch. Pumped, unstretched legs are stiff, clogged, prone to accidental sprains. Poorly pumped, but well stretched - very weak, prone to joint injuries, dislocations.
The anterior and posterior thigh muscles are usually more or less trained even just in dance, without any additional effort. Although it is better, of course, to attach them and practice more. And if you often do some sports, then most likely they are already well developed in you.
The typical weaknesses of an ill-trained dancer are the muscles of the inner and outer sides of the thigh. And in vain, they perform important functions.
Adductors of the thigh - a bundle of internal muscles that bring the legs to the center. The tension of these muscles allows us to maintain balance very well, literally grow to a point in the floor. They help with balance even in tilted postures when the pelvis is turned back and it can be difficult to keep the tension in the gluteal muscles. And the legs in such positions continue to hold us, if they are strongly reduced to the center (at the same time, it is not at all necessary that the legs should stand close to each other). The adductors are best pumped with ballet and scissor exercises. At the same time, different internal muscles work in the reversible / non-reversible positions.
It's also very ugly when girls have a non-closing hole between their thighs.
About the outer surface of the thigh I would like to say that if you are not going to permanently raise your legs to the sides (it is not necessary in a soush), then their main purpose is to keep the knee joint in a stable position. What's the matter here? If the thigh muscles are weak, then the knee joint can fall inward (X legs), and over time, from this position, you will have big problems with the knee ligaments. If in the neutral position your legs are straight, not an X, then this is good, but not enough.
I just wrote that the adductors of the thigh help us balance. If two legs stand together, and through effort we press them against each other, then everything is fine, there should be no mistakes here. What if your feet are a little wider? This is the most common position for female partners when performing boneques and other things. Bring them together here, don't bring them together, all the same, 8 out of 10 girls' knees will come together to the center. This happens because the external thigh muscles are turned off, and there is also no habit and understanding. In fact, when we stand with our legs parallel, we need to carefully monitor the position of the knee. If we bring the adductors to the center to better hold ourselves, then the outer group of muscles should remain in good shape and “push” the knees a little to the sides. This is necessary so that the knee remains exactly above the foot and does not fall inward.
That's what I'm talking about. Not a very bright example, but my own))) Feet at a distance, knees together.
It is very important, when performing any squat (plié) in any position of the legs, to ensure that the knee is clearly above the foot and does not fall either in or out.
Shank = caviar, caviar = shank, strengthen shins = pump calves? No, nifiga) This is a very limited perception.
Caviar needed. Calves help to confidently rise to the half-toes and stand on them for a long time, help to run, jump and land. But you won't get far with them.
Other muscles also influence the position of the foot, the names of which the ordinary dancer does not know and has never heard of. The position of your ankle will depend on the condition of all the muscles of the lower leg, the balance both on the half-toes and on the full foot. And the health of your knees will also depend on the position of your ankle. If the foot is turned inward or outward, or collapses on the outer or inner rib, and the knee is not above the foot (a typical social worker mistake: toes apart - knees forward), the cruciate ligaments of the knee joint will suffer, then pain will appear. By the way, the weakness of the calf muscles is the reason why the feet of the dancers in motion accidentally come into a clubfoot position.
Therefore, it is necessary to additionally strengthen the stabilizing muscles. located in the lower part of the lower leg and affecting the position and stability of the foot. Stretch and shorten the foot, rotate the feet in a circle, roll the feet on the inner and outer ribs, stand on the toes and on the heels (no one allowed me to stand on the heels in class, and by the way, this is quite difficult and involves the front of the lower leg), through resistance to turning the foot in and out. There are many exercises, they are all simple and just require method and perseverance.
A very effective exercise for the muscles from the foot to the thigh is to stand on one leg for a long time, just on a full foot. 5 minutes or more. At the same time, try not to sag on your hip and not substitute your free leg. It also helps a lot to stand on one leg on a balance circle (a round disk that staggers).
Mandatory rule for standing on half toes : the weight must be over the big and forefinger of the foot and in no case should it fall on the little toes. It also depends on the stabilizing muscles of the lower leg.
The structure of the foot is very similar to that of the palm. She can be just as sensitive and mobile. Some professional dancers achieve this. An ordinary person hardly uses the muscles of the foot. Then the brain begins to perceive the muscles of the foot as one whole, the foot becomes like an iron shovel, rigid and inactive.
Due to the lack of development of the feet, the position of the ankle is disturbed, the softness of movements is lost (the knees also suffer from this, yes), other muscles begin to clog, which try to compensate for the weakness of the feet (usually calves, thighs).
Feet are the foundation on which our whole building stands. If something is wrong with the foundation, it will inevitably cause distortions in other parts of the body: in the knees, hips, back, it can even affect the position of the head. And therefore it is important to develop the feet, increase their mobility, strength, plasticity and sensitivity.
Dancers' feet are often very clogged, especially those dancing in heels. Attempts to maintain balance on poorly trained legs lead to the fact that the dancers try to “grab the floor” with their feet - they overstrain the muscles of the foot, squeeze their fingers. From this foot can reduce. This is especially evident in the training exercises of ballet and jazz-modern: we get so used to straining our feet that where they need to be relaxed, we generally forget to do it, and our feet start to feel pain right in the exercises. On the one hand, this comes from the wrong technique of the foot, on the other hand, from the underdeveloped muscles. Developed feet do not reduce. Well, the reasons may also be the lack of some microelements, etc. In social dance, a vivid example of tightness of the feet is when girls constantly dance on half-toes (in any shoes), practically without lowering their heels, and at the same time on bent knees. Looks ugly. This is how I dance here, it is very clearly visible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzpFeYB8nHc
The foot development exercises are not only half-toe raises. It is necessary to move the fingers up, down and to the sides in isolation, lift the napkin with the toes of the foot, stretch the outer and inner surfaces. Foot massage is very useful, and for this purpose I really like a massage ball with spikes (it should be elastic, a wooden massage roller will also work). At first, I roll the ball lightly, until I feel a pleasant tickle and tingle from contact with the skin. This relaxes the tissues of the foot and stimulates blood circulation, relieving chronic tension. When the foot relaxes a little, the sensations are dulled, I start pushing the ball through the foot in different places in order to act on a deeper level. So you can find especially painful areas and suppress them longer. After such a foot massage, the balance becomes better and the legs become softer.
Here is an example of how to wake up dormant foot muscles. I made up my own mind based on what I read. I was not given this in any class. Someone will not succeed at all, someone will feel new sensations in a couple of minutes.
That's all for this article. This is a review article. Train, study your body, ask questions.
On VK you can send me your dance video for analysis, I will make a storyboard with errors and detailed comments, where you have technical errors in the sound, and where there are crookedness and obliqueness associated with the work of your body. I'll tell you what to do, how to work. I can record a detailed video answer with exercises for you. I wrote about it here: https://vk.com/wall599099_11435
I wrote this article for a very long time. I got a lot of different classes, I began to conduct thematic seminars about the work of the body in dance. While I was doing it, a lot of the material was sorted out in my head, and this affected the quality and coherence of this article. I hope that for many of you it turned out to be extremely useful and highlighted some things that you had not thought about before.
I will continue to expand on the underwater world of dance in future articles. We will definitely talk about plasticity, composure and relaxation, connection and other interesting deep things.
Who is interested in deep work with the body and lives in Moscow, I will be glad to see you at the classes :) flexibility and basic stretching exercises
A flexible body, elastic muscles and mobile joints are the key to beauty and health at any age. Flexibility is not only innate, but also an acquired quality. Without a doubt, every dancer should have it.
What is flexibility
Flexibility is the ability of the body, namely muscles, ligaments and joints, to give maximum amplitude in various movements and physical exercises.
Flexibility of the body depends on genetics, structural features of the joints, elasticity of the tendons. This indicator is also related:
- with age. Children and adolescents tend to be more flexible than adults;
- with floor. Women are naturally more flexible than men;
- with the level of physical fitness and fitness.
Types of flexibility as it is
There are several varieties:
- Dynamic flexibility is the maximum possible range of motion in a joint without any assistance. For example, standing against a wall, the athlete raises the leg to the highest possible level and holds it for several seconds. Also, the dynamic view is fixed when performing exercises, for example, with swings;
- Passive (static) flexibility always exceeds active dynamic. It is achieved with an external impact on the joint. For example, the athlete or his partner holds the raised leg with the hand in maximum amplitude;
- Special refers to the mobility of specific joints. Different sports and dances require different levels of joint mobility;
- Anatomical. Habitual daily movements in terms of joint mobility are very limited. Use of the reserve of pledged flexibility up to 95% occurs only during special classes;
- Excessive flexibility is dangerous, as the stability of the joint is lost and the maximum stretching of muscles and ligaments is reached. This is fraught with injuries (dislocation, rupture, sprain).
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Why flexibility is important for dancers
Good flexibility is the key to beautiful amplitude movements and speed of changing positions
A flexible body is more responsive, flexible and enduring. Good amplitude in the work of all joints gives excellent coordination between all parts of the body.
The listed motor indicators are extremely important in dance. Movable joints and stretch-responsive muscles make the body supple, able to quickly perform complex movements and ligaments.
Flexibility can be improved by regular stretching.
What exercises help to develop flexibility
Stretching (from the English "stretching") always begins with a quality warm-up of the whole body. Pulling muscles and ligaments is possible only in a heated state. To do this, it is enough to perform a warm-up of 2-3 dynamic exercises, involving all the main joints.
- Neck . Grab your head with your right hand and press your ear against your right shoulder, stretching the left side of your neck. Lock the position for 30 seconds. Repeat with your left hand.
- Spine, Thoracic . Starting position on all fours. Bend your back down and lift your head up, remaining in the position for 10-15 seconds. Arch your back up, lowering your head down. Hold the position for another 15 seconds. Repeat several times at a slow pace.
- Spine, hamstrings . An exercise from the arsenal of yoga "Downward Dog". Place your feet and hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and bring them closer until you reach the body in an inverted V. The foot is completely on the floor, legs are straight. For greater effect in position, you can sway slightly, creating a arch in the back.
- Spine, core muscles . Lying on your stomach, bend your knees, bring your feet to your buttocks. Wrap your arms around your feet and pull your legs back and up. The thoracic spine takes the maximum deflection. The position is fixed for 20-30 seconds.
- Hip Extension . Lunge forward with your right foot and shift your weight onto it. Tilt your body forward and lean on your elbows. Maintain the position for up to 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
- Lateral Thigh Extension . Sitting on the floor, spread your legs as wide as possible. Place your body and arms on the floor as far as possible. Stay in position for up to 30 seconds.
Tips from experienced choreographers for stretching
Flexibility exercises are performed at a calm pace, the muscles are stretched until a slight tolerable pain appears. In each position, you should stay up to 20-30 seconds, holding the maximum amplitude of the stretch.
For general flexibility development, it is enough to stretch 1-2 sessions per week as a small addition to the main workout. The presented set of flexibility exercises is one of the possible options for this form of training.
If increasing the flexibility of the body is the main task, then it is worth doing stretching in the format of a full-fledged lesson. We recommend starting stretching under the guidance of an experienced instructor.
Benefits of working with a coach:
- safety : no risk of injury;
- efficiency : the coach selects the exercises based on the physical data of the student;
- speed : a professional instructor uses techniques to achieve maximum results in the shortest possible time.