How Much Weight Can The Average Woman Lift Above Head Do Dancers Need to Strengthen Their Lower Abs?

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Do Dancers Need to Strengthen Their Lower Abs?

Today one of my dancers asked me something that annoyed me a bit, but I kept going, I think it was a really cool tangent that I’ll do my best to replicate now.

For today’s purposes, we’ll call this dance the “dancer.” I’m too tired to think of more creative thoughts than required. So there.

Dancer- “Can you give me some lower abdominal exercises that I can do at home?”

I’m ready to do the basic exercises. I think they are great.

For those of you who still believe you should “feel the burn in your lower abs”, stop now. It’s nothing new or groundbreaking, I hope.

Let’s not deceive ourselves. We are naive and ignorant. We’ve all been looking for that great burning sensation of working our lower abs. But I think we all know that feeling alone doesn’t help anything, whether we choose to acknowledge its effectiveness or not. We have high hopes for our lower abs.

As Dr. Stu McGill says in his excellent book Back Fitness and Performance,

“Many trainers and athletes believe that they should perform exercises to train the lower rectus and others to train the upper rectus. Myoelectric evidence suggests that there is no functional difference between the ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ abs in most people.”

Most of them “caught a burn” (I’m not saying that it was a dancer, I mean people in general). I used to catch the burn.

I want to go back to McGill’s study with pig vertebrae. Question: “Is the spine limited in flexion before the discs herniate?” So they took a pig’s spine and bent it a few times and guess what – The disc herniated… But then again, just like drugs don’t work the same way on mice as they do on humans – pig spines are not the same as human spines.

Yes, although the rectus abdominis has an upper and lower part, the entire abdominal cavity is connected. If you activate one segment, they will all light up. Just try this – put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your back. Now flex your abs and exhale forcefully. You felt like everything was shrinking right away, didn’t you? This is how your abs should work. With. Happy family.

So back to the question “what exercises to do at home for lower abs”.

I asked (cautiously) “Why? What did your teachers say about the lower abdomen?”

Dancer – “I need to get them interested and use them more in class”

Now let me tell you, this girl is very strong and has a very good training technique. It has a solid sideboard and its pickups go up in the bass meter. This leads me to believe that he doesn’t necessarily need to do more exercises specifically to strengthen his lower abs, he just needs to actually USE them in class.

And it requires him to breathe. REALLY breathe. Not the fake breathing that dancers enjoy when asked to breathe. You know, the one where they laugh, take one fake breath, and then go back to catching it.

Your abs are actually connected to your diaphragm. Deep, forceful breathing helps activate the transverse abdominis (TVA), and as we know, if one of the abs contracts, they contract ALLLLL. By actually using your abs, you’re making sure that it’s not your hip flexors that are stabilizing your spine, and it’s allowing them to do their real job—lifting your leg over your head and holding it there.

One of the things lifting has taught me is the importance of breathing. When you’re doing a strength movement, especially when it’s around 80-100% of your 1RM, if you’re not breathing, you’re not going to lift. You need air pressure in your belly and you need to tighten all your core muscles. It makes you gasp. This is a good lesson for dancers – Breathing is essential for technical success.

Breathing in dance is essential for technical success.

So I gave him breathing and basic activation exercises at home, but most importantly I tried to leave him an important message – you can’t change your mind and body separately, they change with your spirit. The transformation of mind, body and soul happens at the same time.

As Thomas Myers says, you need to stop thinking about your body and start thinking about your body.

You can’t just do strengthening exercises and expect them to help you in dance class. You need to be aware of what is happening in your body while performing the exercise and find parallels in the dance so that you can apply what you have learned. And you should feel it with your soul.

At the end of the day, when I think about my dancers and wish their little spines the happiness they deserve, I believe it helps them dance better, not just strength. They become more aware of what is happening in their bodies as a result of new experiences in the weight room. Yes, they are getting stronger, which is good. But it goes deeper than that.

A smart dancer (who am I kidding, ALL dancers are smarter than the average bear) can compare what their body is being forced to do to what they are trying to do in order to develop strength in the weight room. prepare their bodies to perform in dance class.

My “A-HA!” I felt my glutes tighten for the first time when I was doing a seated dumbbell press, and the next day I was able to do proper pirouettes. It was really cool.

Anyway, what I want you to remember is that it’s not always a matter of “strengthening your lower ab”. Conversely, remember that you NEED to breathe forcefully while lifting weights, then take a breathing lesson in dance class.

Remember what it feels like to pull in your abs while lifting weights, and then feel it as you dance.

Remember that your breath, power and emotion all come from the same place – your “core” (or guts) and this dance needs a harmony of these three aspects, power, breath, emotion, to be absolutely beautiful. You know how they say, “I felt it in my gut”? This is a more accurate statement than you might think.

I wish dance teachers were more educated on important things like this, because as a young dancer it can be confusing when a ballet teacher tells you one thing, a current teacher tells you something else, and a strength coach tells you something completely different.

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