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Abdominal Muscles In A Ballet Dancer

A martial artist dance fan asked me recently this question: a ballet dancer looks extremely flexible, and she has the strength to hold her legs up and use them at these extreme angles. And this fan was wondering if it is core strength ballet dancers use in order to be able to support their legs so high?

This person is a martial artist, so I wanted to explain that regarding the abdominal  muscles, ballet dancers use them differently. Sit ups, or ab crunches are generally described as pulling the belly button to the spine, so the core muscles get pulled into a knot.

But, a ballet dancer is taught to “pull up”, literally. The pelvic floor muscles and the lower abdominal muscles can pull up, flattening, not bunching into a contracted knot. You can actually see your belly button move up your torso if you do this correctly.

Along with strong ballet turnout and pulled up leg muscles, the ballet dancer can support the high leg extension regardless of the angle that the body is held at.

Dancing in pointe shoes depends on the early classical ballet technique classes, so that these abdominal muscles are developed gradually and correctly.

For a male dancer to execute the high leaps, spin in the air, and land on balance, he also must have strong abdominal muscles.

I also explained to her the difference in hip alignment in the splits between a ballet dancer and a martial artist. I have seen many martial arts classes, and my observation is that dancers warm up much more before they start their stretching exercises.

Dancers keep their spine and pelvis in a neutral position while stretching for the side splits, or the splits in second position. This is the best way to stretch the adductors, or inner thigh muscles. The lower back will tilt neither forward nor back, and the core strength of a ballet dancer is able to withstand any pressure from tight hip or leg muscles to let go of the correct posture.

For the front and back splits, a ballet dancer allows the hip muscles to twist, but again, can keep the body from the waist up facing front because of the strong abdominal muscles. The dancer needs to do this to maintain turnout, which is something the martial artists does not need to focus on.

For more about how dancers work on abdominal muscles and stretching exercises, visit us for more ballet dancer tips.

Ballet Dancer Tips

Ballet Dancer Tips



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