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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Supporting your middle

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I really have to do something about supporting my midsection/abs/stomach. I almost always leave those muscles relaxed and it's doing a number on my back. Of course there's crunches and all that. But my biggest issue is remembering to "suck it in" ('engage' is probably a better word).


I hope I'm not alone! Maybe someone has some silly tricks they've used to help remember to do this?

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Funny, my teacher calles "engaging the abs"... "suck it in girls"


I try to "engage" all the time. Even in regular life. It becomes automatic if you do it often enough.


Another thing you can do is to tie something around your lower abs. A waist elastic, skirt, shirt, etc.. It's like having a constant reminder.


One big motivator is to take barre parallel to the mirror. One of my teachers always makes us place the barres this way to force us to look at ourselves from the side. Seeing your tummy and butt hanging out is not pretty. Makes you pull up!


I have another teacher who makes you always think about the alignment of your spine. If your posture is correct for ballet, those abs usually will engage all on thier own. Maybe try thinking about posture more.


The sore back should be a good reminder as well :wub:

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Lampwick is, as usual, totally right about thinking about it in everyday life! :wub:


As I wrote on the goals thread, I tend to have a stronger/more flexible back than abs. It's really easy for me thus slip into a sway back. To elongate it, I have to remember not just my lower abs, but my upper abs right up under my ribs. Since I've been working on this, I definitely have had less back pain.


I'm one of those who hates the mirror (although I'll use it if I need to work on something specific)... but my teacher worked with me on this, and I'm getting the feeling right and she only reminds me now occassionally.


Also, other activities, which I think help more than crunches, include Pilates and Floor Barre and Yoga.


Good luck! I think this is something that we all constantly think about and are trying to do! :gossip:

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I put in another vote for thinking about your abs more in daily life. I find that I stand up straighter, sit better, and have fewer backaches if I think about my abs when I'm doing "normal," non dancing activities. It's also easier to climb the steps/escalator as part of my daily commute because the pressure of lifting my body weight isn't focused on my quads.


Thinking about my abs when I wield the weed whacker is especially important because I'll definitely end up sore the next day! :wub:

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