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Hi :thumbsup: I've been having trouble with my backbends. I have a fairly flexible back but whenever I begin to bend I seize up and I have trouble going further :lol: . I also worry that I'm letting go of my pelvis and stomach. I've heard you're meant to breathe out when doing backbends; Does anyone know of any strengthening excercises that could help me, or anything that I should think about while doing backbends to help? Thanks :D

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Hi, SugarPlum, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :lol:


I'm a little unsure of what exactly is happening. When you say "seize up", do you mean that you go into a muscle spasm? Is this backbend a cambré, part of a port de bras? You do have to exhale when you do that; it uncompresses soft tissue in the chest, and allows you more range of motion so that you don't choke or get dizzy. Also, you have to release muscles in your stomach in a cambré. Do you mean your stomach (up by your solar plexus) or your lower abdominals (down under your belly-button)? Elsewhere?

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Thanks :lol: It's not so much a muscle spasm; what I mean is that I feel like all the muscles around my torso tighten slowly so I feel mild pain when I try to stretch further. It happens in backbends and circular port de bras, especially when I'm on one foot (ie. a degage or lunge, arms in 5th or 4th). Thanks for that information on breathing out - I'll try to relax my stomach muscles more. I'll still have to maintain control in my hips and pelvis though to keep a straight line won't I?

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Sorry, I didn't see the last part of your post. It's mainly the upper part of my stomach (solar plexus), and also down my sides in circular port de bras. :lol:

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Yes, you do have to keep your lower abs and pelvis under control in order to maintain correct alignment in a cambré. I think that exhaling will help with the muscle tightening. Does your pain occur more when standing on one leg more than the other? You have to pull up through your thighs and glutes, too, in order to do a secure backbend.

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No the pain is not more on any one side than the other, but concentrating on pulling up out of my thighs and glutes, and exhaling has really seemed to help (maybe I was tensing my stomach and upper body)! Thankyou; backbends are so much more comfortable now :-)

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  • 1 month later...

Can someone please suggest a way to stretch m y back safely, because my dad is worried about me hurting my back, and my back clicks insanely when I lean bck, and leaning back is very painful although I can barely go back at all!!! :)

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If your back is hurting to bend back at all, then you need to see a doctor. We will not give you back stretches when you are injured and should be doing only what is shown to you by a doctor or a Physical Therapist.

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