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Back muscles...


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Hello again, I have another question regarding my back. I've asked before about cambres and back extensions, but this time I'm interested in muscles etc. What is the name for the two muscles that run straight down the sides of your spine? I just wonder because for me these muscles often get really tight (and they quiver when I do plank) especially a day or two after I work them alot (e.g. holding arabesques). Thanks in advance :jawdrop:

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I suspect you are referring to the lattisimus dorsi :(


It also sounds like you may have some alignment issues that need to be fixed. Have you read our sticky on alignment?

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Lattisimus dorsi :shrug: That's the one! I Googled it to check that it's the one I mean, and it's so much easier to get search results when you know what you are searching for :thumbsup: Thanks.


No, I don't think I have read a Sticky for Alignment, although I have read "Extension" and "TURN OUT AND ROTATION". I just did a quick search but I can't find one specifically for alignment. Perhaps you could send me a link or point me in the right direction to find it please? :(


Also, if it's okay for me to ask, how does this suggest my alignment is out? Would it be because the lattisimus dorsi should not be tight after arabesque work? :blushing:


Thanks again :wacko:

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You are figuring things out well!!! :)


It's not that the lats won't feel something- it's the degree of tightness and quivering that you describe makes me think you haven't learned the oppositional forward and upward, outward movement of the arabesque. It also makes me suspect that you are not lengthening your lower back which means there is a tilt in your pelvis uncontrolled by the abs.


It's complicated!

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It certainly is complicated! :) I have heard of the "upwards and outwards" principle (and I think I know how it works) but I don't think I'm familiar with lengthening of the lower back. It's possible someone has said this (but using different words, if that makes sense) but I didn't take it to mean specifically to lengthen the back. Next class I'll definitely take time to think about that as I do the arabesque :thumbsup: .

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Oops! I forgot to say; That brings me to my next question:


What is the correct alignment for a basic arabesque? I have heard and seen a few variations, and it gets a little confusing...

Are you meant to keep both hip square to the front? (because I don't understand how that works :thumbsup: )

or...Are you allowed to lift your 'working' hip slightly to allow for rotation?

Many pictures we see of professionaly dancers have noticeably lifted the hip, but their chest is still square and the line is still beautiful :)


Thankyou again :thumbsup:

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No, you can't do an arabesque while keeping the hips totally square unless the arabesque is very low. You have to lift out of the supporting hip and open the working hip slightly.

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I really cannot thankyou both enough for helping me (and that post is AMAZING! It answered just about all of the questions I still had to ask in this thread, like winging feet and open hips/ribs :thumbsup: ). One last question (I feel bad about asking so many, but I try to help other users out as well as I can :) ) : Is it okay to hold an arabesque for a long period of time (for correction etc.) or is it best to lower it and raise it again? I know plies operate on this principle because of the tension in your knees, are arabesques the same?

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Yes, it's not good practice to hold any pose for more than about 8 counts, slow (unless you're modeling for an artist, maybe).

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Okay, thankyou very much for clearing that up for me. Mr Johnson :thumbsup: Also thankyou Clara76 for giving me advice before :rolleyes: I can understand better now so I will be able to fix my arabesque line. I really appreciate all everybody's kind help from this website :wub:

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You are quite welcome, SugarPlum21!!!!

We appreciate your politeness, intelligence, and your openness to learning! Very good qualities for a dancer to have! :wub:

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  • 1 year later...

I am not sure if you know about this but doing very small arm circles gradually going up from your arms at your side and then reversing the direction on the way back down has always helped me. With practice, you will eventually develop back muscles that form a diamond-shaped shape when used.

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