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Ab training


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I've been wondering how often other dancers train their abs. Every day? Every other day? How many sets and reps? What exercises? The more specific your responses the better!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers BroadwayBoy. :)


Are you asking particularly about male dancers? If so, I will transfer this post to the Men's Forum.

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Thanks for the welcome :)


Not specifically male dancers. I'm just trying to find a good routine for myself, so that I can improve my balance, etc. If transferring this thread to the Men's Forum would be more beneficial for me, than go ahead!

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I know you want something specific, but that's impossible because as with almost any kind of training there are only principles that you can apply. Variation is the key when you are trying to develop a general kind of strength, the kind of strength that dancers need. So, as to how often, the answer is sometimes very frequent and at other times not so often. As to exercises, the answer is as many different ones as you come across. The principle is "muscle confusion." You don't want your torso to become accustomed to any routine. My advice is to exercise by feel. You want to feel your torso muscles work. Tummy torture a friend of mine called it. That's what you want to feel at the end of your torso session. Be creative. There are tons of ideas you can find on the Internet. Experiment with different things. If you concentrate on creating a feeling, you will be fine.

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  • 2 months later...

This is a very good question that I've been thinking about lately. The issue with other forms of exercise in relation to ballet always boils down to wether or not the exercise is going to help or hurt my ability to dance. As an extreme example, I don't want to start a body building regimen because heavy weight lifting can be detrimental to lengthening and flexibility.


At the library, I found this book: Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology by Karen Clipenger. It's a college level text book and it has very specific anatomy and physiology information specifically related to dance and each chapter has a set of pilates/yoga ball/theraband style exercises related to whatever area of the body that particular chapter has been covering.

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I agree with Garyecht, as varied as possible, but at same time try to target those areas/muscles that are going to be under most strain. I find that little and often works for me, have put myself a routine together, that is about 20 mins in time, made up of 4 sections if you like, the full session is done every morning without fail, then when possible during the day I do 5 min sessions of one of the "parts" that make up the full session (hope that makes sense !) and fit those in where ever I can, and as often as I can (not always possible have to say !) then another 20min session at night

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I do small crunches to build strength, and obliques. The last thing you want is to be too muscular.

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Many years ago I knew some body builders who did hardly any ab training for fear that it would thicken their waists. Personally I doubted if that were true, but it seemed to be common knowledge back then. When I was bicycle racing I actually had the so called six-pack abs without doing a single ab exercise, simply because my body weight was so low and I had a very small body fat percentage. Never had that before or since.

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Since I have started to use a cross trainer I have found my actual body fat has fallen and muscle strength in the legs has greatly improved, mix that with ballet exercises found really works for me not only fitness and being more supple as well to be able to do positions far better and easier

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