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  1. #21
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    A physiotherapist can tell you if you have lumbar lordosis, but remember that everyone has some lordosis, it's that normal curve in around your waist, with more of an out curve near your hips and tailbone. One way to tell is to lie on the floor with your legs straight out, and try to flatten your spine so you can't get your hand under your waist and pelvis. When I first tried to do this I couldn't flatten my spine completely (of course there is that butt that can get in the way too!).
    The best way to avoid the dowagers hump is to have different parents! A lot of the way your posture changes as you age is genetic, but you can work on your flexibility. To work on that dowagers hump, you can make sure you're looking straight ahead, bring your head down so that you're not looking up and then stretch your chin and neck back to create that delightful double chin. Hold it for a count of five then relax. Do this five times and then rest. If you do this at least ten times a day you will stretch the front muscles and strengthen the back of the neck muscles that hold your head slightly forward. This will help to counter that poking forward head that starts the dowagers hump at about C7 on your spine.
    Any exercises that you do lying on your tummy with your head and arms off the floor will help with that posture, and it's much easier if you have a Swiss ball you can use to lie on (your boobs will thank you!).
    hope that helps

  2. #22
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    I've never been diagnosed, but I suspect that I've had lordosis all my life, and I've never been happy with my "duck butt." Nor do I enjoy all the back pain that has steadily gotten worse over the years.

    Are there exercises that will help improve my posture?.
    I also have a "duck butt". My physio told me my main problem is very tight hip flexors. I can't extend the front of my body enough, so I physically can't bring my butt forward. Try bending your knees - if that lets you bring your pelvis forward, then the problem is your hip flexors. They're difficult to stretch so improving them is a slow process.

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellydance Oz View Post
    I also have a "duck butt". My physio told me my main problem is very tight hip flexors. I can't extend the front of my body enough, so I physically can't bring my butt forward. Try bending your knees - if that lets you bring your pelvis forward, then the problem is your hip flexors. They're difficult to stretch so improving them is a slow process.
    Interesting! Maybe that was my problem as well, as opposed to lower ab strength (or maybe a little bit of both), because I could only diminish my arch by slightly bending my knees and readjusting my pelvis. I actually thought it couldn't be done with straight legs!
    Now I can do it with my legs straight, thanks to having to keep my back more neutral while still keeping the knees straight in ballet. So it IS possible!

  4. #24
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Thank you, adiemus and Bellydance Oz, I'll try everything you suggested.

  5. #25
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    Ok, now I am officialy confused! Perhaps its just a little language barrier, but whats the definition of tucking? Because after reading all your comments I`m doubting if what I am doing now is right...

    Before, I tried to keep my spine as straight as possible. That would mean that I would have to pull my tailbone in a bit(towards the front). Now, my teacher told me to push my butt back more, to make the S shape. But...now I see a lot of replys here that say you shouldn`t do that.

    I wish the break was over so I could ask my teacher!!!

  6. #26
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Perhaps you were overdoing the tucked-under tailbone? Though IMO it's asking for trouble telling anyone to actively stick their butt out - can't speak for anyone else but on me it makes it impossible to do a lot of moves, and those I can do either hurt or look lewd, or both. A controlled vertical 8 turns into butt-twitching.

    There was someone in front of me in class arching her lower back and sticking her behind out the other week and IMHO it looked lewd on her too. The teacher spotted it and corrected her.

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nejmeh View Post
    Ok, now I am officialy confused! Perhaps its just a little language barrier, but whats the definition of tucking? Because after reading all your comments I`m doubting if what I am doing now is right...

    Before, I tried to keep my spine as straight as possible. That would mean that I would have to pull my tailbone in a bit(towards the front). Now, my teacher told me to push my butt back more, to make the S shape. But...now I see a lot of replys here that say you shouldn`t do that.
    Without seeing how you stand and move, it's hard but - you should always have a gentle curve in your back. Dead straight is as bad as over extended. Problem is many people have too much of a curve and associated with that a pelvis that tips forward. This combination when dancing can cause pain and possibly injury long term. And it looks tacky.

    What people here have been trying to describe is ways to get the pelvis sitting in neutral - that is front and back bony sticky out bits level. I belong to the pick-up-at-the-front school as it leaves your glutes nice and loose.

    If your teacher is asking you push out your butt either you have over corrected or you have a naturally too straight spne or you are doing some version of tribal and s/he has misinterpreted the posture which is chestup and forward - not butt pushed out.

  8. #28
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nejmeh View Post

    Before, I tried to keep my spine as straight as possible. That would mean that I would have to pull my tailbone in a bit(towards the front). Now, my teacher told me to push my butt back more, to make the S shape. But...now I see a lot of replys here that say you shouldn`t do that.

    I wish the break was over so I could ask my teacher!!!
    Well, there are some moves where you might push your butt out in some way, although I don't like that terminology because some people might over-arch as a result. I'm talking about stuff like undulations or belly "pops," but I think it's best to focus on what your abs are doing than purposely trying to arch your back.

    Belly dance is a very subtle dance where the isolations stay fairly centered and (although this depends on style) are pretty internal. It's full of taboos about how far you are allowed to spread your legs out, and how much you are allowed to stick your butt out, among other things. It has a lot of similar moves to Polynesian, Caribbean, African and Latin American dances but generally speaking these moves are done with a different emphasis and different posture in belly dance, and keeping your pelvis neutral, your chest lifted, and your legs no further than hip-width apart as the basic posture are some of the things that make belly dance what it is and distinguish it from other dances. This is aside from injury concerns, of course.

    It could be that you are indeed overtucking and this is what your teacher is trying to prevent. We are all used to different terminology and explaining things differently. However, if you are overtucking then finding the right posture for you will be a matter of finding out what "neutral pelvis" means to YOU (it is different for each one of us!) and keeping up that posture, and NOT a matter of *arching* the back...

  9. #29
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Good neutral posture:

    scapula is slightly retracted & shoulders are dropped
    neck is kept long
    chest is lifted vertically up from the hips from all the way around (not just pulled up in front from sternum)
    ears, shoulder, hip, knee, & ankle line up vertically in profile
    abs are engaged to keep pelvis neutral (meaning not tilted forward or back)
    spine maintains it's natural curve
    knees and toes are aligned
    knees remain flexible
    Weight is evenly distributed between the feet

    Posture is individual and also changes to facilitate different stylizations and movements.

    My two cents worth

  10. #30
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    I'd also like to add that when it comes to good posture you should also pay attention where your head is at. I think we can partially blame the increasing role of computers in our lives for the fact that many people tend to lean their head forward. I have struggled with it myself - the rest of the body can be ok, but the wrong position of the head can put a lot of strain on the neck and upper back. And it makes you look like one of those cartoon birds (the ones that live in deserts - can't recall their exact name right now )

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