Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    El Mirage, AZ
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Too skinny for proper belly rolls?

    Help! I'm a beginner to belly dance (approx. 4 months in) and I've been working on my belly rolls but I'm curious if perhaps I'm too thin to excute them well? I realize that you have to isolate your muscles, top, middle, bottom and vice versa, but I actually have very toned abs. They're so toned that when I flex the top, you can't help but see the bottom tense and there is really little movement.

    In anyone's expert opinion, is it possible to be too toned to make these look good? I look ridiculous! Any feedback would be appreciated

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cornfields of Evansville Indiana.
    Posts
    2,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Nah -- don't worry about your weight

    The problem most people have is being able to separate the upper abs from the lower abs. Most people want to think of the abs as one big thing (which they ARE one big group of muscles, but you can focus on one half or the other.)

    Instead of focusing on pulling in with the muscles, think of pushing OUT. That's a different exercise and you need to have the control to do both. Think push the top half OUT and then push the bottom half OUT. (Don't worry about looking pot-bellied -- you're only going to stay there for a second.) Then think pull top half IN and pull bottom half IN. And repeat.

    A lot of athletes are so used to pulling the abs IN that they forget they can also be pushed OUT.

    Try that and see how it goes

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    El Mirage, AZ
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Whew - thank you Aziyade! I know I'm newer to this and everything takes time, but I wasn't sure if it would ever come around for me. I'm not particulary fond of seeing my muscles flex when I do it - I'd rather see a nice slow roll, but I'll keeping working with what I have. Sounds like I just need to keep practicing!

  4. #4
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Iowa City, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    1,624
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MALEX View Post
    Help! I'm a beginner to belly dance (approx. 4 months in) and I've been working on my belly rolls but I'm curious if perhaps I'm too thin to execute them well? I realize that you have to isolate your muscles, top, middle, bottom and vice versa, but I actually have very toned abs. They're so toned that when I flex the top, you can't help but see the bottom tense and there is really little movement.

    In anyone's expert opinion, is it possible to be too toned to make these look good? I look ridiculous! Any feedback would be appreciated

    Thanks!
    Hi Malex! There's no such thing as being "too thin" for rolls. Thinness/fatness is a function of body fat, and doesn't have anything to do with muscle behavior. Muscles behave the same in everybody regardless of how much body fat you have.

    There's also no such thing as being "too toned" to make rolls look good. Belly rolls can be done regardless of whether the abs are strong or weak, though they look better if the abs are strong.

    You just need to teach your brain how to communicate with your abs. See this article on my web site: Dear Shira: How Can I Get My Belly to Roll?

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MALEX View Post
    I realize that you have to isolate your muscles, top, middle, bottom and vice versa, but I actually have very toned abs. They're so toned that when I flex the top, you can't help but see the bottom tense and there is really little movement.

    In anyone's expert opinion, is it possible to be too toned to make these look good? I look ridiculous! Any feedback would be appreciated
    Only if by "toned" you mean unable to control them with finesse. And it is important in dance to be able to relax as to contract. One without the other is useless - you can't shimmy, you can't undulate and you can't do belly rolls.

    But the big part is finesse - "delicate manipulation, subtle discrimination". You have to learn to just engage the top - if you see the bottom tense - then you are not just engaging the top. Practice with awareness. Go for three perfect isolations rather than 100 sloppy ones. Your skill will grow.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    El Mirage, AZ
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Only if by "toned" you mean unable to control them with finesse. And it is important in dance to be able to relax as to contract. One without the other is useless - you can't shimmy, you can't undulate and you can't do belly rolls.

    But the big part is finesse - "delicate manipulation, subtle discrimination". You have to learn to just engage the top - if you see the bottom tense - then you are not just engaging the top. Practice with awareness. Go for three perfect isolations rather than 100 sloppy ones. Your skill will grow.
    Aha, so I'm NOT isolating the different parts! And the best way to learn to isolate is just to flex and release repeatedly, repitition?

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    El Mirage, AZ
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shiradotnet View Post
    Hi Malex! There's no such thing as being "too thin" for rolls. Thinness/fatness is a function of body fat, and doesn't have anything to do with muscle behavior. Muscles behave the same in everybody regardless of how much body fat you have.

    There's also no such thing as being "too toned" to make rolls look good. Belly rolls can be done regardless of whether the abs are strong or weak, though they look better if the abs are strong.

    You just need to teach your brain how to communicate with your abs. See this article on my web site: Dear Shira: How Can I Get My Belly to Roll?
    Shira, I LOVE your site, I've visited it numerous times already and find it to be a great resource. I'll definitely take your advice and work at it. Thank you!

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MALEX View Post
    Aha, so I'm NOT isolating the different parts! And the best way to learn to isolate is just to flex and release repeatedly, repitition?
    You need more than repetition - you need awareness. Try - see if it works. If not, try something slightly different - and watch the result. When you get the right result see if you can repeat it.

    How that works varies between people. I start with my students, lying on the floor, pushing in with one hand then pushing against it - while the other hand is above/below. You get a feel for what the other muscles are doing. For some people visualization works.

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NE Mojave Desert
    Posts
    2,223
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    There is a trick I was taught by a vocal teacher that I have used when concentrating on isolating my abs. Take a reeeeeally heavy book. Put it on your stomach. When you suck in the muscle you will be able to see and feel the book drop. When you push the muscle out it will rise. By using a heavy book you not only get instant feedback you are creating muscle memory. Also you don't have to tense your hand and arm muscles to create resistance and can completely isolate the stomach muscles. If you need to separate the two sections even more use two stacks of books, one on the upper and one on the lower abs. I like to place my hands behind my head where I know they won't be used at all and just watch.

    (Man I have got to get back to practicing that. I'm becoming nostalgic.)
    <- sick again...

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,285
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You can also use your hands (put one on upper abs, the other on lower abs) to feel if you are isolating properly. When you get to the point where you can isolate your abs into 2 parts (upper and lower), your belly rolls will start looking like belly rolls. Eventually you can start separating your abs into more than just 2 sections, too, for more defined rolls.

    Some people can belly roll naturally, for others it takes weeks, for others it takes months to learn. Months of DAILY practice. Awareness helps, natural ability helps, and practice is a must. How much you weigh shouldn't matter... look at Rachel Brice, a dancer known for her belly rolls. Very thin, very toned and athletic, but with some of the biggest and most defined belly rolls out there. There are tons of other thin dancers who can belly roll beautifully.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •