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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sirčne's Avatar
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    Question Isolating upper abs from lower abs?

    I was working with the Bellydance Superstars-Killer Drillz with Zoe Jakes DVD and hit a little bump: in the pre-drill "belly" section, she talks about working the upper & lower abs independantly, without involving the chest & hips, using instead a series of push and pulls. Of course Zoe makes it look as simple as opening and closing your eyes, however, when I try to do the movement I find it impossible to keep the upper and lower abs separate. She recommends sitting or laying down to help isolate the muscles, but that doesn't seem to help my control.

    Any ideas how to work towards being able to do the drill? A part of me says, just keep trying, but if I can't isolate the muscles am I accomplishing anything?

    (Does anyone else have this dvd?)

  2. #2
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    draw in your diaphram for the upper abs. draw in just above your pubic bone for lower abs. It's not precise but it will help get you thinking in the right regions.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Lie on your back. Knees bent. Place one hand above the belly button and one below. Push your one hand in then push against it (your abs will go in then push out) - while keeping the muscles under the other hand relaxed. Repeat a few times then change hands.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sirčne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darshiva View Post
    draw in your diaphram for the upper abs. draw in just above your pubic bone for lower abs. It's not precise but it will help get you thinking in the right regions.
    Hi Darshiva

    I am able to pull in both groups. What I can't seem to do properly is pull in one group while leaving the other neutral, or as Zoe instructs, pushed out. Actually, consciously pushing out my upper abs is downright impossible.

    ETA:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Lie on your back. Knees bent. Place one hand above the belly button and one below. Push your one hand in then push against it (your abs will go in then push out) - while keeping the muscles under the other hand relaxed. Repeat a few times then change hands.
    This is my issue. I can't seem to keep the "other" group relaxed. I feel like there is an echo in the muscles I don't mean to engage, and pushing out the upper abs without getting the back and chest involved seems impossible. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm misunderstanding the directions...
    Last edited by Sirčne; 02-27-2012 at 03:43 AM.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirčne View Post
    This is my issue. I can't seem to keep the "other" group relaxed. I feel like there is an echo in the muscles I don't mean to engage, and pushing out the upper abs without getting the back and chest involved seems impossible. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm misunderstanding the directions...
    Like anything else it is just practice. Relax. Take it slow. If need be start with just the pull in - you can use your hand for feedback - ie you only move under the hand. Relax. Just start with small movements.

    If you tend to be a chest breather you diaphragm may be very out of condition. Maybe just working on pushing out your abdomen when you breathe in and pulling it in when you breathe out might be needed for a while. However, do not use you breath to activate your abs - this is just to become aware of your diaphragm and get it a bit stronger and under conscious control.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Try it when you are very relaxed. In bed, in the shower or bath.

  7. #7
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    I'm experiencing exactly the same trouble, Sirene. Hope we get it soon.
    I agree that trying it while very relaxed helps. Don't plan to work on it...but sometime, when it comes to mind randomly, just try it. I discovered that I do awesome shimmies first thing in the morning, just because my body is so relaxed. It is harder with ab isolations, though...it doesn't seem like something you can do while relaxed, you know? I guess it's a sort of balance like everything else...Haven't found the balance yet though.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    What Kashmir said. It's all practice.

  9. #9
    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    What I used to do is this:

    first grab one hand and stretch to the side, then the other side and wiggle it until your ribs are lifted.

    Now put your hand in the horizontal center of your belly near your belly button. Push your stomach out above your hands, then belly your hands then all of it. thats How I practised.

    hope it helps.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sirčne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    What Kashmir said. It's all practice.
    I don't mind practicing, what I mind is that it doesn't seem to get any easier.

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