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Thread: The Hip Lift

  1. #1
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    Default The Hip Lift

    Total beginner male bellydancer here.

    Just came back from an awesome one-hour private and she really highlighted a huge trouble spot for me..

    Apparently , whenever I try to hip lift to the side, I end up jutting my hip ''out'' instead of ''up'' and towards my armpit.

    i totally understood what she was wanting but my body just would not cooperate. I am used to the hip motion executed in Salsa where the hip is pushed out, never up.

    Having the teacher hold my hips and push them into the hip lift action really helped out a lot. Unfortunately doing it on my own doesnt come so easy.

    Anyone have any tips, tools or exercises that could help my hips learn to ''lift'' properly?
    Thanks!

    (P.S.- Ive done a lot of things in my life-- from football, salsa, ballet, swimming, baseball and basketball. An without a doubt, I'd have to say that this was one of the hardest things I've ever done.)

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    She also mentioned that none of my ''lifting'' contractions to the front, the sides or the back, were strong enough.

    She stated that it needs to look as if I am trying to grab a pencil. Lord knows I tried. i thought BellyDancing would be a walk in the park after several years of hip-swaying Salsa... boy was i wrong! I have zero hip control or strength it seems.

    Help!

  3. #3
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Try standing on one foot while practicing with the opposite hip. It's easier to keep your balance when lifting than when pushing out.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    To pull straight up you actually have to engage extra muscles to counter the natural body movement out and up. Try visualizations eg a string from the hip to your armpit. Try with your hands framing either side of the hips (and a mirror to check you aren't cheating). Also try with your side and hip, up against a door or wall.

    With my own students we work on the hip rock - ie smooth up/down on both feet for a while until they can get that movement vertical. If you natural hip rock pushes out, you can be pretty certain a hip lift or drop will as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Try standing on one foot while practicing with the opposite hip. It's easier to keep your balance when lifting than when pushing out.
    Thank you so much!

    I most definitely will try this!

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Try standing on one foot while practicing with the opposite hip. It's easier to keep your balance when lifting than when pushing out.
    But do make sure the standing leg is vertical (ie the hip not pushed out) and the knee soft - not locked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Try standing on one foot while practicing with the opposite hip. It's easier to keep your balance when lifting than when pushing out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    To pull straight up you actually have to engage extra muscles to counter the natural body movement out and up. Try visualizations eg a string from the hip to your armpit. Try with your hands framing either side of the hips (and a mirror to check you aren't cheating). Also try with your side and hip, up against a door or wall.

    With my own students we work on the hip rock - ie smooth up/down on both feet for a while until they can get that movement vertical. If you natural hip rock pushes out, you can be pretty certain a hip lift or drop will as well.
    Oh wow. This is superb advice. By potential ''cheating'' doing you mean using the door frame as leverage?

    Your hip rock technique sounds exactly like what i need to be utilizing, but cant seem to visualize it. Do you know of where i could perhaps find a video example of it to see it?

    Thank you so much.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Anetta's Avatar
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    Maybe your body has "memorised" a different variation of the move (to the side) and refuses to do this slight change (to the up). It has happened to me too! You need to take control of your muscles, and to connect your body to your brain's instructions... and that comes with practice!

    My suggestion (similar to Kashmir's advice):
    Stand next to a piece of furniture that is as tall as your waist (i.e. a chair or kitchen drawers).
    Now imagine that this is a very hot surface and you must not touch it.. convince yourself that it is really hot!
    Practice the move as Kashmir, Shanazel or your teacher instructed, but always think of not touching the "burning surface". Do not put much effort to do the perfect move, your priority is to avoid the surface!
    That way, your brain will forget about salsa or any other memorized move, and really focus on trying not to be burnt.

    This trick has helped me a lot with isolation moves and similar "body memory" issues
    Last edited by Anetta; 06-14-2015 at 08:10 AM.

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    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Cheating as in doing something differently than what you should do, such as pushing your hip out instead of up or tilting your upper body towards the hip you are trying to lift.

    If you need to get to know the muscles used to lift the hip, another practice trick (particularly valuable for those who would rather use the leg to push up the hip) is to lift it while standing on your toes with straight legs (still soft knees) and then lift. Walk with it and lift right/left hip alternatively. An alternative, if you have strong thighs and knees, is to lift one hip at the time when squatting.

    If you don't have a mirror and need to feel if your hips go out or in, place yourself with one hip towards a wall/chair (anything that is at least as high as your hips and won't move easily) with your hip touching it gently. Lift the hip touching the wall/chair/whatever-you've-chosen. Be aware if you are a) loosing contact with the wall/etc (i.e. your other hip is pushing out) or b) if your hip is trying to push towards the wall (i.e. pushing it outwards) or c) your foot move forwards or backwards (i.e. you're adding a twist pushing it forwards/backwards).

    Another visualization trick is to imagine yourself as a marionette puppet where the puppeteer draws the string for one of the hips straight up.
    And yet another visualization trick is that you are moving your hips within a very tight frame/groove. It can't go forwards or backwards or sideways, just up and down.
    Last edited by Daimona; 06-15-2015 at 11:54 AM. Reason: added an alternative and some more
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  10. #10
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anetta View Post
    Maybe your body has "memorised" a different variation of the move (to the side) and refuses to do this slight change (to the up). It has happened to me too! You need to take control of your muscles, and to connect your body to your brain's instructions... and that comes with practice!

    My suggestion (similar to Kashmir's advice):
    Stand next to a piece of furniture that is as tall as your waist (i.e. a chair or kitchen drawers).
    Now imagine that this is a very hot surface and you must not touch it.. convince yourself that it is really hot!
    Practice the move as Kashmir, Shanazel or your teacher instructed, but always think of not touching the "burning surface". Do not put much effort to do the perfect move, your priority is to avoid the surface!
    That way, your brain will forget about salsa or any other memorized move, and really focus on trying not to be burnt.

    This trick has helped me a lot with isolation moves and similar "body memory" issues
    Pardon the slight temporary railroading, by a MOD yet, of posted topic:

    CRAAAAAP!!! I did "Dislike" this post on accident!!! *tries to fix it---fails*


    okay, carry on while I crawl back under my rock...

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