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  1. #1
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    Default How does the posture contribute to technique?

    Finally just completed my first beginner group class.

    My teacher in class told us that by learning to tuck under, we are contracting our lower abs, and thus will be forced to use our lateral flexors and abdomen more instead of our legs.

    Is this true?

  2. #2
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    As a side note, I can really feel it working the muscles in my lower back also. Is this normal?

  3. #3
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    It's not quite how I would explain it. The pelvis should be neutral, rather than 'tucked under' - but because a lot of people have weak core muscles and are used to overextending their lower backs, it can *feel* like tucking to begin with. Lower abs should be engaged, yes.

    The other vital elements are that knees should never be locked, shoulders should be open (aligned with your ears) and relaxed, and your ribcage should be aligned over your hips. The ribcage position is very important - lots of dance students lean back with the upper body, and this causes difficulties. Your bottom ribs should be aligned above your hip bones, with the front of the ribcage 'zipped up' rather than flared out. I tell my students to imagine a rubber band on each side, connecting their bottom rib to their hipbone. It is true that the ribcage should be 'lifted', but this means lifting from both front and back by engaging the core muscles, rather than trying to puff up or lift your chest at the front. You are aiming for a feeling of length and freedom in your spine, and freedom of movement in your torso. Good alignment allows your hips to move freely and safely.

    A couple of my favourite posture exercises/visualisations:

    - To engage lower abs - imagine you are 'zipping up' a really tight pair of jeans.
    - Standing with good dance posture, try to slowly slightly bend your knees, without letting your head get any lower. This will be a very subtle movement, but you should feel a slight lengthening in your torso, and your core muscles working. When you straighten your knees, you will be a little taller
    - Similarly, you can imagine that there is a string on the very top of your head, holding you up like a puppet.

  4. #4
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I can understand "zipping up," but how can a student prevent their ribcage from "flaring out"? o.0 I can't even begin to imagine what that must feel like! It sounds kind of torturous!

  5. #5
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    I can understand "zipping up," but how can a student prevent their ribcage from "flaring out"? o.0 I can't even begin to imagine what that must feel like! It sounds kind of torturous!
    It's hard to explain. Kind of letting the ribcage tilt backwards, and the bottom ribs stick out and move further apart. Which is what a lot of people will do when asked to lift their chest.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    I don't think a neutral pelvis makes you use your lateral flexors. I can certainly still use them in neutral.

    If you are using your lateral flexors they should be aided by the quadratus lumborum (the QLs). Overuse can lead to tightness. However over tucking can lead to soreness too. The former needs massage and more fitness, the latter correction of posture (that's why I don't like to use "tuck" - too hard and most people over correct).

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