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  1. #1
    Junior Member lilya's Avatar
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    Default Stuck on hip slide technique

    I've searched the forum a couple of times trying to see if this particular issue was discussed before but I haven't found anything specific for very basics of the hip slide. (I am linking below a few things I did find very helpful; apologies if I've missed an earlier topic...) I hadn't noticed before this year that my slides are anything but horizontal, but it came up in three different instances, one while I was trying to polish up my mayas and once yesterday, trying a different approach to get the slide. I never thought this could be why the top semicircles of my mayas are so much ampler than the bottom ones - there's no clear "out" without "up" for me.

    My instructors have talked about the obliques and I know mine are weak (according to physiotherapist and to them never ever feeling sore), but there seems to be a more fundamental problem in my head: I don't quite get the intended mechanics of the motion. If I wanted to do a hip slide to the right, should I try to focus on (1) "lengthening" the right obliques, on (2) contracting the left ones (sort of like a side crunch) or (3) both? If the obliques on both sides are supposed to contribute, are they working simultaneously or should I start crunching as the slide starts to lift away from the horizontal?

    Also, I found that I can keep it closer to horizontal if I (4) recruit the glutes, but these are my other very weak muscle group and the contraction needs to be so forceful that I am unable to use them for anything else on either side. Something is happening in the (5) lower abs, too, but they are not so fine-tuned as to drive the motion; I also wonder, since this is beginner technique, how often are the lower abs the source of the slide for beginners who do it successfully. I am trying to not think about any (6) muscles on the front side of the legs, although my quads have this habit of promptly contracting pretty much at all times for some reason.

    I think that further strengthening of the culprits (obliques and glutes) may bring a lot of improvement, but I feel that since they are there, however weak, I should still be able to achieve half a decently-looking slide, even if the range is nothing to write home about. I did find a discussion that encouraged me, as well as a great way to work on it in a figure 8-related topic (#12, Aziyade's advice on how to keep working on the slide). I might be a tad too anxious about working on it the wrong way, e.g., with too many muscles...

    Oh, dear, this post is looong! Sorry! This is the level of "stuck" I find myself at: "struck" by how a seemingly simple element has eluded me for so long. Thanks for any suggestions or ideas!
    Last edited by lilya; 12-31-2017 at 03:08 AM. Reason: unsuccessfully trying to shorten the post

  2. #2
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Oh dear. I had a heck of a time learning how to do flat slides - and Maias for that matter, but I'm a male which means I had to "break my hips free" before I could do side-to-side movements worth a darn because I had the typical "locked up" male hips.

  3. #3
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Oh, lord, if I'd had to think in technical terms of anatomy and kinesiology, I'd never have learned to dance. Try this: tape a piece of bright colored yarn horizontally across your mirror at hipbone level. Tape another piece of yarn vertically on the mirror. Stand back until your hips line up with the horizontal yarn and your body lines up with the vertical yarn. Starting with a very narrow range of movement, slide your hips from side to side, keeping your hipbones level with the yarn. If to begin with you can only slide an inch without tilting your hips or throwing your body off center- well, that's good. As you practice, you'll build up strength and flexibility to extend the slide further.

    Be sure your posture is correct. Bad posture (can anyone say "duck butt?") makes a hip slide all but impossible to do.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 12-31-2017 at 07:01 PM.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #4
    Junior Member lilya's Avatar
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    Thank you, thank you both! I'm so sorry I've had the energy level of a sleeping sloth after the full supermoon of the New Year (tht must have been it!) made me pull an involuntary all-nighter. I was hoping to report back an iota of progress, but with age it's becoming more evident that all-nighters are no good on my physical and mental functions well into the next days. With the help of melatonin tonight (this is a first for me, seems to have worked on insomniac partner) I am hoping to finally get back on track tomorrow and start working on it like you suggested, Shanazel. Zorba, you gave me the idea to try more hip-opening exercises in the warm up. Live class starts next week and that iota of improvement would be great!

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Mayas were never my strong point either but I finally mastered it. And as for hip slides, just don't push your body any farther than it can go. Not all bodies can do all things.

  6. #6
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilya View Post
    Zorba, you gave me the idea to try more hip-opening exercises in the warm up. Live class starts next week and that iota of improvement would be great!
    Warm ups are good, esp. when you've reached - *ahem* - a certain age like I have!

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