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  1. #1
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    Sad I Can't Do Flutter

    After trying for 4 years, I still can't do flutter. Don't understand which muscle to use. Do I push out? Do I hold in? Do I use the breath? Do I use the lower abs. at all? Do I move the ribcage? Please, please help!

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by npeterko View Post
    After trying for 4 years, I still can't do flutter. Don't understand which muscle to use. Do I push out? Do I hold in? Do I use the breath? Do I use the lower abs. at all? Do I move the ribcage? Please, please help!
    You use your diaphragm - that's the muscle in the v between the bottom of your ribs. Do not use the lower abs at all.

    Try and not use your breath or you'll faint. However, if need be use your breath to find your diaphragm. Breathe out expanding your belly; breathe in emptying your belly.

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    Thank you Kashmir for the reply. I know how to move my diaphragm, but not much. Many times teachers show me their perfect flutters but can't tell how to get there. Any tips on how to practice? Thanks.

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    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Do I push out? Do I hold in? Do I use the breath? Do I use the lower abs. at all? Do I move the ribcage?
    The flutter is a contraction and release of the diaphram muscle. You do not move the ribs, nor the abs and no fast in and out breathing (actually you hold your breath). The shimmy is created because the contraction and relase happens in very quick successsion. And a totally vital element that many dvd's and teachers forget to pass on is that your abdominal muscles need to be really relaxed. Think of when you generate a shimmy with your hips, if you are tensing all your muscles, you are not allowing the shimmy to travel up and happen - you're fighting it. Only when you have developed the skill to contract and release your diaphram rapidly AND relax your abs will you get that nice, juicy, rippling shimmy across your tummy.

    Quote Originally Posted by npeterko View Post
    Any tips on how to practice? Thanks.
    Contract the diaphram. Over and over and over and over again. You can also do little strength building by placing your finger tips in the V (where Kashmir said) pushing your fingers in and then use your diaphram to push them out. Create resistance preasure. Kashmir made an excellent point about not using your breath to create it but that it can be a helpful temporary tool to figure out and connect to the diaphram. Just like learning any other shimmy, don't focus on going fast at first. Just build up to a contract/release in nice and even 'pulses'. Do that until you're really solid at it. Set a goal for yourself to build up to, say, 15 contractions in 5 seconds. When you get to that point. Hold your breath, totally relaxing your tummy and... shimmy that diaphram

    Just for fun, I counted my flutter right now and I get in about 30 contractions in 5 seconds. It's very easy for me to do now BUT I remember it took practice to be able to do it, then more practice to be able to sustain it (for longer than 2 seconds) and then to do it in performance was another learning curve. You have to learn how to control your breathing while performing - just in general and especially to use the flutter. Dancing full force and in the middle of it all comfortably holding your breath for ten seconds or so and not look like your asfixiating Just stick with it and I bet you'll get a satisfying result
    Last edited by Salome; 04-11-2009 at 12:20 AM. Reason: I can't spell

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    Junior Member su_raiya's Avatar
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    npeterko- don't worry - it takes time Be patient

    You can also try to do it in a different position - put your hands over your bended knees, hold your breath and having your belly totally relaxed try to contract and release your diaphragm... at the beginning try to do it slowly to feel it and to understand what's happening in your body:-) Do it for a short periods of time... but systematically When you feel ready try to make it faster, and faster... ;-)
    Many of my students find it easier to start in this position but it is always very individual. You dance long enough to know your body well - you can try this method - maybe it will work for you
    I keep my fingers crossed for your diaphragm

    Suraiya
    Last edited by su_raiya; 04-11-2009 at 02:48 AM.

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    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    I teach my students like this:
    first to start with pulling in the stomach and let go. Make sure not to lift the chest at the same time. Repeat this movement slowly and breath slowly. You can spead it up, but very slowly and keep beathing slowly, there's the trick: if you start breathing with the movement it will look funny and you get out of breath. Most people can learn it in a few weeks time if they try it this way.
    Good luck!

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    V.I.P. alosha's Avatar
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    so salome, when i make the goal to push my fingers out with my diaphragm, my lower abs go a bit too.... should i still practice pushing out and hopefully get it without the lower abs? and I can pull my diaphragm IN without using the abs, so maybe i'm halfway there??

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    Member SmilingMarie's Avatar
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    Salome, what an excellent explanation - everything makes sense now.
    I've been in a workshop once where it was taught and I just remember the bit about the breathing. The instructor said to practice 'shallow breathing' ie breathing without using/filling the stomach, keeping the beath only in the upper chest area. Obvs this would be no good for longer periods of full force dancing but would still allow you to breathe whilst doing the flutter (breathing is always good! I often remind my students of this in class when they are engrossed in the latest move - sometimes they focus so hard they nearly forget!).

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    [QUOTE=Salome;110321]The flutter is a contraction and release of the diaphram muscle.
    Thank you all for your input.

    Salome, would you make sure that I understand your suggestions correctly?

    --I need to practice "contract and release, contract and release, ..." . Not "expand and contract". Not "expand and release". Is this correct?

    --When I contract my diaphram, my lower abs. goes a little with it. How do I isolate my diaphram completely?

    --What kind of music would go along with this practice?

    Thank you again for your support.

  10. #10
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    Diaphragm Medical Information (image)

    Understanding where the diaphragm is will help you. As you can see, it is attached to the ribs, so when you move it the ribs are going to move. The thing is, you are not trying to move the ribs... they will just naturally move when you move the diaphragm. The movement that the diaphragm makes is to expand the ribcage and inflate the lungs. Therefore, when you try to do your flutter, your ribcage my move a little bit, both up and down and in and out, just due to the action of the diaphragm, but it is not a pronounced movement or intentional movement on your part. That said, hold your breath and try to "breathe". Now that you know what and where your diaphragm is, try everything mentioned above.

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