What is core control?
Your core is made up of all the muscles that help you steady and run through the trunk of your body. As a result, the core is more than just your abdominal muscles. It also includes the muscles on your sides, back, and through your pelvis. The transverse abdominis, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and multifidus (muscles in between your vertebrae) are deep core muscles. In contrast, the rectis abdominis, obliques, erector spinae, and gluteal muscles are outer core muscles. While the outer group comprises huge, active moving muscles, the deep group is a supporting group that functions on a more delicate level. It’s critical to find a happy medium between the two. We often over-activate our exterior muscles and overlook the inner muscles, which are as vital.
How exactly does the core help dance technique?
When dancing, you must maintain balance while performing a range of difficult manoeuvres. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to complete difficult dance routines without losing control and ensuring that you always finish them safely and firmly. It also improves stamina by involving your core in breathing and making your motions more effective. Bodies that are out of control use energy!
Dancers should strengthen their core muscles in various postures and motions because they operate together in coordinated ways to stabilize the body. Three former ballet dancers who are now Pilates instructors recommend the following exercises for improving overall core strength.
Double and Single leg pelvic curls with the ball
Step 1: Place the ball against the wall and lie down on your back with your heels on the ball and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle.
Step 2: Exhale and gently press the heels into the ball, rolling the pelvis and spine off the mat one bone at a time until the hips are high and the knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line.
Step 3: Inhale deeply and exhale slowly, peeling back down through the spine until you are flat on your back.
Repeat ten times and then try with one leg only. As you get better, you can move the ball away from the wall.
Criss Cross with adductor squeeze
Step 1: Lie down on your back, knees bent, feet flat. Between your knees, place a softball. Then, with your elbows open, place your hands behind your neck.
Step 2: Lift your head and shoulders off the mat, keeping your pelvis in a neutral position.
Step 3: Exhale while gently squeezing the ball with your left elbow crossed over your right knee.
Step 4: Take a deep breath and rotate your torso to the centre, letting go of the squeeze.
Step 5: Take a deep breath out and cross your right elbow over your left knee.
Maintain the chest lift by alternating sides. Increase the number of reps until you reach ten.
Kneeling glute lift
Step 1: Create a neutral spine position on your hands and knees, with your knees exactly under your hips and your hands beneath your shoulders.
Step 2: As you exhale, shift your weight to your left knee and raise your right foot to the sky, keeping your knee bent, foot flexed, and leg parallel. (Take care to keep your spine in alignment)
Step 3: As you inhale, return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg.
Perform ten reps on one side before switching sides. Then, while keeping appropriate alignment, try ten reps extending the opposing arm forward.