5 Exercises That Can Help Strengthen Your Core
Dancing is an intense physical activity that involves the use of the entire body – arms, legs, feet, shoulders, hips. A dancer is using all of these parts of the body to execute various movements going from one to the next. At the center of all these movements is the dancer’s core! A strong core is important in not only being able to smoothly move through a routine, it’s also vital in preventing injury and the subsequent aches and pains. Our staff at Nan’s School of Dance understand how important core strength is to our dancers and have put together a list of exercises that will help strengthen your core!
Why Is Core Strength Important?
A dancer’s core is their body’s entire support system. The core
- surrounds and supports the spine and pelvis
- connects the upper body with the lower
The core involves
- the deepest layer of ab muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis
- the oblique muscles, which facilitate side-to-side movement as well as body rotation
- the top ab muscles, that help the body bend forward and backward
- the pelvic floor muscles, which stabilize the spine and diaphragm
Together, this system controls all the movements of the body, including the torso as well as the arms and legs. Dancers use their core to help control the body’s movements and maintain a stable center of gravity when moving through different positions. If a dancer’s core is weak, it creates a potential for shoulder, hip, knee, and lower back injury.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Core
Improving your core strength greatly benefits your ability to learn and perform dance steps and moves. That’s why exercising to improve your core strength is so valuable! As you begin, try to repeat each of these exercises about 5 times. As your core strengthens, you can build up the repetitions to 10-15. Remember to listen to your body and do not push yourself.
Here are some easy exercises you can perform in order to improve your core strength:
- Assume a pushup position. Bend your elbows, place your forearms flat on the floor and point your toes toward the ground.
- Tighten your abs and keep your back straight as you hold this position for as long as possible.
- Reverse Crunch:
- Lie on your back with your legs fully extended, arms at your sides, and palms on the floor.
- Move your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
- Keep your feet together and breathe in as you pull your knees toward your chest.
- Roll your pelvis backward and raise your hips and upper back off the floor.
- Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds. Exhale as you release your body to the beginning position.
- Butterfly Sit-up:
- Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together. Bend your knees out to the side and reach your arms above your head.
- Tighten your abs and roll your body up to a sitting position. Reach forward and touch your toes.
- Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat right away.
- Lie on your stomach and extend your arms and legs. Raise your head, your right arm, and your left leg about 10-15 cm off the floor.
- Hold this position for a count of three. Lower your arm and leg back to the start position. Repeat with the left arm and right leg.
- Lie on your back and bend your legs at a 90-degree angle. Rest your feet flat on the floor.
- Lift your hips and back from the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
Want to Read More About Dance?
Take a look at some of our other articles about dance.
So why Nan’s school of dance?
At Nan’s School of Dance, our goal is to provide top-quality instruction at a competitive price. We encourage our students to reach technical proficiency in their favorite dance form and build self-discipline, poise, and self-esteem. We offer instruction in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Acro, and Pre-Dance, at all levels.
We love having new members in our dance classes and will help get your child acclimated to our dance school to make them feel right at home. When your child attends Nan’s School of Dance, they will become a part of our dance family and share in our love for dance!
Don’t forget to register!
From ballet to hip hop, we offer dance classes for ALL ages and skill levels in a variety of styles. We place students in classes that will challenge them while offering a fun atmosphere for learning and growth. We also offer Mommy & Me classes, (18 months – 2.5 years). Register online or give us a call at 919-803-6044 to hold your spot!