Abs Workout
The Secret to Success

An effective abs workout could be all you need to get your abdominal muscles strong. Your core strength is crucial as a dancer and will help with your general strength, balance and stability in ballet.

You will notice most professional ballet dancers have a very strong, toned stomach. It can come very naturally with the intense training, however, you must work on your core stability to feel more in control of your movements.

Ballet requires a certain strength in the abdominals that is very deep and within the center of your muscles.

Pilates is an ideal exercise for dancers as it is all about core strength.

It increases your core stability and gives your abdominal's strength in a deeper way than any other abs workout.

There are many different exercises in pilates to strengthen the abdominals, but the secret to success is to make sure you do the exercises correctly.

Throughout the exercises you have to try and maintain a flat stomach and keep your abdominals pulled in. Flat abs come from the deep scoop of the abdominals so always focus on not crunching or bunching the abs.


abs-workout

Here are some examples of effective abs workout that you can practice -

100's


1. Lie face up and bring legs up, keeping them straight and together. 

2. Lift head and shoulders off the ground, pulling in the abs (don't let them bulge out) and bringing hands next to thighs. 

3. Lower the legs as much as you can while keeping your back on the floor and press hands up and down, counting with each press. 

4. Inhale for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts and repeat until you hit 100, lowering your legs once again halfway through.

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V-Sits

V-sits are a floor exercise that also strengthens the deep abdominal muscles.

1. Sit on the floor and bring your legs into your chest.

2. Focus your attention on your core muscles while slowly straightening your legs, pointing them out and up.

3. Raise your arms to maintain your balance. Your body should form a “V”-shape. Hold this position for the count of 10.

4. Keep your back as straight as possible and do not push out your stomach.

Roll Up

1. Lie flat on your back, arms stretched above your head, ribcage down.

2. Leave your shoulders down and your scapula settled in your back as you bring your arms overhead, nod your chin and begin to curl your upper body forward.

3. Continue rolling up off floor as you deepen the scoop of the abs and reach your arms forward, parallel to your legs.

4. Begin with a deep pull in of the lower abs to start to roll back down. Continue to roll down, one vertebrae at a time

Criss Cross

1. Lie on your back in neutral spine, shins up - parallel to the floor.

2. Place your hands behind your head, supporting the base of the skull, elbows wide.

3. Leaving the pelvis in a neutral position (not tucked or hyper-extended), scoop the abdominals and curl the chin and shoulders off the mat.

4. 

Extend your left leg out straight at a 45 degree angle. 
Keep your elbows wide and chest open as you rotate your torso so that your left armpit is reaching for your right knee. 


5. Switch legs, bringing your trunk through center.


6. Extend your right leg, and rotate your upper body towards your left knee.

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