Six pack Abs – Rock-solid six-pack abs may be alluring. But having them doesn’t guarantee you the core strength to support ballet’s complex movements, like coordinated pirouettes and controlled extensions. That abdominal strength lies much deeper and requires more subtle work than crunches.
The deep abdominals and other muscles of the core, like the lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor and diaphragm, are particularly important for ballet dancers with extreme flexibility in their spine and hips – When these core muscles are properly engaged, they help prevent injury and stabilize the body to give you better support in your extensions and turns.
Strengthening this area, however, won’t feel like a typical ab workout. “These muscles can be difficult to find because they won’t give the sensation of burning when exercised,” – When the transversus abdominis is engaged, you can locate it by wrapping your thumbs and fingers around your waist and resting the fingertips between the pelvic bones (as shown at below). If you feel a gentle tension along the inner edges of the pelvis, you’re using the muscle. Experts recommends the following exercises, which can be done daily, to build deep abdominal strength. But be patient, this work requires focus and slow, gentle activation.
Six pack Abs – Abdominal Hollowing
1- Kneel on all fours, and let your stomatch completely relax and fall toward the floor, so you can. Suggestion: Working next to a mirror, so you can make sure you’re maintening a flat back throughout the exercise.
2- Using a long exhale, draw the abdominals in toward the spine, you can even make a soft “ha” sound as you exhale. Hold for 10 seconds and continue breathing normally befor relaxing the belly. Do 10 reps. As you get stronger, gradually increase the duration of the contraction to 20 or 30 seconds.
Contracting on the Floor
1- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
2- Use the breath to slowly draw the belly button in, keeping a neutral pelvis. Imagine that you’re zipping up tight jeans and must pull your belly in to do so. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds before releasing. Do 10 reps.
Try these Variations:
Once you’re familiar with the sensation of engaging the transversus abdominis, challenge yourself by integrating more movement. Each uses the same starting position as above and can be done for 10-20 reps.
Slowly drop one knee open as far you can while keeping the opposite hip down. Return it to the starting position and alternate legs.
Lift and lower one foot at a time slightly off the floor, taking small marching steps.
Flex one foot and slide the heel along the floor until the leg is straight. Draw it back in and continue switching legs.