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Pull up with your abs

by Karen Clippinger




The cue to "pull up" or "lift" is often used in conjunction with the abdominal muscles (e.g., "pull up or lift with your abdominals") in response to seeing a dancer that is excessively arching the low back and anteriorly tilting the pelvis. A desired anatomical interpretation of this cue is to contract the abdominal muscles such that the inferior attachment onto the pelvis is the moving end, rotating the pelvis posteriorly and decreasing lumbar hyperlordosis to achieve the desired neutral position of the pelvis and normal curvature of the lumbar spine. However, some dancers misinterpret this cue as one directing them to pull up the superior attachment of the abdominal muscles onto the rib cage, requiring contraction of the thoracic spinal extensors versus abdominal muscles and resulting in "rib leading," or undesired backward movement of the upper back. Dancers can be assisted in achieving the desired intent of "pulling up" by standing with one side to the mirror for visual feedback and using one hand to maintain the lower anterior rib cage in its desired neutral position while the other hand is placed on the low abdomen to encourage the use of the abdominal muscles to lift the pelvis to a neutral position as shown in the illiustration.

 

This is an excerpt from Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology.




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Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology
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