Do you know how important strong buttocks are for good dance?
I first want you to try something. Stand up and try to get into the Latin dance position where the pelvis is pulled forward. Now try squeezing your buttocks while you do this.
If you do not do Latin dancing, then just stand normally and squeeze your buttocks.
You should notice how squeezing your buttocks brings the pelvis forward.
This is a simple exercise to show how important your gluteal muscles are to your poster. It is most common in Latin that you need to take a position where your pelvis is tucked and brought forward. However, in all dance it is important that your pelvis is not pulled back too much. This is simply not good dance posture in any style.
If you have well developed gluteal muscles, then you will find it easier to have a better poster naturally.
However, you will also be less likely to have pain or injuries that could be caused by dance or that will prevent you from dancing.
One of my dancing friends recently sustained an injury that while not major in itself caused his gluteal muscles to weaken for a period. This then put extra strain on his groin, which led to another injury that was much more serious than the original dance.
If you don’t have strong well developed buttocks, then you can injure other parts of your body. And it’s not just your groin.
Do you ever have back pain when dancing or just from standing or walking?
If you do, then next time you are feel back pain, try squeezing your buttocks. You will potentially feel that pain go away and notice that your pelvis comes forward.
With strong buttocks you will be much less likely to be injured or unable to dance due to pain.
But that’s not the only benefit to your dance.
Do you ever have trouble lunging?
If you do not have strong buttock, then you will like find lunging puts a large strain on your thigh muscles (often close to the knee) and you might have troubles maintaining good posture in the upper body as you do.
If you find that lunging does prove a challenge, then next time try to focus on using the gluteal muscles on the side you are lunging too. You should find that it is easier and that you have better posture.
I know how much strong buttocks can improve dance, but how do you make them stronger?
How to quickly increase your buttock strength
If you now think you need to work on this, then here’s the easiest way:
When walking focus on flexing your gluteal muscles to help you walk. One your left foot touches the ground, flex the left gluteal muscles. Then the right and so on. You will notice two things:
- Your gluteal muscles can work more than they do when walking
- You will be walking faster with little more effort.
If you want to extend this further, then focus on doing the same thing as you walk up stairs. You will feel the same thing as when you walk, but it will be much more intense.
This is a good start, but you can go further with dedicated exercises. I was recommended this one by the friend I mentioned earlier.
- Buy a Thera band (if you do not have one)
- Stand near a chair or table for support
- Wrap the band around your ankles
- Push you pelvis forward
- Stand upright
- With a straight knee take one of your feet back
- Take your foot back as far as you can while keeping the knee (on the same side) straight and your pelvis forward
- You will really feel it in your buttock if you’re doing it right
Do this 10-20 times each side depending upon how hard it is – this will depend upon your fitness and the stiffness of the band.
If you would like to take this even further then Conditioning for Dance by Eric Franklin is an excellent book. It has a lot on the buttocks and just a lot on dance in general. I use it a lot when I feel a part of my body is not really working quite as well as it could be or needs to be for better dance.