Updated: Apr 13, 2020
I was at the Pat Roche Feis & Windy City Feis this weekend and took a break from our Target Training booth to walk around and check out some dancing. As I was studying the dancers, I took notes on areas we can improve a dancer’s technique and optimize their performance through strength and conditioning training. Number 1 on my list, posture!
Read the below 3 tips to improve your Irish dance posture and we’ll follow up later this week with specific exercises for each tip.
Strengthen your upper body - Irish dancers tend to be incredibly imbalanced between their lower and upper body strength. And in order to keep your shoulders “locked in” and arms by your side when you are dancing, you need to strengthen your upper body. The trick is to focus on your trapezius muscles in your upper back and the triceps muscles on the back of your arms.
Strengthen and engage your core - Most of the movements in Irish dance originate in the core. While core strengthening exercises have grown in popularity for Irish dancers, the trick is for dancers to utilize their core strength when dancing by engaging their core. Improving your core strength and engaging your core throughout your steps with allow you to enhance your posture, alignment, stability and increase your power.
Stretch your hamstrings - If you have tight hamstrings (back of your leg between your knee and bum) and kick your leg up straight for a click, swing, or leap, one of two things will happen. 1 - your knee will bend, 2 - your posture will loose control. If your hamstrings are too tight and you push them to kick higher than they’re capable, your body will compensate by bending at the waist, arms popping out, shoulders rolling forward etc. Stretch your hamstrings and you’ll start seeing that translate into improved posture!
Check back in later this week for exercise that go along with our 3 tips!
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