We’ve started tapping into some of the foundational principles of excellent Irish dance posture by digging into how mobilizing and stabilizing the core and shoulders benefits our posture. Once we have these areas in the correct alignment and stable, we can begin working outwards to correct one of the major Irish dance issues, ARMS IN.
When it comes to keeping your arms in, there is one muscle we like to focus on: your latissimus dorsi, also known as your lats. Your lats are a broad, triangular muscle in your back. One of the main functions of the lats is to adduct your arm (bring your arm closer to your midline). For Irish dancers, that means keeping your arms in at your side and holding them there while doing things like kicks, trebles, and jumps.
LAT STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
Lat Pull Downs
To perform this exercise, grab a resistance band overhead with a wide grip, then keeping your core engaged and shoulders down, pull your arms down behind your head.
Glute Press with a Band
Lay on your back with your knees bent and a resistance band over your hips. Hold the resistance band close to your body. Keeping your arms straight on the ground (wrists straight, too!), slowly roll up your hips, keeping your glutes tucked under.
To apply this strength to your dancing, go through these check points in your head.
Drop shoulders down - punching knuckles to the ground.
Lengthen collar bones long
Engage back of armpits by pressing the top, back of your arm to your side. This will activate your lats.
Want to learn more about keeping your arms in? We have an entire video on the TT Online Institute dedicated to ARMS IN!
Our on-demand, subscription based training platform has everything you need for Irish dance strength and conditioning… including a 30 Day Posture Challenge and a NEW Posture video release later this week. Get a FREE 14 day trial of the Trainer subscription, no code needed! Get started today at institute.targettrainingdance.com
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s newsletter where we’ll be adding in the final piece of the Irish dance posture puzzle–keeping your arms straight!