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SHOULDERS BACK exercise for Irish Dancers

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Sitting at school/work all day and playing on our phones or working on the computer has caused a bit of a problem for Irish dancers - shoulders rounding forward and head hanging down.

Many dancers will try to compensate by squeezing their shoulder blades together so tightly that their ribs are sticking out, back is arched, and shoulders are pulled way back. They’ll begin their dances like this but as soon as they get to dancing, it’s nearly impossible to maintain this overextended posture and it’s an ineffective way to produce the most power, stability, and control while dancing.

Aesthetically, Irish dancers should strive to maintain a confident looking posture with your spine in neutral alignment (all there curves in the spine present and in good alignment - cervical/neck, thoracic/midback, lumbar/low back). And functionally, the neutral alignment is most beneficial to Irish dancers (and everyone!) as it optimizes balance and breathing, allows activation of the correct muscles during movement, and helps cushion and protect the spine.

How do we get that confident looking posture that is both aesthetically and functionally beneficial for Irish dancers? Yes, you need to strengthen your entire trunk. But to target the common problem for Irish dancers of keeping your shoulders back, you need to strengthen the weak upper & mid back muscles and mobilize the tight shoulder joint.

Begin by mobilizing your shoulder with the single arm mobility series seen in the video. Then if you're ready to take the next step and commit to correcting your posture, join the 30 Day Posture Challenge on the Target Training Online Institute (full details below).

These are three simple moves you can add to your warm-up routine before dance and your at home training.


Check out the 30-Day POSTURE CHALLENGE on the Target Training Online Institute!

Receive 14 DAYS FREE @ the Target Training Online Institute

Irish dance strength & conditioning, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE! Join the Target Training Online Institute today and get a FREE 14-day trial of the Trainer subscription, no code needed.


Ellen G Waller, Irish dance strength and conditioning, Posture exercises for Irish dance

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