Be a Better Partner: Upper Body Strengthening

From ballet to modern dance, partnering is a crowd pleaser. Noted for its artistry and beauty, it is one of the most difficult parts of dance to master. Here are 5 upper body strengthening moves to help progress your partnering technique.

 

Chaturanga Pose

Yoga is not only wonderful for improving flexibility, but also many yoga movements increase strength and stability as well. The Chaturanga pose strengthens your whole core (from the front all the way into the back). Additionally, it creates stability within the shoulders and arms which is a necessity for partnering. We suggest alternating between downward dog and Chaturanga for a total of 5 reps while holding each pose for 30 seconds.

 

Replace your Partner

Working on gaining strength for a particularly difficult sequence? Replace your partner with weights. This will allow you to repeat the sequence many times without straining your muscles. This will benefit your muscle memory, and it will also teach the correct muscles to fire during lifts.

 

Superman

Feel like a hero and strengthen your back at the same time by doing a series of superman lifts. We like to do 10 reps of lifting for 20 seconds, and relax for ten. While superman lifts do not specifically target your arm muscles, it does target your upper back muscles especially if you focus on pulling your shoulders down and connecting your shoulder blades. These upper back muscles help give stability and more strength to your arm movements.

 

 

Bicep Curl

Grab two free-weights and get curling! While doing curls may seem tedious, they are extremely beneficial to gaining bicep strength. We suggest focusing on keeping your elbows connected to your sides and being aware of your core placement. Is your core placement the same as when you are partnering?

 

Vertical Fly

Lester Horton would be proud of this exercise take on flat back. Like the Superman Lifts, the Vertical Fly also targets you back muscles but also your arm muscles. As in Horton technique, make sure your hips, back, neck and head remain in line. Also, assure you are not locking into your knees.

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