Abs & Back – The Ultimate Double Act
I mentioned in the last blog that muscles work in pairs. These guys are the ultimate double act. If they work well together, we stand tall and are strong. If they’re out of balance we start to get aches, we don’t stand so well and obviously your pole work starts to suffer.
Take a second to think about how you stand. I know this sounds really silly but it’s a good indication of how your abs and back work together. Does your pelvis tilt back or forward? Are your abs reasonably tight or do you let it all hang out? Are your shoulders rounded forward or pulled back. Next time you find a full length mirror, maybe in class, have a check, see how your body is holding itself. We’ll look at this in more detail in another blog, but go check and I’ll get back to you.
So, abs and back. A strong back is as important as strong abs. If one is stronger than the other then it can pull more, take you off balance and lead to general aches or even injury. Again as a point of reference, I’ve put in a couple of poses to help explain what I mean and to give something specific to work on.
I’m a big fan of the handstand and do all kind of varieties of them. In the handstand, the back is contracted which causes the arch and on the other side, the abs are stretching to allow for the movement. One of the big reasons it’s important to be strong in the back is that you want to be able to deliberately create this shape under control as opposed to kind of collapsing into it and risking injury. You want your hips stay above your shoulders so that the key line is held.
This pose shows the same back/ab balance as the handstand but taken further. Again the back has to be strong to create this movement and it has to be under control. Particularly since I switch back up to standing so the abs have to kick in to get me back up. They can’t do that if they’re not properly engaged.
Next time we’ll look at some back strengtheners and maybe even some to do the double act!