core strength for irish dance
Fitness and Conditioning
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How to build up your core strength for Irish dance – Part 2

Did you try any of our basic core strength exercises from last week? We have a few more for you from our experts that are more advanced and will definitely get your muscles firing!

Professional dancer and personal trainer Chloey Turner says, “After perfecting (the previous) stabilisation exercises with correct technique for at least a month, you’re ready to move on to some more advanced strengthening exercises. Two exercises use a Stability Ball; as the name suggests this will really test your stabilising muscles, and concentrate on building a solid core.” She adds, “learning to engage your core whilst dancing will keep you strong during every step!”

As with all our advice, please consult a doctor, TCRG, parent, or physiotherapist before starting any new exercises. This is meant as a guide only.

Stability Ball Crunches

Irish dancing ready to feis core strength ball crunches 2Irish dancing ready to feis core strength ball crunches 1

Lie with your lower back on the ball, placing your feet on the floor with knees at 90 degrees. Put your hands just behind the ears with elbows parallel to the ground and look up to the ceiling. Keep your gluteal muscles (bottom) engaged during this exercise to keep you in a neutral position. Slowly and with control, use your abdominal muscles to pull your torso up to the ceiling, then return back to the starting position. Repeat this action 10-15 times.

Stability Ball Leg Raise

Irish dancing ready to feis core strength ball leg raises 1 Irish dancing ready to feis core strength ball leg raises 2

Lie with your back on the floor, draw your belly button to the ground, and keep your hands by your side. Legs are straight with feet either side of the ball. Now press your feet into the ball to keep it sturdy and raise it off the ground until the soles of your feet are in line with the ceiling, then lower it to the start position and repeat this movement 10-15 times. Be sure not to let your back arch or move.

Prone Back Extension

Irish dancing ready to feis core strength prone back extension

Lie with your belly on the floor, place the backs of both hands on your forehead, and straighten your legs with toes pointed down. Lift up from the chest and hold. For some dancers this will be easy, for others it will be more difficult. Aim to hold this for 30 seconds to begin with and progress to 1-2 minutes.

Lower Back Superman

Irish dancing ready to feis core strength superman back extension

Lie with your belly on the floor, put both arms out in front of you, straighten your legs with toes pointed down. Raise your right arm and your left leg slowly at the same time then repeat this with the opposite arm and leg 20 times in total.

Download our handy pdf by clicking here, print it out, and add these core exercises to your weekly routine!

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