DRM411H1 Study Guide - List Of Flexors Of The Human Body, Adductor Muscles Of The Hip, Lumbar Vertebrae

Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Course Code
David Roberts

of 19
Theory of Dance Notes:
Pp 133-147 in Clippinger Text
Strength Exercises for the Spine
-exercises must match each dancer’s current level of strength and skill, use a variety
-start with pure spinal flexion and spinal extension exercises, then add rotation and lateral flexion as the dancer
-ab exercises should be performed with greater frequency/more sets than extensor exercises because back extensors
make greater improvements in strength than other muscles with just one workout per week
-more back exercises may be beneficial as the dancer ages, thus more back extension necessary to counter kyphosis and
decrease in spinal extensor size
-consider static and dynamic alignment of the individual hyperlordosis dancers benefit from greater abdominal work
while dancers with fatigue/flat back postume need back extension exercises
Spinal Flexor (Abdominal) Strengthening
-important for preventing lumbar lordosis, generating IAP, stabilizing spine, preventing back injury
-important to achieve desired aesthetic in many dance movements
-important to emphasize pulling the abdominal wall in and up toward the spine to challenge transverse abdominis
Spinal Extensor Strengthening
-important for stabilizing the spine, bending torso forward and back when upright, and arching the back
-important to prevent undesired forward movement of torso in movements such as arabesque, split jumps, or lifting
dancer overhead
-thoracic extensors important to prevent kyphosis and prevent upper back from falling forward
-to target upper back extensors, pelvis must be actively “pulled up”, not allowed to tilt forward, thus lumbar spine not
excessively hyperextended
Spinal Lateral Flexor Strengthening
-strong spinal lateral flexors important for floor movements involving rising from lying on the side, side-bending
(common in modern and jazz dance)
-dancers often allow lumbar spine to excessively arch when bending to the side as a result of inadequate co-contraction of
Spinal Rotator Strengthening
-strong spinal rotators necessary for stabilization and movement of the spine
-many injuries to the back involve rotation, so particularly important to strengthen and use proper mechanics
-subtle use during lifting of one arm or one leg (e.g., arabesque)
-greater use involved in torso twisting relative to pelvis (e.g., jazz isolations, many movement phrases in modern and jazz
-most spinal flexors and extensors capable of producing rotation
-important to keep spine flexed as torso rotates and NOT let one shoulder drop and low back flatten or arch
-lifting one leg to any spinal extension exercise will produce slight spinal rotation
-amount of spinal extension present when rotation added will influence region of spine involved in rotation, as well as
which muscles/regions of muscles are involved, thus varied positions should be engaged in (co-contract abs to prevent
hyperextension of lumbar spine)
Stretches for the Spine
-elite female ballet dancers found to have an average of 79 degrees of spinal hyperextension (20-30 degrees in normal
population), male dancer average of 65 degrees
-often combines with strenches for the hip performed standing, sitting, or at the barre
-many structures other than muscles constrain movement of the spine, including ligaments, discs and bony processes,
thus take care that body is warmed and stretch is slow with minimal force, proper positioning of the body
-note the extreme individual variation in spinal motions, work carefully to increase or maintain range of one’s particular
structure rather than forcibly trying to match someone else’s
-strengthening exercises that work to dynamically maintain range while building strength to support increased mobility
recommended over stretching outside of class if have extreme range of motion already
Spinal Extensor (Spinal Flexion) Stretches
-need adequate flexibility of spinal extensors to allow full forward ben of spine, posterior tilt of pelvis, lifting leg very high
to the front, prevention of lumbar hyperlordosis
-stretching can help relieve soreness and tightness of spinal extensors (often because fatigued and tight with dance
because they are postural muscles)
-double knee to chest offers a position in which pressure within intervertebral discs is low (commonly recommended for
low back pain)
-maintaining upper back in extension and pulling abs back toward spine and keeping vertical pelvis isolates lumbar area
in the stretch
Spinal Flexor (Spinal Hyperextension) Stretches
-require adequate flexibility of spinal flexors (abdominals) to allow for full arching of the back
-important for a healthy back, particularly in males
-extreme range (hypermobility) and low value (hypomobility) increase risk for low back trouble
-these stretches should only be done if no history of lumbar lordosis or low back pain, start slowly, always stay in pain-
free range
-can also improve range in spine hyperextension by performing exercises with hips on an exercise ball, or back arched
over the ball
Spinal Lateral Flexor Stretches
-adequate flexibility of lateral flexors important to allow spine to bend fully on the side
-side bend with one leg on barre keep pelvis level and stationary, arch spine “up and away”, lift ribs “up and over”
Spinal Rotator Stretches
-adequate flexibility of spinal rotators needed to twist torso relative to pelvis and vice versa
-dancers often asymmetric with this motion, stretch to side to improve symmetry
-if scoliosis is the cause of this asymmetry, stretch under direction of physical therapist
Week 2: Page 213-220
Table 4.5 - “Selected Strength Exercises for the Hip”
*Supplemental hip strengthening is particularly important for the dancer because dance requires strength to hold limbs
in high ranges of motion that are not utilized in activities of daily living. The ideal program should be balanced and
designed to include exercises for each of the key muscle groups of the hip: the hip flexors, extensors, abductors,
adductors, external rotators and the internal rotators.
**I summarized all of the exercises for you. If you have a textbook I suggest you flip through and look at the pictures. I
don’t think we need to know the actual exercise, but instead understand the muscles used in certain actions. For example,
what muscles are used to flex the hip and externally rotate the leg.
Exercise Name
Joint Movement
Description (technique
Knee to chest
with elastic band
Hip flexors
Hip flexion with
knee flexion
Lean back on elbows
with both knees bent.
Bring one knee toward
the same shoulder,
pause and return to
starting position as
other knee stays in
*Perform sitting
with a slight tuck
and resting back
on hands
*Perform sitting
with vertical torso
and pelvis more
Sitting 2 arc front
leg raise
Hip flexors
and knee
Illipsoas and
Hip flexion with
knee extension
Sit leaning back on
hands with one knee
bent with the foot on the
ground. Raise the other
leg as high as you can
while keeping the leg
straight. Bend the knee
slightly, raise a little
higher. Extend knee at
highest point, pause,
slowly lower.
*Increase height of
raised leg
*Bring torso to
more vertical
position and
lumbar spine more
*Add ankle
*Perform standing
Front developpe
(with reformer)
Hip flexors
Hip flexion with
knee extension
Lean back on elbows,
with one knee bent.
Raise leg and bring it to
*sit with weight
back on hands
*Bring torso to
vertical position
with the pelvis
more neutral
Back Leg Raise
(ankle weight)
Hip Extensors
Hip extension with
knee flexion
Lean forward and bring
one leg back and raise it
until it is parallel with
the floor
*extend knee at
top of movement
*perform standing
without support
Arabesque (with
Hip extensors
Hip extension with
knee extension
Knee on reformer. Place
strap on foot and raise
leg up.
*Increase springs
*increase height
leg is raised
Bridging (body
weight on ball)
Hip extensors
Hamstrings and
string force
Hip extension with
knee flexion
Lie on back with feet on
ball with legs extended.
Roll the ball in until
knees are at 90 degrees.
Raise one leg up.
*Add 4 count in
bent knee position
*Lift one leg off
during hold
Side Leg Raise
Hip abductors
and hip
Gluteus medius,
iliopsoas, and
Hip abduction with
external rotation
Lie on side and raise top
leg up.
*Raise leg higher
*increase turnout
*increase ankle
Standing Leg
Hip abductors
Hip abduction
Stand on both legs, raise
one leg to the side
*increase ankle
*increase height
Side Developpe
Hip abductors,
hip flexors,
and hip
Ilipsoas and
Hip abduction and
external rotation
with knee extension
Lie on side, bring one
knee towards shoulder
then straighten leg.
*increase springs
*shorten straps
*increase height
leg is raised