Managing health problems in dancing?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Dalaran1991, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I don't know what 'bad' means myself - that' why I'm aksing. X:

    -My guesses:

    1) Perhaps an inflexible chest cannot be extended the way dancers need it to be. (Thus leading to suboptimal posture).
    2) Perhaps a heavy chest may pull the back & shoulders inwards. (hence - bad posture).
    3) Perhaps a heavy chest taxes the upper-back muscles too much. (therefore - waste of energy, in order to keep proper posture).
    4) Maybe it's just "bad" aesthetics. (like how I once heard that developed Trapezius aren't something one would like to see in dance).

    I don't understand what you mean.
    Would you please define 'functionality'?
    Is strength not functional?

    The first video looks like something I would not do without a professional guiding me.
    The second one has some nice exercises. (Sadly, not for the chest).

    But I have lost some flexibility, in the recent months, and you helped me decide to want to start doing Yoga. :D
  2. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    We can have quite strong bodybuilders but they are not functional, ask them to run 10 km, and they will stop after 2 km. In my case, I have good stamina and flexibility, but I am not strong at all. The best option when you have strength and functionality. I do not have enough Language to explain, so here is an article
    There is one exercise that I think not so good. Frankenstein walk.

    Some videos to inspire you:D Pure functionality, mobility and flexibility

  3. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    'Functional training' is definitely a buzzword, and stamina is typically not included in the definition (for which you'll probably find a 100 different ones).

    Btw, I fully agree that stretching will probably do most social dancers good, as it's probably needed to achieve the vaunted body movement displayed by top artists through increasing joint range of motion. See e.g. I've used dynamic stretching to warm-up before lifting weights for the last 6-7 years, recommended!

    Also note that yoga can be literally detrimental and dangerous, it's not a silver bullet. See e.g.
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  4. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    They don't train at long-distance-running; they train at pushing and pulling heavy stuff...

    Ask them to pull or push something for you - and you will see functionality.

    Good read (but also widely known).
    It basically says that for better functionality - your workout should be in line with the movements that you do outside gym

    I don't have enough knowledge to judge.

    Impressive Street-workout ideas!
    I prefer to hit the gym, though. :D
    (and work on flexiblity, seperately, later in the day).

    Looks crazy. :eek:
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
    LarsM likes this.
  5. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    In general, muscles do not hinder dancing nor do they prevent one from dancing/moving gracefully.

    I have seen a bunch of good salsa dancers who are buff but their movement and dancing were fine. There are even bodybuilders who incorporate dancing into their posing routines (e.g. Kay Green) and they can move gracefully despite sporting ~120kg at 175cm height. Fitness competitions are basically about muscles + gymnastics + bit of dance. You might be surprised that some of the contemporary/ballet dancers are really muscular, but that is what you get if you move all day and half of your dancing constitutes of lifting and holding your dance partner in the air.

    1) Extending and flexibility is a matter of training for it, so if you do enough stretching you will have no problem with that. I'm not a bodybuilder, but I have been going to the gym for the past 14 years, and I still have better mobility than half of the social dancers in here. The reason is that I exercise while most people don't. And that is all it boils down to, if you never stretch you will not be flexible, muscles or not. Of course, there are some limits when you have muscles, which stem from the fact that the muscles are simply in the way of the movement, but that is not about not being able to stretch enough.

    2) The posture is all about muscle balance around the joints you have and the basic gravity. If you train a specific muscle group without also training the antagonistic muscles, the stronger muscles will naturally pull the joint in the direction in which the stronger muscles contract, that is basic tension mechanics. If you don't have any muscles to hold your body in a proper position, you will curl down simply because of your own weight. So if you train your chest, back and shoulders appropriately you will have good posture. Look at all the people who do not exercise at all and their shoulders are inwards and posture is hunched, that is because they don't train their trapezoids, etc.

    3) It's all about balanced muscle strength. If one is way stronger than the other one, you will have deformed posture. But that has nothing to do with "heavy chest" per se, as it is a matter of relative strength between the antagonistic muscle groups, not a matter of absolute strength. You can have the same problem if you are skinny.

    4) Yes, that depends on the aesthetics you are looking for. Some movement does not look good if you have short arms, if you don't have long legs (just think about how the aesthetics change when the girl wears heels vs not), if your body is slim or not, etc. It also goes for muscles. Also if you have dance that focuses on lines in the posture, than the lines are of course different if your torso is shaped || vs \/.

    And how many bodybuilders have you seen who have been dancing for some time so as to actually learn to dance? How many bodybuilders have you seen dance at all? I could say that same about any group, e.g. professional tennis players, how many professional tennis players have you seen dance gracefully?

    Bodybuilders tend not to dance gracefully, because they usually don't dance. It's not about the muscles preventing them, it's about their passion and hobbies. They are in the gym, not on the dancefloor, and that is why you don't see them.


    All movement and its aesthetics are governed by your movement coordination, flexibility and body type. Look at Alex Morel, he is fat, definitely not the dancer's body you would imagine, yet he moves with lightness and grace and is a fantastic dancer. But because of his body type, some kind of body waves, or typical ballet figures would look ridiculous on him. I do have some muscles and wider chest, but it does not prevent me from dancing salsa. However, I can not to some of the cuban pretzel moves, because the length of my arms compared to the mass of my chest, back and arms muscles, makes it impossible to leave enough space for the follow or to turn my arms into some positions (and that is despite the fact that I can connect my hands behind my back like this [​IMG], which some of the lean folks can't).
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  6. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    just a small demonstration of one of the top bodybuilders (we are really talking about extreme musculature here) incorporating little dancing into his posing. Of course, it's matter of individual taste and don't forget that this is a bodybuilding competition and as such the focus lies fully on the muscle flexing and posing, but try to watch the 1:56 - 2:10 mark - despite him actively flexing his muscles the whole time, he is able to do a body wave and some nice shoulder rolling that is way more graceful than what I routinely see in my social dancing venue from the lean-body-type folks:

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  7. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    Yes, they have well-developed bodies but they do not have bodybuilder's bodies.
    Bodybuilders do not have such good body mobility and functionality as dancers or acrobats or someone who practice martial arts or yoga. I do not want to offend anybody, and it is just my opinion.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  8. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    If someone can do body wave it does not mean he is graceful. We differently understand gracefulness.:D I Do not like this type of "sport" and that people do with their bodies.
  9. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

  10. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    My example of gracefulness not in a dance
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  11. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    I'm not saying there are no skinny dancers, I'm saying that there are muscular dancers:

    You are not offending anybody, you are merely misinformed and are comparing apples and oranges. Of course a yoga instructor or an acrobat will have better mobility than a bodybuilder, after all, that is what they practice - mobility - so they should be better at it. But calling it functional is nonsense. Being good at yoga and being able to put your leg behind your head might be fancy, but is not going to help you dance salsa. Of course, being 120+ kg bodybuilder does not help with dance, but that is an extreme and most actual bodybuilders who are that big do not care for dancing, so saying that they not dance because of their muscles does not hold, since they don't have interest in learning to dance in the first place.

    The myth of weak and clumsy bodybuilders is just that, a myth. Most people who go to gym and actually care about being healthy do some stretching and that is much more than your average office-employee does. Yes, it's true that beyond some point the muscle mass will hinder your range of movement (not flexibility, just the range) but to get to the point where you have that much muscle that it would prevent you from dancing is actually a lot of work and an achievement. As for limited flexibility, this is Tom Platz, famous bodybuilder known for his huge legs, yet he stretches as any sprinter would without problems:

    So heavily muscular body might not be the ideal body for dancing, but regarding the posts I was responding to, having "heavy chest" is no hinderance for dancing.
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  12. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    Sure, if you define gracefulness as a certain type of body movement that you like, than nothing else is going to look graceful to you. It is a matter of taste, and if that taste happens to be postures and movement like in ballet, with lines, stretched arms to the last finger, pointing feet and stuff like that, than no wonder you don't like anything that is outside of that norm.

    For me graceful movement has nothing to do with some specific archetype. For me the movement is graceful if it is performed with precision, coordination, confidence, ease and looks natural for the type of action performed. So an olympic gymnast doing some heavy strength based exercise on the rings can be just as graceful as some 40kg ballerina dancing.
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  13. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    Just look at this dancer's chest carefully. Do you really see a heavy chest? He has muscular hands but not a chest. He has well-developed shoulders.
  14. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    Ok, so now the idea is that a dancer can have massive leg muscles, broad muscular shoulders and back, big arms, and still be great and graceful. But the moment he would have more developed chest muscles he would stop being graceful and would be not able to dance good? o_O

    For anyone entertaining the idea that "heavy chest" should compromise one's dancing, just think about all the ladies with big breasts. That is some "heavy chest" that in addition to being heavy does not contribute to movement (as opposed to chest muscles), yet there is plenty of ladies with big boobs doing multiple spins with ease, having amazing body-movement, etc.. So why should chest muscles be problematic.
    LarsM likes this.
  15. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    :)it is different. There are not so many professional lady dancers with really big breasts. Usually, you can see the middle size. :) I am not talking about salsa and Kizomba:D
  16. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    I like this dancer, yes he is elegant. But he is a bad example because he does not have horrible bodybuilder's body.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  17. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

  18. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    @Marisha, do you even lift? :D

    Do you think one can achieve much in bodybuilding world without having above average mobility? How is that physically possible?

    The downside to dancing is what Aurel mentioned. Time. To be good at one or another you need time. But other than that, having muscles and knowing how to control them is only advantage for dancer.

    I don't know about bodybuilders, but there are tons of dudes in salsa who lift heavy. Not sure how big is your dancing areal, but for example Byron from Minneapolis, Minnesota is a dancer that girls queue up to and he's huge with muscles.
    LarsM likes this.
  19. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    I use my body mass; I do not like heavy lifting. :)
    I am not interested in this type of "sport." But I know that dancers can achieve a lot using just their body weight and partner's body weight. The more your mass( I am talking about bodybuilders), the more difficult to do particular dance technics, for instance, jumps. Look at his body, it is beautiful, strong, functional body.

    Bodybuilders are really heavy; it is also dangerous for their joins. Dancers should care about their joins a lot, they not just walk like big bodybuilders, they dance. I do not think that big mass helps to do something like this

    When I talk about big mass, I keep in mind a body like this (Honestly, I do not understand why guys strive to attain
    bodies like this)

    Look at your favorite dancers, do they have bodies like bodybuilders have and ask yourself why they do not have. They have muscles, but they do not have bodybuilder's bodies.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  20. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    Hmmmm.. My favorite dancers that are dudes I like because they are musical. Some of them lift heavy, some not at all. From follows I can tell for sure that regular gym attendance makes them better. Bodyweightfitness is great. I travel with gymnastics rings now. But it's still resistance training. And you get only better at movements once you have more muscles. I can think of few exceptions, but salsa is not of those.
    I can tell you again why some of good dancers don't have bodybuilder bodies. Because it takes a lot of time and effort to get good at either of disciplines. Some people can do that, some can't. But there is a big crossover between dance and gymnastics.

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