Many of us have office jobs or similar workplaces where we spend hours behind desks and looking at screens for up to 10 hours a day. The problem with this daily condition is that during the time we are working hard, our butts are not working at all. Sitting for so many hours weakens, softens and flattens out booties. Consequently, and this is just the plain truth, our butts will sooner or later change from youthful apple-bottoms to hanging sacks.
But, Thank God for group classes, practices, private lessons and social outings, since this is the only way we can work against the force of gravity and improve our dancing at the same time. Here are 6 reasons to support that:
1. Weight Transfer
We all have heard of body transition over the standing leg. If we are transferring our weight from one foot to another, for instance in a Rumba walk, we use our back leg to push our weight all the way onto the front leg. This action is very well supported by our tush. So, every time you transfer that weight, you know your bum-bum is getting stronger.
2. Balance and Coordination
Each side of our bottom consists of three gluteal muscles. A big one – Gluteus Maximus, a medium size one – Gluteus Medius, and a smaller one – Gluteus Minimus. Medius and Minimus are primarily there to keep our hips from “falling out” to the side, when standing on either leg. If we have well developed Medius and Minimus butt muscles, we will find it easier to control our body movement and especially our hip action when standing on one foot. You probably have noticed that continuous dance training, over a period of time, gives you more body coordination and balance. Well, now you know where it’s coming from.
3. Shapes and Rotations
The butt muscles manage the rotation of thigh muscles to the outside, subsequently supporting the outward turned feet position, and creating an optical illusion of longer looking legs. To add, in shaped positions (e.g. Paso Doble posture), the tush does quite a bit of work stabilizing the body in one place. Also, one of the best things about a stronger butt, is that it will relieve the strain on our back muscles, reducing the chance of spinal and knee injuries.
Dance-training our booty regularly, decreases the look of cellulite (if not eliminates it all). Increased blood circulation in the hip area, as well as the growth of surrounding hip muscles, result in a nicely shaped butt and anti-orange peel appearance. This may not be as interesting to men, but for us ladies, it might drastically change the way we feel on the dancefloor. And we all know that it is easier to dance, when we feel great in our skin.
5. Burning calories
It may not be the wish of all of us to lose some weight, but still, burning a lot of calories is not necessarily a bad thing, is it? The Gluteus Maximus is the biggest muscle in our body, and it sure as heel is probably the most important in dancing. Muscle mass equals to calorie burn, even when we are resting. Therefore, a well developed glut max will metabolize literally a ton of calories, which means that we can eat more and burn more, even on the “lazy” days.
6. The Body Engine
The formation of three glute muscles, due to their size, have a great energy reservoir for our bodies. It is the main cause of “take off” or “torque” steps, runs and jumps. It drives us forward and gives tremendous power to our overall body. But if not exercised regularly, the “engine” starts collecting unnecessary weight we call “fat”. Dance training helps us develop better endurance, strength and for sure a higher quality of our physical movement.
Author: Sophia Wedel – SparkleWorkouts
Photography: Anna Lebiedzińska
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review