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 Post subject: arm muscles
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:53 am 
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Location: sacramento
hi - why/how do professional ballerinas have visible arm muscles? is it only because they are so thin or do they do something specific to get their arms to look that way - if so, what are they doing? maybe i am the only one who has noticed this??? they look like they have long muscles not bulky weight lifter type muscles...pretty arms :confused:


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 Post subject: Re: arm muscles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:53 am 
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Location: San Francisco
Ballerinas do tend to have visible arm muscles because of not having much fat -- the leaner you are, the more muscle definition you'll see, even if the muscles aren't very large. But female ballet dancers don't tend to have much in the way of biceps and triceps development; what they have is some development of the deltoids, and that's largely a result of holding their arms out to the side a lot.

However, the arms do have to work a bit to maintain the proper positions. Try holding your arm out to the side with the elbow slightly rounded, don't let your shoulder come forward, don't let your elbow drop down, and rotate your lower arm so that the palm of your hand faces forward. Maintain this position for awhile and you'll definitely feel some muscles working.

In my opinion, most female ballet dancers' arms are much too thin. But in recent years I've seen more dancers who appear to do some sort of exercise with their upper bodies, and the results look very good.


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 Post subject: Re: arm muscles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:55 am 
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Oh, and by the way, lifting weights per se doesn't build bulky muscles; it's a combination of the amount of weight, the amount of repetitions and other factors that result in the look of muscles that bodybuilders are after.


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 Post subject: Re: arm muscles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:30 pm 
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Location: Australia
hi there. I remember reading a book by Gelsley Kirkland - Dancing On My Grave. Apparently to help strengthen the upper back and at the same time giving muscle definition to the upper arm, she used to get bike tyres and twirl them around (arms out to the side). You should try it. it actually works. I give this exercise to my students also and have found a great difference. (also a fun exercise to include into a warm up routine). ;)


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 Post subject: Re: arm muscles
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:42 pm 
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its been a long time but when i read that id imagined her using the entire wheel spinning the spokes, lol anyway i didnt understand untill you explained i reccomend now reading 'nothing to hide' by robert lafosse, (in my opinion--same type of thing differnet perspective)--anyway ballerinas use their arms more than a bit. the modern ballerina needs enourmous upper body strength for the demnands of choreography today.

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 Post subject: support arm
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:54 pm 
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Thankyou all for your input as per usual. DJB - thankyou for using the anatomical terms for the muscles that are developed (deltoids) as a result of a dancer holding their arms out to the side alot. Is this then what is referred to as the Support Arm? If so, is it only the deltoids that assist the supporting arm? I look forward to receiving your reply. :D


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 Post subject: Re: support arm
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:45 pm 
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spangles wrote:
Thankyou all for your input as per usual. DJB - thankyou for using the anatomical terms for the muscles that are developed (deltoids) as a result of a dancer holding their arms out to the side alot. Is this then what is referred to as the Support Arm? If so, is it only the deltoids that assist the supporting arm? I look forward to receiving your reply. :D

Spangles, I'm not sure what you mean by the "Support Arm" or the supporting arm.


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 Post subject: Arm Muscles
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:46 pm 
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Hi there DJB. I think I could have worded it a little more clearly. please forgive me. What I was trying to say was what is meant by Supporting the Arm....What muscles do we actually use when holding the arm for example out to the side in second position. Is it only the deltoids mainly or does the say trapezious etc come into play? The question that was posed to me initially was: " What is meant by "support the arm"? What muscles are used for this? Name the anatomical terms? (Part of a teaching viva voce) :)


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 Post subject: Re: arm muscles
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:53 am 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
djb wrote:
But in recent years I've seen more dancers who appear to do some sort of exercise with their upper bodies, and the results look very good.


I've noticed this, too, as well as the resemblance to the arms and upper bodies of regular practicers of yoga and Pilates: for example, the biceps are visible, but the triceps are quite a bit more developed.

--Andre


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:18 pm 
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Ok. I am thinking that the support arm is the arm held in second postion in ballet. the muscles that are used when the arm is held in second position would then be: the Trapezious across the scapulas, deltoids, triceps and biceps. Would I be correct in saying this :?:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:38 pm 
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Yes, I'd say so. Then there are the muscles of the forearm that perform the supination (outward rotation) of the forearm. I'm afraid I don't know the names of the individual muscles of the forearm.

The biceps and triceps shouldn't be very much engaged, but there is some tension. After all, if you only used the muscles in your shoulders and back, your arm would bend at the elbow and your hand would point down to the floor. So your triceps has to extend the arm. There also seems to be a bit of engaging of the biceps when the lower arm rotates. I can't figure out why -- maybe it's just something about how my arm is built and what I have to do to get it to look good in 2nd position.


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