Ask Deb: How Can I Help Dancers Improve Their Cambré?
June 13, 2018

My dancers keep dropping into their lower backs without support from their abdominals during cambré? How can I stop this?

Training dancer’s upper back muscles to properly extend the spine will help keep all the weight from dropping into the lower back and potentially creating an injurious situation.

Here’s an exercise to enhance the upper back’s ability to safely arch backward during cambré:

Lie on your bed, face down, with your shoulders, head and neck over the edge. Bring your hands behind your head, loosely clasping the fingers together and elbows gently stretching towards the side. You want to go from this slightly rounded forward position resting over the side of the bed, to straight, keeping your head in line with your neck, which means your face will stay looking towards the floor. Round down, then lengthen your spine as you come up to straight once again. Repeat this multiple times.

You’ll feel this between your shoulder blades. It isn’t a hard movement, but it’s a nice way to activate the extensors of the upper spine. You aren’t lifting high enough to go into the lower back, you’re just focusing on the upper back.

To your success,

Deborah Vogel

Director, The Body Series

Got a question for Deb? E-mail [email protected], and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.

To work with Deb Vogel in person, check out her summer workshop, A Dance Teacher’s Retreat to Tuscany!

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