It's abs day over here, but it's abs day at allongée every day-isn't it? The answer is yes.
Any allongée movement you're doing and position your making is abs-centric. You simply can't hold an allongee position with correct form without engaging the abs. In the history of the creation of the allongée curriculum, this became a theme early-on because of the strong influences from ballet & dance in general, where every position is meant to be a moving position. In other words, you can't complete a grande turn in arabesque if your spine is misaligned; that's just physics!
After dance made it a theme, I realized how effective it made the training, so we just kept rolling with it!
Part of why the way we utilize the abs makes such a difference in terms of effectiveness for our bodies is because we're using the abs in their entirety: from the bottom point at which they attach to the bone (pubic bone) and all the way up to their highest attachment point at the sternum bone. The allongee® Contraction™ is our's, and it's designed to get those abs in A-List shape whether you're performing strength work on the mat or cardio work upright/inverted.
Let's talk about some of the applications which you see our allongée® Contraction during class.
During our Mat Work Series where you've got a ball behind your back you're using that same full contraction, pubic bone to sternum, to bring the hips and ribs as close together in the center as you're able.
You see some variation of this abs series in almost every class. It's the one time in class where you have a moment to think about the upper abs and the lower abs as two separate pieces which make one whole core.
In your extension, that separation becomes super relevant as you open the upper body in isolation away from the hips, extending the upper spine over your ball while holding that pelvis nice and stable (pubic bone stays connected to the belly button).
This idea actually comes from classical ballet training in our "epaulement". Epaulement is mimicked here in our ab work as the upper torso moves and the lower torso remains stabilizing.
All Four's Strength Series :
You'll mostly see this set in derriere/strength100, but you're focusing on working the glutes behind you while super-engaging the core.
On the "In":
Contraction- Round the spine and get as hollow as you can. Press your straight arms into the ground from the hands and think about pulling the back of the body up to the ceiling. Really focus on maximizing your movements here for higher calorie burn.
On the "Out":
Arch- Bring the eyes up to where the wall/ceiling meet in front of you, kick the leg behind yourself and arch the lower body by pointing that tailbone up towards the sky behind you.
Avoid: Letting the belly drop towards the floor by pulling the belly button up and into the mid-spine.
Cardio: Inverted Barre Work:
ON THE "IN":
You're probably starting to get the theme by now, but here's one last example. CURVE! That tailbone should be tucking so hard, it's facing either straight down or may even be tilted slightly TOWARD your barre from under. Round that spine. For some of us in the beginning, we may feel a slight stretch through the cervical/lumbar/thoracic spine depending on where you're most tight.
ON THE "OUT":
Yeah, you've definitely got the idea now. Eyes up, tail up. Make it happen. Each time you feel a stretch, you're working through "dynamic stretches" where the action is both lengthening and strengthening the muscles and tendons being targeted, and those surrounding.
This is the healthiest way to increase your mobility while building strength. It's what creates the balance that is this program!
The Best News: push, push, push! Greater mobility means harder work for your body. It's why you'll never experience a "plateau" at allongee!