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Exercises to Make You a Better Belly Dancer

written by: Melinda F. • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 1/25/2010

In order to be a great belly dancer, your stomach and back muscles need to be strong. There are many different exercises that you can do to strengthen these muscles and help make yourself a better belly dancer.

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    The greatest belly dancers and dancers of all types have one thing in common and that is strong bodies. In order to execute the moves that belly dancing requires, you need to build a strong core, mainly concentrating on the abdominals, and the lower back. Remember that your entire body needs to be strong, but in order to be a better belly dancer, you really need to make sure your core is strong. It is best not to attempt belly dancing with a weak midsection. This article will target exercises that make your abdominals and lower back strong enough to be a great belly dancer. For best results, complete 2-3 sets of 8 to12 repetitions for each exercise.

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    Great Abdominal Exercises to Try

    Hanging Leg Raises: Hanging leg raises are superb for your lower ab muscles. Along with cardio, hanging leg raises will help to get rid of the lower belly pooch most people experience. To do hanging leg raises, you simply need to hang from a pull-up bar, or even a doorway of your home if you can, and then slowly lift your knees up to your chest and then slowly bring your legs back down to the starting position. If you're more advanced you can execute the hanging leg raise by keeping your legs straight and lifting them out in front of you as high as you can go.

    Crunches: Crunches are great for your upper abs. The proper form of a crunch is lying flat on the floor with your knees up, feet flat on the floor and your fingers interlocked behind your head to help support your neck. To perform a crunch, contract your stomach muscles and simply lift your shoulders up off the floor and then back down. Make sure you aren't pulling your head and neck up with your hands. Use those abs.

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    Exercises for Your Lower Back

    Deadlifts: You can perform deadlifts with a barbell or dumbbells. If you're already fit you can add weight plates to the bar for more of a challenge. Place the barbell on the floor in front of you, making sure that when you look down, the bar is actually right over the balls of your feet and then stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Squat down and grab the barbell with one palm facing towards you and the other away from you as this type of grip helps to stabilize the bar and prevent it from rolling out of your hands. Stand erect but don't lock your knees, then slowly lower the barbell back down to about knee level. Make sure to bend at your hips.

    Back Hyperextensions: These are another great exercise for the lower back and you'll also work out your abdominals a bit as well. To perform a back hyperextension, you need to lie face down on an exercise mat and then raise one arm and the opposite leg, along with your head and then lower back down and lift the opposite arm and leg.

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    Summary

    To be a great belly dancer, it is important to have a strong body, especially in your midsection. If you do these exercises regularly, you'll have a stronger core in no time!