Whether you're new to DanceBody or a seasoned pro, Sculpt is one of the most important tools for your DanceBody. Not only do these toning-focused classes help you feel and look strong, they build an important foundation for all of the dance cardio you do. Sculpt builds strength in all of the right places, helping you avoid injury and move better in any workout (and in everyday life!). Since Sculpt is such an important part of your DanceBody workout routine, we talked to Natalie Vatalaro, Director of Training + DanceBody Trainer.
If there's anyone that knows a thing or two about Sculpt and nailing the perfect form in class, it's Natalie. Below, she shares the top form mistakes she sees in class and explains exactly how to fix them (with the help of Mindi Kirsch, Creative Director, showing the right and wrong way to do each move!).
Mistake 1: Shoulder Creep
When you get tired or your muscles start to burn, we know how easy it is to compensate by shrugging the shoulders up towards your ears. This is especially true in the part of class where you're using the resistance band during upper body sculpting. But this is a major form mistake as letting the shoulders creep up TOO high means you're adding tension in the wrong places instead of working the correct muscles -- you're back muscles and triceps. "It takes away the proper burnout of the muscles we actually want to work and puts everything into those shoulders and traps," Natalie says.
How to fix it: "Roll your shoulders back and down. Squeeze your shoulder blades, pretending you're holding a pencil in between them," Natalie advises. Keep this in mind next time you're holding a resistance band in class and consciously think about engaging your back muscles and back of the body, while keeping the shoulders down.
Mistake 2: Overarching the Back and Releasing Abs
You might think that the butt lift is all about the glutes, but you cannot forget about your abs! If you release your abs and over arch your back while on all fours on the mat, it's a recipe for back pain. "Engaging your abs and keeping your back flat is a must anytime you're lifting your leg, as it takes out any pressure on your low back and keeps the burn where it should be... in the glutes," Natalie says.
How to fix it: "Roll your shoulders down and press your palms into the ground to flatten out your back, pulling the belly button all the way to your spine. You want a nice flat back the entire time. Think about keeping your body in a nice long line the entire time," explains Natalie.
Mistake 3: Body Out of Alignment During Lateral Lunge
In DanceBody Sculpt you'll see a bunch of lateral lunges that target your legs, outer thighs, and glutes. But do them with the wrong form and all of the work goes straight to the quads.
Natalie shared one of the top mistakes she sees with lunges is not lining up the body properly, and having the knees, hips, and toes out of alignment. "Also, your hips are supposed to be back and sometimes people tuck them in. When tucked, all the work goes into the quad versus back into the outer thigh and glute, which is where we want it," Natalie says.
How to fix it: "When you step out into the lateral lunge, place your hip directly over your knee, and your knee directly over your ankle. And you want your hips sent back, almost like you're sitting back in a chair. Don't forget to keep the chest lifted and keep the weight in your heel. Pro tip: you'll know the weight placement is correct if you can wiggle your toes," Natalie explains.
Join Natalie or Mindi for a Sculpt Class on DanceBody LIVE, in one of our studios, or for a Private Session!