How To Belly Roll - Abdominal Workout

Belly rolling isn't easy in fact it's quite hard to do however once you master the art of belly rolling you will soon reap the benefits of it in a exercise workout that's not only beneficial for the abdominal muscles but it's also great for digestion. Belly rolling is popular in many styles of dance from belly dance to the popping and locking of street dance. As a professional Belly dancer who is also a teacher and a mum of two birthed by cesarean section I can not only teach this technique but I can vouch for it. That's right I'm living proof that this type of exercise is great for getting back into shape after pregnancy childbirth birth and abdominal surgery (but make sure you have had your six week check from your GP or permission from a medical professional) So here goes...

1- Posture
Stand up straight pelvis in neutral with your feet flat and turned out just slightly. Make sure your feet are placed directly under your hips (feel for your hip bones if you need to). Lift your chest up slightly and roll your shoulders back (imagine you are like a puppet and a string is attached to your chest, when pulled it lifts your chest up slightly as if you feel proud and graceful in your body) Think about holding a pencil in-between your shoulder blades then relax a little.its important to practice good posture not only for dance but also for health of the spine. 

2- Start by locating and activating the abdominal muscles used in a belly roll. For this start with your chest (diaphragm / top ) your center (belly button / center) under your belly button above the bikini line (pelvis / bottom)
Start to gently pull in and the relax each set of muscles in sets of about ten so you can get used to it. 

3- Alternate between the three sets of muscles used in this exercise.  Pull in the Pelvis, pull in the Belly button, pull up the Diaphragm. Then Relax.

Pull. Pull.  Up.  Relax 
Repeat until your body and brain gets used to it (at least thirty six times for workout) go at your own pace and stop if you need to.

4- Start to relax the movements a little as if to draw a circle outwardly with the belly. 

5- Eventually Start to roll the belly over and in.

6- Bring your knees into it by bending the knees as you pull in the Belly and straightening the knees as you roll the belly out.

7- Repeat...Relax.....and don't forget to breath!

Here's a video of how it is done 💃
 Before you start make sure you have recovered at least 6 months after surgery before taking part and it's best for me to advise you to get passed by your doctor. Check the video of the belly rolling or scroll down and read the instructions. Enjoy!

Written instructions -
1 -
Stand with your feet directly under you hip bones, soften your knees, lift the chest up slightly and have you shoulders back and relaxed and you pelvis in neutral.

-Now focus on your muscles of the belly. You have 3 sets. Lower pelvis, Belly button and chest.
-Activate each set of muscles independently starting with the pelvis. Touch the area just below the belly button and start to contract or pull in slightly. It's a small movement. Make sure the rest of you body is still.
-Now focus just on your belly button mucsles. This move is more exaggerated. You are aiming to pull your belly button in and toward the spine. You can also imagine to have a rope running through your back and attached to the inside of the belly button. If you where to pull the imaginary rope your belly button would also pull in toward the spine. Make sure the rest of your body is still.
- last but not least focus on your diaphragm muscle that us situated just above the belly button in the centre and just below the chest. This muscle us responsible for helping to lift the chest and zip the abdominal muscles. Make sure you are lifting up and not out. Now start to lift and relax at an even pace. Again touch your diaphragm and make sure the rest of your body is still
- Now start to join the movements together starting from the bottom, then centre, then top. Eventually pulling in, In up and relax.
- as you begin to belly roll you want to pull in and as you end the roll you want to push out to exentuate the roundness of the belly. Like you are pretending to be pregnant.
-Once you get used to it start to add a slight bend to the knees when pushing out and straighten the knees when pulling in. Notice the flow and resistance in the moved with the knees.
- Play with the rolls by isolation just into the belly at various speeds. Change the level by coming up on to the toes and bending the knees. Get creative and try adding your own flair.