Tango Argentino > best exercises for top tango shape

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. aaah

    aaah Member

    To be a good male tango dancer, what are the best exercises, physical activities to do?

    I would say eat good be at the ideal weight.
    treadmill 20 min each day
    some light weight training
    practice pivots, balance

    anyone have a great routine to share?
  2. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    My regimen is there for my own personal health (I have health issues to deal with). HOWEVER, I do take into account my AT in my workout sessions. So, I have modifications in my routine for tango specific stuff.
    • Walk/Run/Balance: Rolling the foot from heel to toe, but slowing down with emphasis at the ball of the foot, before the next step all in one smooth motion.
      • Benefit: It helps emphasize the weight forward walk in milonguero style. Builds your quads, calf, and gluteus muscles. Increases your stamina so you don't become a sweating gusher because your so out of shape.
      • Frequency: Intersperse this in a 3 mile walk and 1.5 mile run route every other day, except milonga days.
    • Posture: Back straight, shoulders back, chest out... WITH the walk/run.
      • Benefit: Incorporates the posture with movement, coordination and balance
    • Light Weight Resistance: (15 & 25 pounds/dumbell, 50 pounds/barbell, 88 pounds on a machine press): Military presses for the deltoids; Dumbell shrugs fro the trapezius; Curls for the Biceps & triceps; Bench presses for the chest; Light Dead lifts; Lateral pulls; Abdominal crunches.
      • Benefit: Straightens the posture. Strengthens all of the muscle groups that lead, have contact with, looks good, and sometimes bear weight. e.g. Chest, shoulders, base of the neck, back, arms, abs.
      • Frequency: Done in 1-2 sets of 100+ repetitions each. Every other day, except milonga days
    That's about it. I've found that anything over that tends to be a bit much.
  3. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    I would emphasise any exercise that will increase your balance, control and flexibility. I've heard of quite a few injuries people have acquired while doing Yoga, so I'll not recommend that just now. Tai Chi, and various martial arts can be very beneficial, but many martial arts also easily lead to injury even with the perfect ethos and discipline.

    Armour your back and groin against unexpected loads and partners with appalling technique - that means squats/dead lifts with emphasis on correct form rather than weight. Now if you do something dramatic, your legs and pelvic muscles will be ready to pick up the strain.

    A friend once recommended calf-raises (stand on one foot and go up and down from the ankle) as really good for aiding balance.

    If you're a typical guy then for heaven's sake, do some stretches during your workout. Being flexible makes many motions (thinking of isolating shoulders from hips) more fluid and less strenuous, and it all helps to prevent injury if you do it right

    I won't recommend any detailed regimen, as that's entirely dependent on personal fitness levels and niggling injuries, but for me, a good solid session twice a week is a balance between living in the gym and getting fit.

    Being really contentious, I'll also point out that many leaders benefit from having a substantial gut to connect with their partners. As a skinny rake, I often find it difficult to provide the ever-present chest in close embrace. No, I'm not putting on weight just for tango.
  4. Tanguera

    Tanguera New Member

  5. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Ballet and flamenco are excellent solutions for teaching not only balance, control and flexibility, but also a very strong posture for men. Look at male ballet and flamenco dancers, they are usually slender, and they certainly don't have a gut! But their chest and shoulders are presented very strongly, in a similar manner to tango. Much, much preferable to connecting with a gut - ugh, that's the lazy man's way.

    In fact, my tango teacher is taking flamenco classes with me right now and he is convinced that it will add to his tango. His dance partner also has learned flamenco and she thought he should try it. I'm enjoying it also. It will teach you a strong posture and precise, rhythmic feet, and the cultural aspect of the music and dance relates to tango as well.

    Ballet will teach you wonderful balance, posture, beautiful line, flexibility and incredible muscle control. I highly recommend some adult ballet classes. They are the best for learning general technique that can be used in any kind of dancing. Don't think of it as learning to 'dance ballet', that's not the goal unless you want it to be. Ballet classes consist mainly of exercises that train every part of your body to move with grace, control and precision. And the concept of disassociating your upper and lower body is used all the time.
  6. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    As a yoga and gymnastrics teacher, this is what I instruct my students: Good balance starts first from the mind, second the breath, lastly the body. Visualisation: see the back somersault first, alter the breath and then run and execute it. Same in yoga when, say, executing a vrksasana or any other balancing asana. Or (in the words of Martin Luther King): See it. Believe it. Achieve it.

    A good way of testing/improving one's balance is standing without holding on when travelling on a train or tube (subway). That way, you are automatically focussing the mind (i.e. zoning out the external) as well as the breath.

    Lastly, one should just aim to get into shape/healthy/fit for one's all round wellbeing and not just for the tango. That in mind, there follows the discipline, dedication and thus the swift improvement.

    Happy exercising !!!
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    "I used to be a seven stone weakling until I started doing flamenco now I look like this!!!!";)

  8. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    For me it is the usual stuff I do, and it isn't just for tango.

    Eating a balanced diet to maintain weight and energy levels, exercise for both endurance and strength with walking, running (although swimming and bicycling would be ok as well), and weight training. It makes sense to do some stretching with one's exercising, too. I also sometimes practice my posture and poitioning when I walk in my day to day activitees.

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