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The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide (karma: 62)
By obsessionn101member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:48 AM
Made sticky by Theresa (28613) on 2006-02-04 21:36:20
Moved to Irish - Technique & Training by Theresa (28613) on 2006-02-04 21:37:59 Ok, so hopefully the stickiness holds when I move this!

There have been a lot of recent threads related to getting height, lift, and hold on jumps and leaps. So I've compiled a list of excersises that should help you.

Abs are an essential part of all three of these things

Ab work:
Lie down on your back and bring your legs up straight to a 90 degree angle. Lift your chin to your chest. Then lower the legs down but not so far that you bend the lower back. And repeat.
-Posted by obsessionn101

Lie down on your back. Bring your left leg bent up and the right hold it straight above the ground. Put your hands behing your head and lift it. Turn your right elbow to your left leg and hold it for a few seconds then switch. If you do it right you should get a really good workout on your lower side abs
-Posted by obsessionn101

Jumping straight up:
Think about your body as if a string is pulling upwards from your insides to your head, through to the clouds. Just jump, and imagine that this string is being pulled up. This should help keep your posture perfect while gaining height.
-Posted by reel_jigger

For more lift you need more muscle strength. Try doing some jumping drills (straight jumps, alternating jumps, entrechats, etc) or jumping rope for 10 minutes everyday, it's good for strengthening your muscles and it will help improve your stamina too. Your calf muscles will help you jump higher too so you might want to try some rises. Just slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet and then lower down again. Just remember to stretch out whichever muscles you've been working when you're done.
-Posted by Emi1y

Do you dance a lot at home? Sometimes just dancing more can help you get stronger. Break down your steps and pick out all the parts where you're meant to lift and really push up into the air on those parts. Make sure on your front jumps that you are jumping straight up into the air instead of moving forward. That way you can put all of your energy into lifting.
-Posted by Emi1y

Stand on a stair on your toes so that you are on the edge but still have your balance. (I hold onto the handrail but i DO NOT rely on it at all!!) lower yourself a little bit lower than the step and then bring yourself back up onto your toes. and repeat as many times as you want. Remember to stretch them out afterwards!!
-Posted by obsessionn101

Sit on a non-carpeted (wood, smooth concrete etc.) floor close to and facing a wall. Put your feet on the wall, pull your body close to it, then PUSH. You should slide backward a few feet really fast. It should help you get off the ground in your jumps, and it has the added bonus of being fun!
-Posted by LizDancer

I should be able to point my toe downward on a hop (the toe of the weight bearing foot). Meaning that I should be hopping high enough to have time to do it. Also think about bouncing on a trampoliene (sorry, I know that I didn't spell that right) to get that "springy" feeling.
-Posted by Cinnawiz

Stand in front of a mirror and jump. go for 16 counts. little jump BIG AROUND, littl jump BIG AROUND. You use the first jump to get your spring for the second jump, which is the one that you actually practice the move. Point your toes down and try to get both feet around eachother.
-Posted by seanmharcailin

When I cant get a move like that, i practice between two chairs and break it down until i can do it. Then i speed it up slowly and once i feel like i have it, i try without the chairs
-Posted by obsessionn101

Height is another important issue in front leaps, you need to be jumping high enough off the ground to give time for the 'freeze' to happen. Just practicing jumps over and over can help you get stronger. If that gets boring do a couple different combinations. Try doing "skip 2 3 step jump over" (if that doesn't make sense let me know and I'll explain it in more depth). The skip 2 3 helps you get momentum and speed for your jump, making it easier for you to go higher. It's kind of like an airplane taking off, first it travels down the runway to pick up speed and then...lift off! And when you 'lift off' remember to jump up not forward. In this exercise it works out that you keep alternating legs each time because you bring the skip 2 3 out from behind.
Another combination you can do is "skip 2 3 step lift and kick". The skip 2 3 is a normal skip forwards then you step on your front foot, swing your back leg straight in front of you so now it's your front leg (the way it would be in a leap) kick your bum with your (new) back leg and land on just your back leg keeping your front leg in the air. Then put your front leg on the floor and bring your back leg out to repeat with another skip 2 3. In this one you do the same foot everytime so remember to work on your left foot too. I'm not sure I explained that too well so let me know if you need help understanding my code!!
Next try combining them: skip 2 3 step lift and kick, skip 2 3 step jump through..(and then again and again and again... ). That way you get the 'lift and kick' part as a practice leap and the full jump through as a regular leap. On the actual leap one think about "tricking" yourself that you're going to do "lift and kick" but switch your legs at the last second, that way you'll end up holding it for a long time
-Posted by Emi1y

The only thing that i have to add is....try holding on to two chairs in front of a mirror and jump into the leap position (whichever type you choose, knee tucked or down)and hold yourself there, so that you can see exactly where your legs should be when you're in the air, this will also help to improve muscle memory of the type of leap you want, making it easier to do them when you try without the chairs.
with the mirror you can also check your turnout, point and technique to make sure you're doing everything correctly.
-Posted by x_twinkletoes_x

This is what a friend taught me: When you jump into the air to do an over three, all you do is throw your leg that is out in the air up and think "freeze". Freeze all of your upper thigh muscles and your ab muscles. If you do this and snap your back leg out and up, then it will give the illusion that you are freezing in the air. You will stay in the air longer, too.
-Posted by LadyoftheDance

Front leg on leaps:
>sit on the floor
>sit in a jump position (one foot under your bum other straight ahead)
>sit up straight (posture) make sure your shoulders are back and down... armsdown by your sides supporting you
>then lift the front leg as high as you can without changing your posture. Remember: turn out, point your toe, and straight front leg
>hold it for 10 secs, then try 15, 20, 30 see how long you can do with both legs
-Posted by obsessionn101

Strong quads (those big muscles on the front of each thigh). Practise lifting your straight leg up (turned out and pointed) and holding it parallel to the floor. Feel these muscles squeezing. If you can hold your leg standing you can hold it leaping.
-Posted by emaire

Getting the back leg up faster:
Something that works for me is standing with your feet together, jump up into the air and kick your butt with both feet. Do this over and over again, either with a hop in between or without the hop. It is also great for stamina, and can be done to reel music or not! It also helps you get your back foot up to your bum as fast as possible!!
-Posted by celticfeet

At my school we have thereabands wich are like thoes streachy band thingys and you tie the 2 ends together so you get a cricle, step on 1 end of it and put you other foot through it and kick you bum for about 30 sec on each foot, it works like charm.
-Posted by PrettyPinkDancer

You can stand and do back lifts from the ground. Like a leg lift, but backwards. This one is OK to do with ankle weaights. You need to do them slowly for strength, then without weights you need to do them fast for kinesthetic (that may be the wrong word) exercises- getting that snap to your muscle.
-Posted by seanmharcailin

the KILLER: this exercise totals 40 bars, and really helps with stamina and lift. first eight bars- Jump (onto the right foot) Hop hop hop (with left foot up), Jump onto your left foot and hop 3 times with your right foot. Each time you jump you kick your bum, then swing your leg out and hop with your foot at or above your knee. second 8 bars- this time hop twice. Jump hop hop, jump hop hop- repeat. third eight bars- hop once each foot. Jump hop jump hop etc. For the final eight bars you cut out the hop, and just do 16 straight jumps. You can't get your front leg very high, but you should kick your bum every time. Think of it as doing a 123 with out the 23. With practice you will get your front leg higher, and it will help with the snap in your Overs. You may only be able to do one round at first, but you should work up to repeating the whole sequence at least 3 times. Jump hop hop hop(8 bars), jump hop hop (8 bars), jump hop (8 bars), jump jump (8 bars) REPEAT!
-Posted by seanmharcailin

Yes...all good advise. I strongly suggest tucking your back leg as FAST AS YOU CAN! Be a powerhouse! As soon as you lift your front foot up, just whip that back leg up there and hold it. I recently tried a new technique...discovered by accident, of course. I found out that it is pretty easy to get a nice 'hung' leap, if as soon as your front leg is on the way up, whip your back leg up and try to kick your bum twice before you land. It sounds really odd, I know. but trying to do a 'double' you end up thinking about your backleg, and without realising it, you have already 'hung' your leap!
-Posted by reel_jigger

Did I miss anything ;)

91 Replies to The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide

re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By PlumeriaPremium member
On Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:51 AM
One word comes to my mind when I read this. And that's "karma".

re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide (karma: 1)
By obsesseddancer14
On Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:01 PM
Edited by obsesseddancer14 (138410) on 2006-02-04 12:05:06
great post! karma for you!! here is something else that will help with leaps:

at my school we have a jump called a bird. u go into it like a leap and tuck your back leg under like normal. then you straighten the tucked back leg and land on it. the jump doesnt change feet. act like your leap is a bird, but go into a leap at the last second before you put your leg down. this will really help you getting your back leg up fast and holding your leaps
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By DanceForCraic
On Sat Feb 04, 2006 03:09 PM
Thanks for writing all that up, what a great post! I hope you don't mind, but I asked for this to be made a sticky on the technique board. People are constantly asking for this kind of advice there, so having this compilation of advice will be very helpful to them!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By I_Luv_2_Dance6
On Sat Feb 04, 2006 09:23 PM
Ohhh, thanks so much! This is great. I'd better get started straight away! Karma for you!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By Fionna
On Wed Feb 08, 2006 05:45 AM
thank you so much-it's great to have it in one place.Karma!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By Cinnawiz
On Wed Feb 08, 2006 08:04 AM
Oh gee! I've been quoted!! :D

If I could give you karma, I definately would! Thanks for a wonderful compilation of info!!!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By Cinnawiz
On Wed Feb 08, 2006 08:05 AM
Edited by Cinnawiz (148620) on 2006-02-08 08:14:42 Double post.
Ooops! Sorry, I don't know how that happened...double post.
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By kittysmom
On Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:09 AM
Excellent.....I am printing it out for my DD as we speak!!! Thank you!!!!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By Spaugs
On Sun Mar 05, 2006 08:01 PM
OMG! Thank you for writing this, I have been looking for this!!!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By PerfectPinkDanca
On Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:35 AM
Karma, Karma, Karma, Karma Camelion! You deserve Karma! You deserve Karmaaaa !
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By CandyFreak02
On Wed Mar 08, 2006 07:30 PM
Wow! Can I say 'Thanks'!!! I was confused about that one part, to get higher off the ground. You say "skip 2 3 lift kick" and I don't get that. Can you explain to me a little better?
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By ghillie_girl16member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 07:09 AM
YAY!!! It worked! My jumps are now "hanging" in the air! thank you, thank you sooo much for this wonderful post! Karma all the way!

*Keileigh Ann*
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By Maigh_EoPremium member
On Wed Apr 05, 2006 06:19 AM
Fantastic info, well done!

re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By TheReelThing
On Tue Apr 11, 2006 08:35 AM
Another tip: I had trouble lifting my leg high enough, and they way I worked on it was by holding on to a chair or wall or something with my right hand and standing on my left foot toes and swinging my right leg (the one closest to the wall) back and forth strongly, so that I can feel the leg muscles stretching. That does the right leg, and to do the other one, just turn around and hold the wall with the other hand and swing the other leg.
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By capnmags
On Mon Apr 17, 2006 05:42 PM
this is fantastic! good job!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By NicoleMc
On Tue Apr 18, 2006 09:47 AM
This post is great for everyone, especially those just starting or starting back to dancing, they work great.
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By meggie121212
On Sun May 07, 2006 05:11 AM
wow !!! that is super helpful if only we could get a sticky like this developped for turn-out *hint-hint*
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By lauren503
On Sat May 20, 2006 05:46 PM
To dancers who have actually used this post, I need some advice-

Do you do all the exercises straight through, or do you pick and choose certain ones? If so, which are the best to use?
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By obsessionn101member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat May 20, 2006 05:52 PM
^ What do you need to work on? What i would suggust is try a few of the excersises specific to what you need and see which ones you can do and what seems to work. Then you can make your own rutine that you use to work on leaping and jumping.
Hanging Leaps
By lauren503
On Tue May 23, 2006 10:07 PM
Edited by lauren503 (153821) on 2006-05-23 22:18:08 Forgot Link
I have found that it's useful watching Gillian Norris do her leaps in Lord of the Dance. A few times, they put her leap in slow motion, so you can sort of study the way she performs her leaps. You can watch the dance Gypsy here: . . .

I still can't hang my leap, but I'm going to start doing some of these exercises!
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By CareBearMemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed May 24, 2006 04:51 AM
Wow. Thanks so much. That is really helpful.
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By Jillsaysdance
On Wed May 24, 2006 10:41 PM
oh Gwen you help us sooo much! hehe see you on th. ;)
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By LouCeemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 05, 2006 04:44 AM
After reading this, I think I might be a scientific mistake! Because I can leap and jump and hold really easily (it's about the only thing I can do) but I have NO stomach muscles what so ever!

It's like click + kicks, I can click/kick high but when stretching like down, I can't even touch the floor without bending my knees?

But I will try some of the advice here anyways :D

Lucy xxx
re: The Ultimate "Height, Lift, and Hold" Guide
By Elphaba
On Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:33 PM
lucy, its the same with me, i cannot get down in a stretch at all, but i can get pretty high kicks and clicks too. i think it has to do with if you relax your muscles when you go up for them, because if you tense them, you won't go up high, and if you just go for it then you will. i don't know?
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