The Tango Muscles

The Tango Muscles
all the chains

Stabilization Chain* Intention/Direction Muscles

*(not pictured: transverse abdominus)

Muscle Chains
stabilization chain
The stabilization chain supports each dancer’s arc and the arch of connection. The quantity of muscle contraction increases for movements and moments requiring more force.

The triceps keep the embrace taut.

The shoulder external rotators stabilize the shoulder joint which stabilizes the connection between embrace and body.

The transverse abdominus stabilizes the spine.

The piriformis stabilizes the hip joint, the relationship between the leg and the spine.

The embrace stabilizers are always in a gentle contraction for both partners: the shoulder external rotators (infraspinatus and teres minor) and triceps keep the embrace taut.

The supraspinatus adducts the arm associated with the obliques showing direction lateral to the Mark.

The deltoid stabilizes the embrace when the partners are moving in the same direction.
Toward and away from the mark = Psoas to flex hips + Deltoids to stabilize vertical shoulder flexion. Lateral & All Pivots = Obliques to rotate spine + Supraspinatus to abduct leading arm. For change of foot, the obliques are used at lower intensity with NO arm abduction.

Co-contraction is simultaneous contraction of paired muscles. Co-contraction of the hamstrings (biceps femoris) and quadriceps is used to create extra power and stability, elasticity (rebote), and to send extra power through the revel’s body to send the leg into the air (voleo gancho) or to create a contra block (patada, rebote cadera).

In blocking contra movements we use co-contraction of biceps and triceps.

We also use co-contraction of these muscle pairs to intensify the arch to support off-balance moves, volcada and colgada.

Stabilization Chain

Transverse Abdominus

The Transverse Abdominus stabilizes the pelvis and thoracic (middle) spine.

Supports upright posture, gently, leaving hip flexors relaxed and hips flexed.
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The Piriformis muscles are in the muscle group of hip rotators. They externally rotate the femur.

Stabilizes the hip and holds external rotation of the base leg.

gluteus piri
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quadriceps animation


The Quadriceps extend the knee and flex the hips.


Provide additional power to the entire base-arc stabilization chain.

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The peroneal muscles are responsible for plantar-flexion of the ankle.

These muscles are also the control system during transfer of weight and pointing the toes of the free leg in the air.

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Embrace Actions
external rotators

Shoulder External Rotators

Infraspinatus and teres minor are part of the Rotator Cuff muscle group. These two externally rotate the humerus.

Ensures that embrace is accurately conveying the direction and force created by lower body.<

ext rotation embrace
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The triceps extend and stabilize the elbow joint.

Maintains tautness in the embrace.

triceps embrace
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The Anterior Deltoids flex the shoulder.

Stabilizes the embrace when the intention is toward or away from the Mark.

Argentine Tango Technique
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TangoForge Argentine Tango Technique: Muscles


Supraspinatus abducts the arm.

Stabilizes the embrace when the intention is lateral to the Mark.

lateral intention supraspinatus
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The Oblique muscles rotate the torso.
Shows intention lateral to the Mark. This is the muscle that drives all pivots for both partners.
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The Psoas Major joins the upper body and the lower body (the spine to the femur), the axial to the appendicular skeleton, the inside to the outside, and the back to the front. As part of the iliopsoas, psoas major contributes to flexion in the hip joint.”

Flexes the hips to show intention toward and away from the Mark. For the Revel, the Psoas prepares the base leg for all projections

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