Posts Tagged ‘workout’
Posted by terrepruitt on March 19, 2013
While you are doing your plank you might notice some of the muscles involved in doing the plank. As I am sure you know, there are many variations to the plank. Many movement practices/exercise disciplines do planks. There is a plank in yoga, in Pilates, in weight training . . . you probably have seen it all over. That alone tells you that it is an exercise/pose worth doing right? We even do planks in Nia. If there is a version in so many different disciplines it could be that is because does a body good. The plank we are doing in our Plank A Day Challenge is the plank on our forearms as opposed to the plank where your arms are straight (the position of the “top” of a push-up). There are a lot of muscles used in this plank.
The muscles being used in a plank are the abdominal muscles, the back muscles, the muscles in the arms, the shoulders, leg muscles, and butt muscles. So pretty much muscles in every muscle group. You can understand why it is such a great exercise. It is a full body workout. So, while it might not utilize every muscles it calls upon a lot of them. If you are participating in the challenge you might even notice that the endurance in the muscles is improving.
I often think of the plank as a great exercise to work on your core. You might have heard “core” and “core muscles” before. You might even wonder what they are. And just like so many things there are so many answers. I think of the core as a muscle group. I think of the core muscles as the group that allows your body to remain stable and/or upright. So sometimes that could include your quads if you are standing or doing a plank.
Having a strong and stable core helps us accomplish everyday things. From sitting, to walking, to doing things with our arm as in pushing, pulling, carrying, etc. A strong trunk helps us when we need to work with are arms. Especially with our arms extended. If we are do something with our arms out, say opening a window, grabbing a grocery bag and bringing it towards you, or pushing something in to a vehicle for transport, you rely a lot on your torso. So when it is strong and stable it can support you while you do these task.
On top of the strong core having arms that are able to open windows, grab and hold groceries, pull them towards you or push things help with every day life too. Be able to do all of these everyday things might be one reason the plank is in so many exercise disciplines. It is a great functional exercise. It is understood that it can assist with muscle strength and endurance. And it is one of the exercises that gets a lot of muscles all at once!
Are you participating in our challenge? Are you feeling your muscles? You have probably felt the muscles used in a plank, right?
Posted in Core Muscles, Muscles, Planking | Tagged: abdominal exercise, core muscle group, Core Muscles, core workout, exercise, functional exercise, Nia, Nia exercises, Pilates, plank, plank a day challenge, plank challenge, plank muscles, planking, shoulder exercise, stable core, weight training, workout, Yoga | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 9, 2013
Saturday and our ninth day of planking. The nice thing about this challenge is even if it is your “rest” day in your workout schedule you can still get in some planking time!
I have another idea on how to time yourself. Once you feel you have good form, your body is aligned properly, you can use a stopwatch type of timer. I have one on my iPhone. I would imagine other phones have something like it. I know there are a lot of apps for timers. Get into your plank position and then press start on the timer. Check your form, get comfortable, settle in and then look at your timer. I bet by the time you look at the stopwatch you will have already done the time you think you can do. Then if you want you can hold it for a few seconds more.
This is a way for you to find out how long you really can do it. Then you can add accordingly.
Also remember there might be days where the duration is less than normal. It is ok to have a day that is a bit off. Just get back to it the next day!
Whatever way you choose to time yourself is great. This is just another way to do it!
How is your planking going?
Posted in Planking | Tagged: app timers, iphone, month of planking, plank, planking, planking challenge, planking time, stopwatch, workout, workout schedule | 5 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 3, 2012
Nia has a different closed stance than some other dances and exercises I know. In Pilates the stance is heels touching and toes apart. I’ve heard it called a Pilates V. The Pilates V is done in more positions than standing. Sometimes there are exercises done while on the reformer where we will place our feet in Pilates V. It is nice to have positions that are specific. It helps a lot. I as a teacher can just say, “Closed stance.” and the Nia students will know what that means. Instead of forming a V as in the Pilates stance we form more of a rectangle. A basic closed stance is simple. It is stable. Nia’s closed stance is the side of the big toes touching and heels apart. It is as if all four corners of a rectangle are in contact with the edge of the foot. This allows for a very stable base. In the basic closed stance the arms hang. The back is straight, we are standing tall, lengthening the spine. Knees are relaxed as well was the feet. Weight is balanced evenly on both feet. Simple closed stance.
Closed stance is one of the six stances in the Nia 52 Moves. There is Closed Stance, Open Stance, A Stance, Sumo (or Riding) Stance, Bow Stance, and Cat Stance. I believe that in its basic form closed stance is the easiest. But when other elements are added that might not hold true.
We can practice our agility by walking quickly then stopping in closed stance. We might choose to be in closed stance while we allow just our arms to be agile . . . moving around in a starting and stopping fashion. We could just let our closed stance be stable as our arms are mobile. We could do an entire body dance . . . close stance dance. For some this is a challenge, even though our feet are formed into a rectangle and the idea is of a stable base it is still a practice in balance to have your feet secured to the earth while the rest of your body moves around. As I said, what we do with a close stance might not be so simple.
Practicing walking and stopping in closed stance is a good check to make certain you are not landing in “toes in“. The heels shouldn’t be that far apart as if you are doing toes in. Yet the toes should be touching. Coming from other stances to closed is good for conditioning the legs. Moving from Sumo to closed, or from at to closed is something to practice. Again we don’t want our heels to land too far apart making us pigeon toed.
I know of several routines that have us going through the stances. We start out in closed, then go to open stance, then go to A stance, then go to sumo. In some routines we work back through the stances, but in some we do move right into closed from sumo. I can’t think of one where we go from closed to sumo, but I bet there is one and I just can’t put my finger on it. Nia loves to mix up the moves to get the most out of the workout.
Can you sense the stability in the Nia Closed Stance?
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: A Stance, Bow Stance, Cat Stance, closed stance, dance exercise, dance positions, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia Moves, Nia participants, Nia Teacher, Nia workout, Nia's 52 Moves, open stance, Pilates, Pilates reformer, Pilates V, Riding Stance, Sumo Stance, workout | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 1, 2011
Wet, slimy, noisy, some say even tasty. No, I am not talking about frogs the amphibians. There is an exercise I learned in Pilates I know as Frogs. I can’t think of a move we do in Nia that is comparable. You lie on your back with your legs in the air. Your heels touch, toes out, feet flexed like in first position, your thighs are squeezing. Then you bend your knees, then straighten them as if you are jumping like a frog. This can be a somewhat big bend or a little pulse-type movement. Concentrate on keeping the heels together, your feet flexed, and your thigh muscles tight. Make sure you squeeze really tight when your legs are straight. This is one of those exercises where bigger is not necessarily better. The little pulses really compel you to squeeze your legs.
You can add another element to the exercise if you would like, by lowering your legs to any degree. Another way to adjust this exercise besides lowering your legs is by making it more challenging by adding resistance tubing or a resistance band. You would hold the resistance band in both hands and secure the band around your heels/feet then do the same frog leg jumping motion.
This exercise is a great workout for the legs. With your feet flexed and heels touching you might sense your gastrocnemius and soleus, the muscles of the calves. You will probably sense the stretch. The lower leg muscles that are on the front of your legs are the ones you will probably sense most. These are the ones really working to keep your foot flexed. The anterior tibial is the main muscle used in dorsiflexion, which is flexing your foot towards your shin. Another muscles used in dorsiflexion is the extensor hallucis longus. So these muscles will get a great workout.
Really pushing through your heels and straightening your legs stretches the calves as well as the hamstrings. People with tight hamstrings might have to practice a bit in order to get their legs straight. Even though it is not the hamstrings that straighten the leg, when they are tight, the legs cannot always straighten. The hamstrings are the muscles that will work to bend the knee.
Now the main muscles that you will sense in this exercise are the quadriceps. These large muscles in your upper leg will be the ones that are helping you to keep your legs together. While you are doing this exercise you really want to concentrate on keeping your thighs together. squeeze them together. This squeezing is ONE of the ways this exercise works the thighs. It also works the thighs when you straighten the legs. The quadriceps are the ones that will also straighten the leg.
Since you are going to be flexing the knees and hips and rotating the thigh outward you are going to be working the sartorius. This muscle starts at the outside of the hip and crosses over the thigh bone and inserts in at the inner part of the tibia, the bone below the knee. This muscles crosses over two joints.
If you are really squeezing your legs this will also work your glutes. This exercise can even allow the abs to get in on the fun.
This is a great lower body exercise. It allows for so many muscles to be worked. As with many exercises it can be done a variety of ways to increase the challenge. So did you get down on the floor and try it in the middle of reading this? I am sure that your co-workers would understand.
Posted in Training and Exercise | Tagged: amphibians, calves, exercies, first position, glutes, great exercise, Hamstrings, Nia, Nia Moves, Nia workout, Pilates, Quadriceps, slimy frogs, workout | 10 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 15, 2011
Ok, so it is Wednesday and as you might notice, it is 1:00 am and I am not in bed yet. This means I have a few more things to do before I get to bed, which means I will not be up at 6:00 am doing my Ten Minute Workout, drinking my coffee, reviewing my Nia Routine, deciding on a Nia focus, and popping out the door in time to be at the studio 15 minutes early for my Nia class. In fact, around here, when the weather is nice traffic is worse, at least lately because our weather in the San Francisco Bay Area has been so wet and rainy, I think when it is sunny people think they have to be out. If it stays like this, then people will settle down and it won’t be so bad . . . . I hope, but on Wednesday, it is ALWAYS worse than Mondays and Fridays. Go figure. (I have my theories.) On Wednesdays I have to leave a few minutes before I do on Mondays.
Since I am not a morning person that means, I will do my Ten Ten in Ten after my class. But YOU can do it anytime. And the beauty of it is . . . . you can share . . . .
So . . . . tell me . . . . how is it going? What are you doing with it? What questions do you have? One of my readers I am lucky enough to actually see in person so I was able to answer some of her questions, what about you? What do you want to know about this workout?
June 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm
Ok, after 3:00, but I did it. This workout is really meant to be something that easily fits in your day. If completing it is a challenge then it seems like ten minutes is a good start to a workout. If it is not challenging and you want more than you can add reps, sets, or weight. Or it could be that you are adding it to something else you are doing.
It really is something that can work for anyone if they want. If the way it is presented is not “working” for you but you want to do it, let me know. You can always send me an e-mail if you don’t want to comment.
Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: Bay Area Nia, dance studio, exercise studio, exercises, Nia, Nia class, Nia focus, Nia routine, Nia San Francisco Bay Area, reps, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, San Francisco Bay Area Nia Classes, sets, SFBay Nia, ten exercises, ten minute workout, workout | 5 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 13, 2011
Helloooooooooo. I have my Monday morning San Jose Nia Class today at 9:00 am. I am not a morning person, maybe you have figured that out from my posts. By “morning person” I mean I don’t go bed by 10:00 pm and automatically wake up a 6:00 am or 7:00 am. I CAN get up in the morning and I DO get up in the morning when I have a Nia class to teach. I like to be up in enough time so that I can drink some coffee and review my routine. I like to leave in time for me to get there fifteen minutes early. So even though my Ten Minute Workout is only ten minutes I do not get up early enough to do it and all the other things I have to do. I also don’t get up early enough to even turn on my computer. I am posting this after midnight before I go to bed. I have made it a rule that I cannot turn on my computer in the morning on Mondays and Wednesdays because then I get caught up in doing work on it and I don’t get all that I have to get done before I have to leave to teach my 9 am Nia class.
On Fridays, my Los Gatos Nia class is late enough that I could get up and do my Ten Ten in Ten before, but at this point, by Friday my foot/toe is reminding me that it is still not 100% and so I “save” up my toe/foot for my class. I want to give my Nia students 100% so I don’t do my workout before. When my toe IS at 100% I will definitely do some exercising before my class because on Fridays I tend to get home in the afternoon and I have other things to do. I end up not getting to the workout until way late.
Ha . . . all of this is really just a placeholder to allow you to check in and to tell you . . . . . . I WILL BE BACK!
Well, how is it going for you this Monday morning?
June 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm
I did my ten minutes. I did it about an hour ago.
Any one else do their’s too?
Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: early morning workout, Los Gatos Nia, morning workout, Nia, Nia class, Nia Los Gatos, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, San Jose Nia, teach Nia, ten minute workout, workout | 3 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 4, 2011
I subbed a Nia Class this morning. Nia is a lot “about” the music. We dance to the music. Today while I was teaching I really just let the music take me and I danced. I didn’t hold back much because of my foot. I don’t put my weight on my right foot when I am in ball of foot position or bow stance, but I was DOING ball of foot (a GREAT step forward in my healing process). During the class once or twice I wobbled or missed a beat because my foot kind didn’t want to support me. At another point I realized I was on the EDGE of my right foot (another HUGE step forward in my healing process). I had enough time in which to think about that and while it seemed ok, I was glad when the music told me it was time to move again because it didn’t seem like I should be doing that for much longer. I really worked my foot this morning. I went all out in Nia class. That led me to not wanting to do my Ten Minute Workout. I was really dreading the lunges because I am not ready to put weight on my right foot in ball of foot position—-and that is what a lunge is!!!
I came upstairs to do it. Then I sat down at my computer, did an e-mail or two and I decided my foot really was too tired to do it. I logged onto my blog to post that I was skipping Terre’s Ten Ten in Ten today, but when I saw the picture of my “gym” I thought, “It is really only 10 minutes. And it is really just the first exercise that you are dreading. So . . . do it LESS. Even more “less” than you have been.” So . . . . I did it. It is obvious to me that I spend a lot of time in my long lunges — when I do them fully on a stable foot — because I thought that I was not going to make it two times through and when I looked at my timer I had plenty of time left and I was on the stability ball pass for the second time. When I do lunges little it takes me less time.
I did my little workout, how about you? What are you finding while you do these exercises?
Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: 10 minute workout, Ball of foot, exercise, healing process, lunges, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia exercises, Nia Music, stability ball pass, teaching Nia, ten minute workout, workout | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 3, 2011
I have a Nia Class to teach today. I decided to do my Ten Minute Workout before I teach. I was mellow on my left step forward in my long lunges because my right foot is still learning to be strong again and so I didn’t want to push it before I teach. I am saving my bow stance for Nia class. But I got my Ten Ten in Ten in (I made it through twice). I left the equipment out in case I want to do it again when I get back.
How about you?
Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: Bow Stance, exercise, exercise equipment, lunges, Nia, Nia exercises, Nia Teacher, teach Nia, ten minute workout, Terre’s Ten Ten in Ten, workout, workout equipment | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 31, 2011
There are a lot of 10 minute workouts. Ten minutes is really not a long time, it probably won’t get you to any lofty fitness goals, but that is where specificity comes in. If your goal is to run a marathon or bench press 200 pounds then 10 minutes of working out won’t get you there. You need to train specifically for specific goals. Ten minute workouts are good for other things. If you are really pressed for time and just need a quick fix. If you are new to exercising. If you are doing another form of working out and just want to add a little something more. If you are recovering from an injury. If you are just learning a new exercise. If you have ADD. There are a lot of good reasons and ways to incorporate a ten minute workout into your day.
There are also different ways you can do a workout for ten minutes. Again, how you do it depends on why you are doing it. If you are pressed for time sometimes just getting through it is what you need to do. That ten minutes will just help you feel like you did something good for yourself even if the rest of the day is jammed packed with a lot of other stuff. If you are just starting an exercise program it could be that getting through ten minutes is all you can do . . . it depends on the workout. If you have a great program that you do, say cardio, like Nia, but you want to add in a little training with weights or additional stretching a 10 minute workout could be perfect. And if you are recovering from an injury it could be that 10 minutes is all that you can do safely. When learning a new exercise it could be that 10 minutes is all that your brain can take at a time. Again, it all depends on why you are doing it AND what you are doing.
Before I hurt my foot, I had come up with a little 10 minute workout I felt was a good way to get a quick workout all over. I designed it to be done with the workout tools and toys I have. I only did it a few times before I hurt my foot. Since I really was having to concentrate on teaching my classes, I pretty much stopped doing everything else. So now I am feeling that a ten minute workout would be great for me because of a few of the reasons I stated above.
The list/workout is what you see pictured here. It is nothing revolutionary it is just 10 exercises that you do 10 times each in 10 minutes. In my next regularly scheduled post (Thursday) I will explain the list. In subsequent regularly scheduled posts (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) I will give more detailed explanations of the exercises, modifications, and various things that come up related to this 10 minute workout. And everyday, I will post when I have done it. I will actually be doing some of the exercises in a modified fashion because of my foot. I have to modify my activity based on my teaching schedule and daily activity.
Anytime you want you to can do this list. Post in the comment that you did it too. Ask questions and I will either answer them in the comments or in a separate post. I think this is a great way for me to share some exercises with you. I hope you will join me in this 10 minute workout. Really 10 minutes isn’t that long. Ten exercises done 10 times each in 10 minutes. Ten Ten in Ten. You can do it. And you can let me know when you’ve done it. Ok? What do you say? Are you in?
Posted in Ten Minute Workout (Posts), Working Out | Tagged: 10 minute workout, bands, bent over lateral raises, biceps curls, BOSU, exercise, exercise program, fitness goals, hamstring curls, long lunges, lunges, modified activity, modified exercise, Nia, Nia exercise, Nia workout, push up, recovering from an injury, run a marathon, sit ups, specificity, squats, stability ball pass, stability ball sit up, ten minute workout, triceps, triceps extension, Triceps kick backs, workout | 4 Comments »