Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Deep, Not On The Surface

Posted by terrepruitt on March 24, 2015

A lot of movement forms, from different dances to different types of exercise regimes, use chest isolations.  One of Nia’s 52 Moves.  See, as I have said over and over, not unique to Nia, but something that we use in our routines.  Something we can say and people know what the move is.  Even if they can’t do it, they know what it is.  This move moves the chest so – as with a lot of moves that involve the movement of the chest – some people are hesitant to do it.  Some people think of moves that move the chest as moves that moves the breasts and for some people this creates a lot of issues.  As a woman, there are some moves that are just going to move the breasts but that is not the focus.  Often times when I encourage people to focus on what is actually the focus of the movement, they can release any feelings or ideas that might be blocking the movement.  I mentioned this in my post about the Shimmy.  I have seen relief or understanding pass over people’s faces when they take the focus off of what is part of the front of the body/chest and onto the back when it comes to the shimmy.  The same with the chest isolations.  Your chest is moving that means everything connected to it, but the focus is on the muscles and the bones.

The movement of the spine, the ribs, the sternum, and even the collar bones is a chest isolations.  See, even though it might feel like you are move the front (breasts) the focus is on all the other things.  The back muscles help move the spine side to side allowing the ribs to slide from side to side over the hips.  The sternum floats to different places over the hips.  The collar bones stay level.  You can just also press your ribs forward and pull them back.  Your arms are out to the side or you can place your hands on your hips to help ensure there is no movement in the hips.  You can make your ribs move in circles.

With the side to side motion I used to reference a typewriter carriage.  Remember those?  They would slide to one side of the machine and kind of hang over then you would use the return arm to get it to slide back.  That is a GREAT visual and I actually see some people replicate it.  But then I see others in class who don’t even know what a typewriter is.  And if they do it was certainly the electric version that didn’t have a visible moving carriage with a return arm-dohicky.  So we just focus on the slide.

The chest isolations help keep you spine flexible and mobile.  It also helps you use those muscle that are inside, the intrinsic muscles.  The little ones that help with balance.  While you are doing the chest isolation movement you can focus on the and sense them.

Another way to isolate the chest is you can do a more front-back movement. If you are doing the front back portion of the move it is as if you are closing your chest and opening your back.  And then opening your chest and closing your back.  Arms can help. Bring your elbows back and draw them together to help open the chest and close the back.  Then bring them forward to open the back and close the chest.

This is one of those moves you can do anywhere.  You can do it in your car while you are stopped at a traffic light.  Don’t worry, other people don’t look up from their cell phones they will never notice you sliding your ribs around.  Enjoy the relaxed sensation and flexibility.

Are you familiar with chest isolations?  Do you do them in your current dance class?  Do you do them in your exercise program?

2 Responses to “Deep, Not On The Surface”

  1. Wow. Powerful. Yes I use Chest Isolations and Shimmys in my classes. I have never put such glorious language around them though. Thank you!!

    Like

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