Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘balance exercise’

Rocking Around the Clock

Posted by terrepruitt on February 15, 2011

Nia has a list of 52 moves.  A lot of Nia’s moves are moves that are from different forms of dance.  I knew a lot of them already because of the different dance I have been involved in.  One thing I’ve done before is just rolling around the foot, in Nia we call it Rock Around the Clock.  Normally we actually STEP to or on positions as if we are dancing on clock on the ground, but for this move it is rolling on our feet, as if on positions of a clock.

With your knees relaxed and your upper body loose, rock back onto your heels.  If going “counter-clockwise” you would rock to the right edge of both your feet–at the same time.  Then move to the balls of your feet, rising on your toes.  Then rock and roll 🙂 to the left edge of your feet.  Both at the same time.  The feet roll to 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 12 o’clock, then 9 o’clock.  Rock around the clock.  Don’t forget to rock clock-wise.

This move helps build strength in the ankles and the lower leg.  A strong base is a stable base.  With this move the muscles in the feet can also be exercised.  Since often our feet are encased in shoes that don’t allow them to achieve the movement they are designed for, this move can help with strengthening our feet AND improving flexibility.

Nia’s Rock Around the Clock is a prime example of one of the exercises we do in a Nia class that is easy to do and results in huge benefits.  If at first you find this move a challenge to your balance that’s ok, practice it holding onto a table, a chair, a counter then before you know it you will be able to rock around the clock without any help.
Update-ish:  On January 15, 2015 I posted about another way to practice this move.  Click here to go to Ways To Practice Rock Around The Clock.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Weighted Bar

Posted by terrepruitt on January 20, 2011

Look what my parents bought me for Christmas.  Yup, I asked for dumbbells, but I did it at the last minute so then gave me cash instead—WAIT!  I just realized that.  Hmmm?  Maybe I’m onto something . . . .  Sorry, I digress.  Anyway . . .they gifted me more than plain dumbbells cost so I got a weighted bar too!  Yay!  I just got it and I can’t wait until my toe is  COMPLETELY  healed so I can really use the bar.

A weighted bar can be used in so many ways.  It can be used as you would use dumbbells.  You can use it for bicep curls, bent over rows, dead lifts, lunges, triceps extensions . . . . pretty much like dumbbells.  The length adds to the effort of   having to keep it stable.  So, I can use it now, sitting down, but since it does add an additional balance element to it,   I need to wait until my toe is healed (and I can actually balance my foot) before I start adding that extra weight.

One reason wanted this was so that I could do Good Mornings, because that is one exercise that needs a bar.  Holding the bar over your shoulders just makes more sense.

For now I am able to still do Nia in my classes, but I am limited until my toe heals.  I am not doing much with weights at the time being.  I am very excited to really get to work with my bar, though.  So stay tuned.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Bow Stance

Posted by terrepruitt on January 30, 2010

One thing about a blog on WordPress, I can see search terms.  My blog statistics show me terms used in a search that led people to my blog.  One thing I noticed was bow stance came up a lot in the search terms.  People want to know what it is, how to do it, what is it for, etc.

So I thought I would post another post on the Bow Stance.  I am familiar with the stance from other exercises and other exercise classes.  It is not unique to Nia, but Nia includes it in the Nia 52 Moves.  I feel it can be compared to a lunge. 

The bow stance is one leg bent with the foot flat on the ground, the other leg is bent and out behind with the heel lifted and the ball of the foot on the ground.  The feet are not aligned, so if you were to bring your back foot forward it would not collide with the foot in front.  Can you picture it?  It is kind of like a lunge. 

The Nia Technique book states that the benefits are conditioning for walking and dealing with changing levels as the body’s center moves up and down. 

My feelings about the bow stance are that it is great for working out the lower body and for practicing balance. 

The bow stance can be done with many variations.  The typical bow stance is that described above, but, when the feet are place wider apart as if on two railroad ties the stance actually becomes more stable, but if you add moving arms to that it become less stable.  If you were to raise and lower your entire body, it changes the dynamics yet again.  If you were to add motion to the hips, it changes it again.  If you were to place the back foot further back it changes it again.  Another way to challenge the muscles is to change which foot holds the weight, leaning the weight to the front or to the back. 

This stance is used a lot in Nia routines and I imagine that is because it is such a great exercise and it can be used so many different ways.  It fits into many different songs and adds to the dance.  Sometimes we move in and out of it quickly, sometimes we stay and play.  It is a great movement.

Previously I mentioned it being good for the lower body that is because you can see how it is very good for the feet and ankles too.  When the back foot it resting on the ball of the foot, it helps with both strength and flexibility of the foot.  When movement is added to the stance it helps with both strength and flexibility of the ankle.

So we answered the question originally stated:

    the bow stance is somewhat like a lunge
    one foot is in front flat on the ground, the other is in back with the heel up, both legs are bent
    it helps with strength, balance, and flexibilty

I hope that helps.  If you have anything to add or ask, please do so.  And, as always thank you for stopping by. If you want to see how the bow stances is added to a dance workout and you want to try it yourself, join me in a class.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »