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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘dumbbells’

Inner Thigh – Weighted Bar

Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2012

Squats are great for the legs.  The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a squat is sitting in a chair.  So with the legs somewhat close together, the feet about shoulder width apart you then lowering your pelvis/buttocks down as if you are going to sit in a chair.  When in reality a squat CAN be with a wider stance.  I am vaguely remembering a “conversation” via comments on my blog about squats in Nia.  We were talking about Nia squats being different from the squats in my Ten Minute Workout.  I believe squats with weights are different from squats without weights.  And I think that since I was focused on squats with weights I was not really thinking about side squats.  We do side squats in Nia but now I think of that as Sumo Stance.  The routine I am looking at right now has many squats in it.  The squat works the legs, both front and back.  The wider apart the feet the more the movement works the inner thighs.  Since I am looking at a routine that has a lot of side squats or sumo stances it had me thinking . . . In addition to squats a way to get the adductors is to do movements where the leg is brought in towards the midline of the body.  One exercise you might be familiar with is the inner thigh lift/raise.  As with many exercises there are different versions and variations, but the basic of this one is lying on one side of your body with your torso propped up on your elbow.  The “top” leg is back behind you with your foot flat on the floor.  The other leg is straight down and lying on the floor.  Then you lift the leg up toward the sky, keeping it parallel with the earth.  So the inner thigh is being lifted toward the ceiling.

Well, this is a great one to use the weighted bar with.  I had forgotten about my bar until recently.  Then I remembered this exercise.  I would recommend using shoes with the bar.  I did it without shoes and I had to hold my foot at an odd angle to keep the bar from hurting my foot.  I decided to continue my set without putting on shoes – because I didn’t want to stop – but I made a mental note to use shoes in the future.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaOne end of the bar rests on the foot of your straight leg.  The bar runs the length of your body.  The other end is up near your hands where you can secure it to the ground.  Then you simply lift your leg.  Make sure that the bar is resting firmly on your foot so it does not roll off and cause an injury.  This exercise really targets the leg/hip adductors, the muscles that pull the thigh towards your body.

As I stated there are variations of this, some could be:  dumbbells place on the thigh (and held securely!), instead of using the weighted bar.  It can be done without any weights at all.  And/or without weight, the upper leg and be in front.

I think it is a great idea to do different exercises to target the same muscles.  Especially since when you do a different exercise to target a specific muscle or muscle group there are usually different or additional muscles that end up getting used.  So it is nice to switch it up.

Might you switch it up and do thigh raises instead of squats?  Are you familiar with the inner thigh lift?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Saturday – When do you do the Ten Minute Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on June 18, 2011

Many people have plans on Saturdays.  So that is why the Ten Minute Workout is perfect.  Get up, get it done.  Sometimes you are just not sure about your day.  I am not sure what this day will hold so . . . . I am putting in a placeholder.  I will come back and check in with you.

Then later today the regularly scheduled post will be #7 of our ten, Triceps Extensions.  I do have a triceps extension post, but it is with a weighted bar and it is lying down.  In our ten minute workout we are using dumbbells and are kneeling.  (Kneeling is just easier because we are already on the floor because we just did our sit ups.)

Have a great Saturday.

________________________________________________________________________

June 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Ok. To answer my own question, at 1:30, after I’ve had coffee and breakfast and waited for all that to digest. I had to make some adjustments/modifications, but I did my ten minute workout. I am confident that you will see some changes if you participate in this workout daily.

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Triceps Kick Backs

Posted by terrepruitt on June 11, 2011

This is a pretty common triceps exercise.  I would bet that you have seen it even if you have not done it.  It is often done with a dumbbell but for my Ten Minute Workout I opted for a resistance band on the BOSU.  Since this workout is a timed ten minutes, it is best to set it up before you begin the ten minutes.  As you can see in my picture in my Terre’s Ten Ten in Ten I have it all set up before hand.  The resistance band is on the flat side on the BOSU.  For this triceps kick back you stand on the band on the flat side of the BOSU.  Your stance is hip width apart or whatever is comfortable to allow you to balance on the BOSU.  Hold one end of the band in each hand.  Crouch down a little: you are bent over a little bit – knees bent and back straight.  Upper arms and elbows pull back behind your ribs.  Cricket style.  🙂  (Your arms would be the cricket legs.)  Then pull the band straightening your arms.  Only the elbow joint moves.  Everything else is stable and still.

You’ve done those before, huh?  They are pretty common.  We are just doing it a little different because of the BOSU and the band.  So how was that?  What questions come up when you do this exercise?

Posted in Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Biceps Curls

Posted by terrepruitt on June 7, 2011

A biceps curl is where you hold your upper arms at your side then with palms facing up pull your fists towards your biceps “curling” your arms. There are many ways you can do curls, but for the Ten Minute Workout I kept it simple so that is how this post will be.  Stand comfortably, straight spine all the way through the pelvis, knees soft.  Using two dumbbells, one in each hand, bring your hands to your biceps. Use a weight that allows you to complete ten curls in a row, but not too light.

Some things you want to keep in mind while doing biceps curls, keep your upper arms “still”. The idea of keeping them stuck to the sides of your body might help. The only portion of your body that should move during a biceps curl are your forearms. Your back should remain straight and stable. Your arms or your body should not swing in order for you to complete the curl. If you are swinging try slowing down,  If you cannot do the curl without swinging use a lighter dumbbell.

Questions?  Comments?

Posted in Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Triceps Extension

Posted by terrepruitt on March 1, 2011

I told my Nia Sister Jill that I wanted to post some exercises one can do with a weighted bar.  Her comment on my one of my last posts helped encourage me.  A couple of ways to use the weight bar is triceps extensions.  You can stand or sit down, grasp the bar in an over hand grip, then carefully raise it over your head until your elbows are pointed towards the ceiling and the bar is behind your head, push the bar up.  Concentrate on keeping your elbows pointing up at the ceiling.  Don’t rock, sway, or use momentum to get the bar up and back down (behind your head).   Be sure that the movement is smooth and controlled.  Your core is tight.  Abs contracted to assist in protecting your lower back.  The movement is just from your elbows and you are moving your forearms.  Your head does not move, the bar does not touch your head or your shoulders/neck.

This same thing can be translated into a lying down exercise.  Elbows pointed up, forearms move.  The triceps do the work do not let momentum move the weighted bar.  In this position your core is still tight.  Abs are contracted even while lying down.  Also be careful not to let the bar hit you in the head.

You hands can be about shoulder width apart or close together.  I like to adjust the width depending on how I am feeling.  Another way to do this, depending upon the weight of your bar, you can rest one end of the bar on the ground.  While this allows for the ground to assist you with the weight, I find that it requires me to have my wrist bent at an odd angle.  Be very aware of your wrist if you are allowing one end of the bar to rest on the ground.  You want to make certain that you are not injuring the rest.  So experiment to find a comfortable position that does not put too much stress on it.

These are the same exercises that you might have done with dumbbells.  Using the weight bar is just a different way of doing them.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Nia Balance

Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2011

So, I have been teaching my Nia classes with my injured toe.  I love it!  It is such an awesome lesson, an amazing reminder.  I have very good balance.  I have such good balance I am always shocked that there are times when I get off balance.  At  those times — when I am standing on a BOSU using dumbbells, or doing squats — I am reminded that there is always room for improvement. Because I DO understand there is always room for improvement I always try to work on my balance.  Nia is so, so, so, so good for balance.  With the challenge of my injured toe I am reminded what a great job Nia does in allowing for balance practice.

While walking around the room if you engage your arms in a constant dance of movement you can sense how your full foot is used.  Lower leg muscles can be sensed.  Walking on the balls of your feet, moving fast then slow, moving your arms requires you to engage your core.  All of the movements in Nia help to increase your balance and also require you to use so much of your body that we don’t always exercise throughout our day.  All the movements also serve to remind you that your entire body is connected.  Such as I mentioned before – walking and moving your arms you can sense your entire foot working to balance your body.

It is amazing to add the extra challenge of balance by moving your arms or moving fast then slow, or walking on a different part of the foot, or standing taller or moving lower.  I am thinking that I have said this or something similar in previous posts, but since I am being challenged with my balance lately it is coming up again.  I am using my whole left foot, but only the inside of my right foot.  With this unstable base every action of my arms requires a great test of balance.  It is a great reminder to me.  Nia is a great way to practice balance and since it is a dance and we are moving so much, it never feels like work.

Even though I would love for you to join me in one of my Nia classes, I know that is it not possible for some.  But it is possible for you to work on your own balance while going about your day.  Easy things you can do; stand on one foot while cooking/taking a shower/vacuuming/whatever, move your arms about while you walk around, walk on the balls of your feet, hop on one leg, what else?  What can you come up with to help practice your balance?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 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 »