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

    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 ‘hamstring curls’

Stability Ball Stretch

Posted by terrepruitt on August 26, 2014

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, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesYou are probably familiar with the stability ball.  If you have ever gone to a gym or a place like it you have probably seen them.  They are a great tool to use.  They have even found their way into offices.  Some people use them to sit on instead of office chairs.  A small group of women I worked with when I was still in the corporate world tried using them as chairs.  They work fine to sit on.  They can give you an extra reminder to engage your core and not slouch, but they were very inconvenient when it came to moving and rolling.  I mean there is a reason office chairs have wheels.  I never even realized how often I rolled around at my desk until I had the ball.  It was most inconvenient and took up extra time.  They have bases that the ball can set into.  I do not know if they have wheels.  I am also not clear on that whole concept.  I thought the idea of sitting on the ball was to balance yourself on the ball, therefore using a lot of extra muscles.  So with the ball in a base that holds it balanced, it is not clear to me what the benefit is.  Well, that is where we can turn it around and I can show you a nice benefit to the stability ball.  A nice open-the-front-of-the-body stretch.

I have already showed you the Stability Ball Pass (click here for that) and the Hamstring Curls (click here for that) in two separate posts.  Those are two great exercises you can do with the stability ball.  This post is about a stretch.  Easy, plain, simple.  It is like the stretch on the roller but much bigger, more intense.

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, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesYou start by sitting on the ball, then walk your feet out away from the ball.  Allow yourself to roll on the ball from tailbone to full spine.  Stop at the point where your back is fully supported by the ball.  Your neck is about at the start of the curve where the crown of your head is hanging over the “edge” of the ball.  You can start small with your arms by keeping your elbows bent.  (As shown in the first picture.)  Your hands near your face.  If this is a big stretch for you, just let your arms hang in the bent elbow position.

If you are looking for a much bigger stretch allow your hands to go over your head and let your arms hang.  You can adjust and experiment with your arms more “directly” over your head or with your arms wide and your hands over your head, but out to the side.  Both positions a great stretch for the upper arm muscles, but the target muscles are slightly different.  You will be able to sense it and decide which is best for you at the moment.

This is good for opening up and stretching the front of your body, your chest and abs.  Your back gets a little stretch in the form of a small back bend, but it is the front upper half of the body that you can really sense it.  I love this stretch!

How about you?  Are you familiar with this one?  Do you love it?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Without a ball, a band, and a BOSU

Posted by terrepruitt on June 28, 2011

If you are going to embark on doing the Ten Minute Workout, you can do it without a ball, a band, and/or a BOSU.  You definitely don’t need those things.  I would think if you were planning on exercising at home you would have at least one set of dumbbells.  The issue might be that your dumbbells are too light. Since I do not know your fitness level or your goals, please keep in mind that I am speaking in general and that YOU are responsible for your health and well-being.  With your goals established you need to use the proper weight.  The following information is to give you ideas on how to do things differently than originally proposed in the Ten Minute Workout, but you are responsible for doing things safely.  If you have questions on what to do to help you reach your goals let me know.  Listed are the exercises of the ten that required either a stability ball, a resistance band, and/or a BOSU.

Keep in mind it all depends on what you want the results to be.

(#3) – Squats:  You can do squats standing on the ground.  The BOSU added the extra element of having to balance.  If you don’t have a BOSU and you still want to work on balance while you do squats, you could try doing them on an inflatable pool float.  Be careful!  But you will notice that standing on something with air in it makes you have to balance more than just standing on the ground.  If you think about it that is what a BOSU is.  It is just plastic filled with air.  If you don’t have something inflatable you can stand on, you can still get a little balance work in by holding something somewhat heavy in one hand.  Or even try a bottle of water and let the water slosh around.  Do five, then switch hands.  Or you could just close your eyes.  You would be amazed at how much that throws off people’s balance.

(#4) – Triceps kickbacks: For this you don’t want the weight to be too heavy.  You should be able to complete the ten, but not necessarily too fast or easy.  And don’t have the weight be too heavy that you have to swing it to get the movement done.

(#5) – Hamstring curls:  With this you can either lay on your stomach and put a weight between your feet/ankles and pull your feet back to your butt.  Down to the ground and back to your butt.  Or you can stand and “Kick” your butt, one leg at a time.  (Yeah, the same move we used to do in Jazzercise.)

(#8) – Push ups: Use the ground instead of the BOSU.  Or something higher (STABLE coffee table, stair, whatever works and can be incorporated into your “gym”) than the ground if you prefer

(#9) – Bent over lateral raises: I actually like these better with a dumbbell.  Remember that the details about your shoulders still apply.  Hold a weight in each hand, bent over slightly and with a straight back, and open and close your arms.  This weight will probably need to be less than the one you are using for your biceps curls.  But again, it depends on YOU and your goals.  That is not a definitive statement, just a general one.

(#10) – Stability ball pass:  Well, without the ball it is really just a V Sit-up.   Lay down raise your legs while rising up with shoulders and arms to meet your legs.  You body forms a V.  Arms over your head while you lower upper body and legs to the ground.   If you don’t have a stability ball you would always try using a different ball, but that is up to you.  Either way it is a V sit-up.

Does that help?  Remember the basic form of the exercise still applies; straight back, only forearms moving, etc. or whatever applied to the original exercise.  I am not aware of what equipment you have but there is always something to do without any equipment at all.  Even without dumbbells.  Body weight exercise are great.  If you have any questions let me know.  ALSO, please feel free to SHARE what you do use or what you workout with.

Posted in Hamstrings, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Terre’s Ten Ten in Ten

Posted by terrepruitt on June 2, 2011

Here is the Ten Minute Workout with some explanation.  Questions and comments welcome.

1 – Long lunges: lunge with a long step with a dumbbell in each hand down at your side then come back up to standing.  Each “step” is one.

2 – Biceps Curls: hold a dumbbell in each hand, keep upper arms still bring dumbbell to bicep and then down.

3 – Squats:  lower down as if you are going to sit in a chair then stand up while standing on the flat side of the BOSU.

4 – Triceps kickbacks: each hand holding one end of the resistance band, arms are pulled back with elbows back (past your ribs), pull the band back straightening the arm (only forearms move) while standing on the band on the flat side of the BOSU in a slightly bent over position. Keep a straight back.

5 – Hamstring curls:  lie down legs on the stability ball (the ball is about half way up the calf) and pull the ball back rolling it towards your butt and then roll it back out while in bridge position.

6 – Sit ups: knees up feet on floor lift shoulders off the floor, then lift more, somewhat more of a crunch.

7 – Triceps Extensions:  weights in hands behind your head (hands are close together or even holding both weights), elbows pointed to the sky, lift weights to the sky only moving at the elbow straightening your arms.

8 – Push ups: using the BOSU (round side on ground).

9 – Bent over lateral raises with band: each hand holding one end of the band, open arms out to side while standing on the band on the flat side of the BOSU in a slightly bent over position. Keep a straight back.

10 – Stability ball pass: lie down hold ball between your feet/ankles raise your legs holding the ball while rising up with shoulders and arms to meet your legs (as in a V sit-up) grab the ball bringing it over your head to the floor.  Lift up back up lifting legs and give the ball back to our legs. (Count “one” at each ball touch down)

As with ANY exercise or exercise program, be careful and be sure you are able to safely do the exercise you engage in.  If you need doctor’s clearance, be sure to get it.

Do ten repetitions of these ten exercises in ten minutes. Repeat if time allows.

What questions do you have?  Let me know.

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

Sit-Ups – messed me up

Posted by terrepruitt on June 1, 2011

Ok, so I did my ten minute workout.  I did it in the afternoon instead of the morning because I had Nia class to teach today and afternoon is the time my schedule allowed me to do it.

I ALMOST did all ten exercises twice in 10 minutes.  I was going very fast.  I am not able to do the length of lunges I want because of my right toe/foot, so that makes it faster–I think.  But I had my list propped up (the list pictured in the Ten Minute Workout post) and I jumped from my triceps kick backs to sit-ups.  When I looked up to see what was next I realized that I skipped hamstring curls so I did those.  Then I did my sit-ups again.  So I got messed up . . . it wasn’t really the sit-ups that messed me up.  🙂  Then as I was doing the last set of stability ball passes, I realized I was counting only on the top touch down.

So, I think that because I was going so fast I was basically able to do the list twice going over by 33 seconds.  But YOU do it your way.  Slow, fast, heavy, light, whatever you need to do to get moving for 10 minutes.

Ok, so?  Did YOU do it today?

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

Ten Minute Workout

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 Exercise and Working Out, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Hamstrings

Posted by terrepruitt on November 14, 2009

Not the string you use to tie up a pig or a ham, but the muscle group.  There are three muscles that make up the Hamstrings; the Semimembranosus, the Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris.

These muscles flex the knee bringing your foot toward your buttocks, extend the thigh, and rotate the hip/leg.

I have been thinking about my hamstrings A LOT the past few days because of a recent workout where I did a few exercises that really worked my hamstrings.  There are a lot of gyms in San Jose but where my friend and I were is a tiny gym that does not have a lot of machines, but you don’t need machines to really work the back of the legs.

We did some deadlifts, hamstring curls, and worked with a kettlebell, not to mention our warm up lunges.  So, yes, I have been thinking about my hamstrings a bit.

I wanted to point out that the hamstrings are three different muscles and remind you of that.

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