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 ‘leg muscles’

Long Lunges

Posted by terrepruitt on June 4, 2011

We do lunges in Nia all the time. We call them the “bow stance”.  Different Nia routines have different “lunges”.  Sometimes we do them fast, sometimes slow. Sometimes the music allows us to do a deep lunge, sometimes it might just be a shallow or a high one. Lunges are great for the quadriceps and glutes. In my original design of my Ten Minute Workout I wanted the concentration to be in the glutes, so I decided to do a long lunge. A long lunge gets the backside more.

Holding weights down at your sides adds to the work your leg and butt muscles have to do. Standing up from the long step requires much more effort. As a reminder only step as far as will allow you to stand back up. Also be certain that in addition to being able to stand back up you are stable, so your legs are wide enough that you cannot be easily pushed over.

As you step out also remember that it is a controlled step. The foot that is stepping out should land softly and not in a stomp. These do not need to be done fast.  When including this exercise in the ten minute workout I was thinking of a long controlled step.  The movement is solid and fluid.

The foot that remains stationary ends up with the heel raised (completely vertical if you can get there), weight on the ball of the foot and toes.  Since this is a long lunge, the stationary leg could end up with the knee almost on the ground or on the ground.

The idea is to step one leg out then back, then the other leg steps out then back. Alternate legs, each step out is “one”. There are other ways to do lunges, modifications that can be made, but for now, this is the explanation of the exercise chosen to be included in this ten minute workout. Eventually I will post some information on different ways to do the lunges.

What questions do you have about the long lunges?

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

Ball of the Foot

Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2010

We often step on the ball of our foot.  We often call it the toe.  The Ball of the foot is one of the 52 Moves of Nia.  Ballerinas are actually on their toes and they do it in special shoes that have a support in them where their toes are.  We usually are stepping onto the BALL of our foot when we step on the “toe”.  It is the ball portion of the foot that supports the weight when we are “on our toes”.

This is plantar flexion and assists with keeping the ankle joint flexible.  If you are standing on the foot you are flexing it can also assist with strength.

In a Nia workout class we do all types of movement and sometimes we are using the ball of our foot.  We could be stepping or standing.  The moment might call for us stepping ONTO the ball either forward, back, or even laterally.  Or it could be that we are standing and just rising up. This could be a position where we stay either in a display of balance or it could be a display of agility, a temporary place where we quickly move onto another move.  Either way it is all part of how the body was designed to be moved.

It might be a nice idea to keep in mind that moving and working the foot in different ways than it is used to being worked might cause some muscle soreness or tenderness through the entire leg.  If you are never on your the ball of your feet and suddenly your dancing a few moments on them, your calves might remind you of it later that day or even the next day.  Same goes for the whole foot, if you are not in the habit of moving on the whole foot your ENTIRE leg could end up letting you know you worked some leg muscles.

As with the whole foot, the ball of the foot can be used in the stances of Nia.

Just as I have done with the heel lead and the whole foot, I am going to suggest that you take note of this foot position.  As you walk notice when your stride gets to the point of the ball of your foot.  As you reach for something on the top shelf and you balance on your toes, notice the flex of your foot and the muscles in your calves.  As you walk through your day notice the ball of your foot.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »