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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia exercises’

Plank Muscles

Posted by terrepruitt on March 19, 2013

While you are doing your plank you might notice some of the muscles involved in doing the plank.  As I am sure you know, there are many variations to the plank.  Many movement practices/exercise disciplines do planks.  There is a plank in yoga, in Pilates, in weight training . . . you probably have seen it all over.  That alone tells you that it is an exercise/pose worth doing right?  We even do planks in Nia.  If there is a version in so many different disciplines it could be that is because does a body good.  The plank we are doing in our Plank A Day Challenge is the plank on our forearms as opposed to the plank where your arms are straight (the position of the “top” of a push-up).  There are a lot of muscles used in this plank.

The muscles being used in a plank are the abdominal muscles, the back muscles, the muscles in the arms, the shoulders, leg muscles, and butt muscles.  So pretty much muscles in every muscle group.  You can understand why it is such a great exercise.  It is a full body workout.  So, while it might not utilize every muscles it calls upon a lot of them.  If you are participating in the challenge you might even notice that the endurance in the muscles is improving.

I often think of the plank as a great exercise to work on your core.  You might have heard “core” and “core muscles” before.  You might even wonder what they are.  And just like so many things there are so many answers.  I think of the core as a muscle group.  I think of the core muscles as the group that allows your body to remain stable and/or upright.  So sometimes that could include your quads if you are standing or doing a plank.

Having a strong and stable core helps us accomplish everyday things.  From sitting, to walking, to doing things with our arm as in pushing, pulling, carrying, etc.  A strong trunk helps us when we need to work with are arms.  Especially with our arms extended.  If we are do something with our arms out, say opening a window, grabbing a grocery bag and bringing it towards you, or pushing something in to a vehicle for transport, you rely a lot on your torso.  So when it is strong and stable it can support you while you do these task.

On top of the strong core having arms that are able to open windows, grab and hold groceries, pull them towards you or push things help with every day life too.  Be able to do all of these everyday things might be one reason the plank is in so many exercise disciplines.  It is a great functional exercise.  It is understood that it can assist with muscle strength and endurance.  And it is one of the exercises that gets a lot of muscles all at once!

Are you participating in our challenge?  Are you feeling your muscles?  You have probably felt the muscles used in a plank, right?

Posted in Core Muscles, Muscles, Planking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Workout Distractions

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2011

It is difficult for me to do Nia at home.  In Nia we actually move our head.  “Huh?”  You say.  Well next time you are in a cardio workout out class or an exercise class you might notice that you don’t often (or at all) move your head around purposefully.  In Nia we look up, we look around, we look down, we out.  We could just be moving our head to sense the sensation of it, or we could be doing it to allow action to follow intention or . . . well, whatever idea we are using at the moment to move our head, we move our head.  ALL AROUND.  Which, makes it difficult for me to workout at home. When I look up I see spider webs.  When I look around I see dust.  When I look down I see Spot.  When I look out I see squirrels.

We have cathedral ceilings, so there is never a time when we don’t have spider webs or something way up there.  When I see it I start thinking, “I need to get the duster and the ladder and get that.”  Then there is the dust.  The dust never seems to NOT be there even right as I am dusting.  Then there is the cat.  She either wants to go out, or be pet, or  she just chooses to lay right in the middle of my workout floor.  And I have learned that I absolutely have to keep my curtains closed.  I don’t care what the weather is, I don’t care what the temperature is, I have to keep my curtains closed because I get REALLY distracted when I don’t.  Here are two examples of what I see.

First he comes to the door.  Tentative.  Then he will stand that like that for a long time.  I have tried to just keep on going and just let him watch me dance, but after a while I feel bad.  He will just stand there with his paws at his chest and look at me.  He has stood like that for at least an entire song.  I always end up stopping and giving him or, more accurately, them nuts.  When one gets peanuts the others come along.

 

Then this is what they do.  This was taken on a very hot day.  The mat was in the shade and had been for a while so he just plopped down.  I think he was enjoying the shade.  A little snack in the shade.  He just looked at me while he ate his snack.

They have come up to the doors and windows and put both paws on the glass and looked inside.  I imagine I hear, “Hey, you in there!  Where are the peanuts?”  It is rather funny.  I am not certain, but I think it is one in particular that does that.  My hubby named him Brutus.  When he comes up to the door, he will stay there and take a peanut from me.  Sometimes he barely lets me put the peanut out the door.

Yes, one of the things we do in Nia is to not think about things like spider webs, dust, the grocery list, the things we need to do after class and when I am outside of my home I can do that much better.  In my house I get distracted.  There are so many distractions.  So one way I eliminate at least one is I keep the curtains shut.  On the days that I took these pictures I had obviously not done so.

Posted in Just stuff, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Ball Massager

Posted by terrepruitt on July 7, 2011

While I was doing a Nia DVD today, I kept sensing some discomfort in my back.  I have a spot, a muscle I guess, that sometimes becomes “whiny”.  I think that particular spot on my back, directly next to my backbone to the right, right at the edge of my shoulder-blade, holds all of my stress and tension.  When it came to the floorplay exercise portion of the Nia workout I was focused on my back.  It was really getting my attention.  I have had a student assisting me with my toe/foot and she often says she is “releasing it”.  I wondered if I could touch my back and “release” it.  So I did.  I pressed on the spot that was speaking to me so loudly.  It seemed to help.  I believe in the power of touch.  But since it is a place on my back that is needing touch it is not easy for me to get the entire area.  While I was laying on the floor I was wishing I had a tennis ball to roll on.

Have you ever heard that?  Using a tennis ball to massage your back.  I had a friend who mentioned to me that she was told to put a couple of tennis balls in a sock and roll on them.  You can roll on them against a wall or on the floor, whichever is most comfortable for you.  I had heard to use the balls, but I hadn’t heard of the sock until she mentioned it.  The tennis balls could be used to massage more than just your back, you could roll it under your legs or on your arms.

I don’t have tennis ball, but I do have a rather large “super ball”.  I don’t know if that is what it is called, but that is what I remember we used to call them when I was young.  You know those balls that bounce really well?  It is a “The Incredibles” ball.  It is kind of old so it is yellowed.  It is also really hard.  Much more hard than a tennis ball and a little smaller.  I remembered that the last time I saw it I had used it for my foot and it was in the entertainment center.  How convenient?  It was right there.  YAY!

At first I tried using it while laying on the floor.  That didn’t work so well because it was difficult to roll on the floor without using my elbows which, in doing so, caused me to rise away from the ball.  Plus the ball is really hard.  So I used it with the wall.  I leaned on the ball while it was on the wall.  WOW!  Awesome.  I think the muscle that gets annoyed is small and there was almost a clicking sound as the ball rolled over it.  That is how tight and grumpy it was.  As I mentioned, I had used the ball on my feet before, it is a great foot massagerm just rolling it under my foot, but I hadn’t used it on my back.  Glad I thought of that.

So what do you think?  Have you heard of using tennis balls to massage sore muscles?  Have you ever tried it?  Do you use the sock method?  Oh do tell, I would love to hear about it.  It could definitely help with DOMS.  What do you say?

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Monday at Midnight

Posted by terrepruitt on June 27, 2011

It is a little past midnight, I am putting up the placeholder.  I have not yet done my Ten Minute Workout for Monday, but I am hoping you will and you will comment on it.  I am rooting for you.  I know it is not always easy to find time.  I know how beneficial exercising can be.  What can happen is you squeeze in the ten minutes planning to do ten exercises ten times and you realize you have time for more.  You do more.  Then you realize how great you feel and you do a few more.

But you gotta just do it first.  Did ya?

I will be back to let you know I did.  First I have a Nia Class.

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June 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Wow!  I think it was the same time last night that I was posted that I had done it.  Here I am again, 7:00 pm.  But I did it.  I almost forgot.  I was just about to do it then I got a phone call.  Took me another hour to get to it, but I did.  And I am glad I did.

After my Nia class this morning another teacher and I went to a park to practice.  That was fun.  I didn’t have the correct shoes, but I think we still made some progress.  We figured out a few things.  NICE!  Will make it that much easier when I learn the routine.

So how was your Monday?

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Wednesday Nia Then Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on June 22, 2011

I love my 9:00 am Nia class. I love starting my days with movement. It just helps the day go better, right? Do you start your day with movement? Do you have time for a long workout? If not have you thought of trying to get ten minutes in?

Here is one you can do. Ten Minute Workout.

I’ll be back after class to check in. It is going to be hot again today in the Bay Area so I’ll be right home to do ten exercises.

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June 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

So I didn’t get home as early as I wanted because I decided to go to the store.  You might now how it is when you go to “pick up a few things” and end up with a cart full of groceries.  I got home later than I wanted, but that really encouraged me to get my 10 minutes in because I didn’t want to be doing it while it was so hot.  So I got home and got it done.  But then I got on my computer . . . . . and almost an hour later I am posting, “I’m done!”

How are you?

I’m gonna go get more done.  Happy Wednesday!

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sit ups

Posted by terrepruitt on June 16, 2011

As with most exercises there are many modifications that can be made to a sit-up.  But for now, in this Ten Minute Workout this is a basic sit-up.  Probably would be called more of a crunch than a sit up, but YOU can put the amount of movement in it that you want.

Lie on the floor on your back.  Knees up, feet on the floor, slight tilt of the pelvis toward your chest.  Keeping an imaginary apple or orange under your chin lift your head and shoulders off the ground towards your knees.  The purpose of the imaginary fruit is to keep you from collapsing your chin to your chest, especially if you are using the hands-supporting-head/neck method.  With that form sometimes there is a tendency to actually push the head to the chest.  But the idea is to keep space between the chin and chest and just lift your head, shoulders, and upper chest upwards and towards your knees.  Squeeze your abdominal muscles on the lift and at the top.  Pause for a second. Allow the movement to be smooth and fluid.  If you find yourself jerking up or using momentum to do the movement, try LESS movement or fewer reps.  (Yes, yes, the idea is ten of ten in ten, but it is ok to learn a move.  It’s a journey we are on.)

This is one of the exercises that most of us are familiar with.  This is an exercise most of us have done in our life.  So this is one that is easy to play with and modify.  So many ways to do it.

People might not realize or even notice but we do sit ups and or abdominal work often in Nia.  But the way we do them is as a dance so I think people don’t realize what we are doing is even an abdominal exercise until the next day when they have that nice feeling of a muscle that had some attention paid to it.  Nia makes it more like play than work.

Ok . . . . comment away . . . . . . 😉

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

Music as Motivation

Posted by terrepruitt on June 16, 2011

Music is a great motivator.  Often times it is used to set a mood.  Sometimes we even use it to memorize things.  I’ve been putting on Lady Gaga’s album, The Fame or Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album to do my Ten Minute Workout to.  Such fun songs on both the albums.  As you know the workout is only ten minutes so I don’t get through much of either album during the workout.  Somtimes I am in a middle of a song and I just say or I’ll do some additional sit ups or whatever I am sensing I want more of.  If not, like when I’m in a hurry, I carry the music about with me.

I often listen to Nia music (music that we use for Nia routines) because I am always wanting to learn it better.  Or I am trying to learn a new routine (and sometimes that takes me awhile).  But I don’t like to do a timed set of exercises to Nia routine music because I get distracted and start doing the Nia choreography or something else pops into my head and I move those moves to see it they fit.  I do the same thing with other music — dance to it — but at least if I am doing specific moves new/other moves don’t pop into my head as with Nia routines which are always in my head so they just kind come out.  🙂

So this is MY placeholder.  I will be back to report that I did my workout.  What about you?  How are you doing with it?  What is your favorite song(s) to workout to?

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June 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

Ha!  I am done.  I was done awhile ago, but when I logged in to post I had a comment and I wanted to answer it.  And as you can see it is longer than the original post.  HA!  I always do that when I comment.  I do it on other people’s blog.  My comment is longer than their post.  Now I am doing it to myself!!!!

Well, anyway, today I did my little workout to Prince.  What about you?

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Morning Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on June 14, 2011

I am actually going to get to bed earlier tonight than I have been getting to bed.  The plan is to get up a little earlier and do my Ten Minute Workout.  I want to actually have it done before noon.  Since I don’t have a Nia class on Tuesday I can get my ten (or twenty) ten in ten done in the morning.  Not necessarily early morning just morning as in before noon.  What about you?

Also, how are you doing with the ten?  Are you getting through ten repetitions of all ten exercises?

Well, I shall return to actually check-in with my “I’m done!”

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June 14, 2011 at 9:46 am

Okey-dokey.  I did my Ten Minute Workout.  I am averaging at least twice through, but, as I’ve said before I am convinced it is because my lunges aren’t that long, BUT . . . . . they ARE lunges.  Yay!  I am getting on the ball of my right foot (while my left leg is forward) AND pushing off on it when the right leg is forward. I am working on distributing the weight through the entire width of my foot (ball of foot) and all five toes, because I sense that I am still putting the majority of the weight on the actually “ball” of my foot (metatarsal head).

So are you ready to give the ten a try?  Remember we all have different goals so do what YOU can, not what I am saying I am doing.  Let me know how it is going for you.

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

All out in Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on June 4, 2011

I subbed a Nia Class this morning.  Nia is a lot “about” the music.  We dance to the music.  Today while I was teaching I really just let the music take me and I danced.  I didn’t hold back much because of my foot.  I don’t put my weight on my right foot when I am in ball of foot position or bow stance, but I was DOING ball of foot (a GREAT step forward in my healing process).  During the class once or twice I wobbled or missed a beat because my foot kind didn’t want to support me.  At another point I realized I was on the EDGE of my right foot (another HUGE step forward in my healing process).  I had enough time in which to think about that and while it seemed ok, I was glad when the music told me it was time to move again because it didn’t seem like I should be doing that for much longer.  I really worked my foot this morning.  I went all out in Nia class.  That led me to not wanting to do my Ten Minute Workout.  I was really dreading the lunges because I am not ready to put weight on my right foot in ball of foot position—-and that is what a lunge is!!!

I came upstairs to do it.  Then I sat down at my computer, did an e-mail or two and I decided my foot really was too tired to do it.  I logged onto my blog to post that I was skipping Terre’s Ten Ten in Ten today, but when I saw the picture of my “gym” I thought, “It is really only 10 minutes.  And it is really just the first exercise that you are dreading.  So . . . do it LESS.  Even more “less” than you have been.”  So . . . . I did it.  It is obvious to me that I spend a lot of time in my long lunges — when I do them fully on a stable foot — because I thought that I was not going to make it two times through and when I looked at my timer I had plenty of time left and I was on the stability ball pass for the second time.  When I do lunges little it takes me less time.

I did my little workout, how about you?  What are you finding while you do these exercises?

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Before Nia – 10-10-10

Posted by terrepruitt on June 3, 2011

I have a Nia Class to teach today.  I decided to do my Ten Minute Workout before I teach.  I was mellow on my left step forward in my long lunges because my right foot is still learning to be strong again and so I didn’t want to push it before I teach.  I am saving my bow stance for Nia class.  But I got my Ten Ten in Ten in (I made it through twice).  I left the equipment out in case I want to do it again when I get back.

How about you?

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