Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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 ‘stability ball’

Opening Up The Back With A Stability Ball

Posted by terrepruitt on October 15, 2015

You might have read a few of my post where I say that my back is bothering me.  Well, one way I relieve the pain is by rolling it out on a foam roller.  I wrote about that in my post Rolled Out My Back Pain.  A bit ago, I did that method and it was not working.  I kept trying it and trying it.  It didn’t make sense that my back was not “cracking” back into place.  If you have ever had a pain, especially back pain, it might have had you thinking about it.  As you go through the day, it draws your attention because, well, it hurts.  So I was thinking about it and trying to examine it from a sensation perspective.  As I moved through the day it would bother me.  I began to get the feeling that it was compressed.  Whether my bones were compressing against each other causing the pain or the bones were pressing on a nerve or something, I don’t know.  In fact it has been so long ago that this happened, I don’t even remember what it felt like EXACTLY.  But my sense was that it was compressed.  That would have explained why rolling on it, trying to crack it and compress it more was NOT working.  It was not relieving the pain.  So then I thought, what if I expand it?  What if I open it up?  Ideally, an inversion table would be great!  But, I don’t have that.  I remember one time I tried hanging off of our breakfast room table but it is difficult to relax doing that.  The idea that the table is going to flip over does not help me relax.  I decided to try my stability ball.

It is a little smaller than would be optimum, but it works.  It takes a lot of concentration to be able to relax the upper part of my back – because that is where it felt jammed up – and not go so far as to allow my head to rest on the ground.  My stability ball is not that big.  I had bought a big one, but I traded it with my co-worker (at the time) because the one she bought was smaller.  The ideal size for a stability ball when you plan on doing exercises on it, is to be able to sit comfortably on it with feet on the ground and your thighs parallel to the ground.  Well, my knees were below my hips on the big one and her knees were higher than her hips and the switch allowed us the proper size.  So mine is perfect for sitting on and doing exercise, but it is not so great to lie prone on.

I did post a stretch where I lie on it on my back, Stability Ball Stretch.  Mine is a good size for that.  It is a good size for everything else, like I said, it is the right size, but just kinda small for hanging over it face down.

But it worked.  My back didn’t need to be cracked with pressure it needed to be opened up.  So now when I get a sense that my back is getting out of whack, I sleep with my roller.  I have a round one and a half round one.  But if my back hurts before I try the sleep relief, then I hang over the ball.  If that doesn’t work, then I roll on the foam roller.  To begin with, I try to be very careful because I don’t want to be in pain.  My wonderful friend that helped me with my back is gone so I need to make sure I don’t get to the point of needing her help.  I need to be able to “fix” it myself.  And not letting it get out of adjustment is the best help.

As I mentioned in my foam roller post, I am not recommending anyone do this because I don’t know your particular back situation . . . so I can’t say if this would be good for you or if it would help.  But I am saying, “Ahhhhhhhhhh!”  It helps me.  It is a different sensation than hanging over from the hips and letting your head help stretch your back.  The ball rounding out the back really seems to open it up.  And whatever was going on in my back, that did the trick!

Do you have a stability ball?  What do you use it for?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Wahoo! Nia!

Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2011

Yeah, I get excited when I have a Nia class.  I love to teach Nia.  I love to get up in front of a class and show them anyone can move and have fun.  So with that in mind, the fact that I have a Nia Class this morning, I will be back to let you know about the Ten Minute Workout.

With yesterday’s post assisting you with ideas on how to do the ten exercises without the exercise ball, the resistance band, and the BOSU, maybe you’ll join me?  Why not try it for ten days?  It’s ten minutes.  Ten exercises, ten times, in ten minutes, for ten days.  Now the ten minutes is the time frame, so if you can do more than ten exercises go for it.  Well, what do you say?  Got ten minutes?

________________________________________________________________________________________

June 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Ok, DONE!  And it was pretty funny.  I had been out today in my MBTs and I decided to practice the Nia routine Sexi in my MBTs.  So after that, I decided to do the ten minute workout in my MBTs.  Ha.  Fun-ny!

I normally just do the workout in bare feet.  So shoes — MBTs in particular — provided different sensations.

You may recall I bought the MBTs because (I’ve always wanted them but couldn’t bring myself to spend that on shoes) I thought they would help me re-learn how to walk properly.  Rolling through my entire foot.  I was thinking that I could do longer lunges in my MBTs because I could be on the ball of my foot but really rolled to the ball of the shoe.  Well, that went as planned.  I did the lunges as I originally thought when I put them in the workout.

MBTs on the BOSU . . . . different.  It definitely engages even MORE muscles.  I had thought of that too when I thought to do the workout with them on.  What I didn’t think about was how I would notice the shoes when doing the V sit up.

Anyway . . . I’m done.  Just wanted to let you know.  I think I should also confess that I almost skipped it today because I had a tentative phone appointment.  But I decided that I could do it even after that.  But it turned out that feel through so I just did it.  I mean, c’mon, it really IS only ten minutes.

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Hamstring Curls

Posted by terrepruitt on June 14, 2011

In putting together the exercises for a Ten Minute Workout, I wanted to get a quick “full body” workout.  I understand that this ten minutes might not target the ENTIRE body, but it gets most of it.  Plus I was trying to use the exercise equipment that I have.  I was bothered by the fact that I had these toys and I didn’t use them.  So I was thinking of exercises that utilized them.  Although, all of these exercises can be modified to be done without the equipment.  This Hamstring curl uses the stability ball.

Lie on your back with your calves/ankles on the stability ball.  Push your hips up into a bridge.  Pull the ball, rolling it towards your butt so your feet end up on it and your knees are up.  Then roll it out.  Your arms can be wherever they are most comfortable.  Arms can be used to help stabilize your body.  It could be at first that your body has a tendency to roll to one side or you feel as if you are going to tip over.  🙂  That is part of the exercise.  You are using your hamstrings to pull the ball back, but you might be engaging your arms a lot to stabilize your body as you learn this exercise.  Eventually your legs will be able to control the ball AND your balance without really USING your arms.

Each time the ball rolls towards your butt count that as one.

How is that for you?  What questions come up?

Posted in Hamstrings, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Push Workout – Sample

Posted by terrepruitt on November 24, 2009

–Push Ups (So many versions, pick one)
–Squats on BOSU (standing on the rounded side)

–Chest press with dumbbells lying on stability ball
–Wall Squats with stability ball

–Flyes lying on stability ball
–Air bench (“sitting” back against wall)

–Triceps Dip
–Side Step Drill using BOSU

–Triceps Kickbacks using bench
–Calf raises on BOSU (standing on the rounded side)

This is just a generic sample of a push workout.  There are so many ways to do push ups you should do them however you safely are able and however best fits your goals. 

Squats on the BOSU can also be done standing on the flat side, which would be more of a challenge.

With the chest press and the flyes on the stability ball you are keeping your upper back supported by the ball, but to get a bit of lower body in there and some stability practice your hips are off the ball and level with the floor.

Wall squats can be done with one leg.

The side step drill can be timed.

This was initially created for the exercises to be done in pairs as listed; one set of push-ups, one set of squats, then back to push ups, then squats, then on to the next pairing. But just like the Pull Workout, the weight used, the reps done, the speed in which do it and how many times you do it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Try squeezing a workout in between all the Holiday Happenings and New Moon risings, even if you have to do it during the twilight hours.

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

Pull Workout – Sample

Posted by terrepruitt on November 21, 2009

–Lat pull down while squatting (on Machine)
–Bicep dumbbell curls with walking lunges

–One arm dumbbell row (on bench alternating sides)
–Hamstring curls using stability ball

–Kettlebell swing
–Stability Ball Hand/Foot Pass Sit-up

–Back extension on stability ball
–Straight leg deadlift with Kettlebell alternating legs

–Wide grip row on Machine
–Single Leg Squat using bench

As you can see the first two exercises prove that the generalization of push muscles being on the front and pull muscles being on the back is not great, but for some it is helpful although not entirely accurate. You use your back muscles and your biceps to pull. With most movements more than one muscle or more than one muscle group is being used, but usually we say the exercise works which ever muscles it works the most. As with the Lat pull down, it is called a Lat pull down because the Latissimus dorsi is responsible for most of the effort, however in most cases your biceps are assisting. There are other muscles in your back that are putting in some effort too and it depends on which kind of lat pull down you are doing. Yes, there are different kind.

Usually when the exercise being done is with free weights there is less muscle isolation. Some machines do a great job of muscle isolation. Sometimes an exercise can be considered both or neither and it is add to a workout to work a “popular muscle”. The sit ups were added because most of the time people want to work the abs. I think of the single leg squat as either a push or a pull because sometimes I really feel it in the glutes and sometimes I swear it is all quads.

This is just a sample of what a “pull workout” could look like. The weight used, the reps done, the speed in which do it and how many times you do it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. This can be done different ways. It could be done all in a row as listed or done in sets. Depends on what you want.

The picture is of the Cable Cross Machine at least Freemotion calls it that. I call “the Machine”.  It lives at the gym in San Jose.

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

List Of Ten Favorites (Exercises)

Posted by terrepruitt on November 12, 2009

Today is “whatever” Thursday, I wanted to find some pictures to post, but nothing really struck me.  I have thought about it all day and I couldn’t come up with anything.  Then I thought of lists.  People are always posting lists.  In fact, my last post was somewhat of a list; a list of benefits of resistance training.  On my short drive after class from Santa Clara to San Jose, I decided to post ten of my favorite exercise in no particular order:

1)  Dumbbell Chest Press (especially on a stability ball)
2)  Upright Row (on one Pilates DVD I have she calls this the “Zip Up”)
3)  Lat Pull Down with Alternating Backward Lunge
4)  Tricep Kickback (with a dumbbell)
5)  Standing Tricep Pushdown
6)  Heel Raises
7)  Wood Chops
8)  Bent-Over Row
9)  Bicep Curl
10) Sit-ups (on the BOSU) (she did NOT just say that, oh yeah, I did)

Of course, I love Nia for my aerobic (cardio) workout and with that I get a lot of these same motions as some of my favorite exercise, but this is just a list of some of my favorite exercises I like to do with equipment and/or weights.

Comments?  Questions?  What are your favorite exercises?  What do you like to include in your workout?

Share your list.

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

BOSU

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2009

 

Know what a BOSU is?  It is a piece of exercise equipment.  Picture a stability ball, you know those round ones full of air that you can sit on?  Picture that cut in half with a plastic “cap” on the flat side.  It is very versatile.  It can be used for a variety of exercises and it can be used on either side.  The flat side can be placed on the ground so you are working on the rounded side or you can place the rounded side on the ground and do your work on the flat side.

Flat side on ground, standing on rounded sideEither way–depending on what you are doing–you are going to be challenging your stabilizing muscles in addition to the muscles you are exercising.  That is a great way to get more muscles working during your workout, burn more calories, and make you a more strong and stable body.

You can stand on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell work: biceps curls, shoulder presses, upright rows, lateral and rear deltoid raises, bent over rows, etc.

You can lie on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell chest presses, supine triceps extensions, curls, crunches, and sit-ups to name just a few.

Using either side you can do push-ups, mountain climbers, or add it to your burpee.

With push-ups you can either put your feet on it or hold it with your hands.They can also be used for cardio work.  They can be jumped on and off of, they can be used for lunges, or as I mentioned before, they can be used for mountain climbers and burpees.

I think they might be a favorite of personal trainers because there is so much you can do with it.

To me they are a little easier to store than a stability ball because they take up less space, but unlike a ball they won’t really challenge your muscles just by sitting on them.  But as I mentioned above you can use them for a lot of different exercises and they will add an additional challenge to almost any workout routine. I think I have see them in the Target by my house in San Jose, so I am sure you can buy them at Targets or stores where they sell sports equipment/exercise equipment.

As with any exercise equipment you use and as with any exercise you do–caution is required.

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