Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘tight hamstrings’

Dancing Away The Stickiness

Posted by terrepruitt on February 12, 2015

More often than not in my Nia classes we have a physical focus.  A focus and an intent in an exercise class is not easy for some people.  So having a focus that is physical seems, for many, to be easier than a focus that is not.  I know I have mentioned this before because I know I have talked about focuses before.  Today, as always, I asked my class if “they had anything”.  Usually someone comes up with a physical thing . . . sore neck, tight hamstrings, aching back, tight shoulders . . . ya know, something physical.  Today someone said, “Unstuck.”  I had overheard her mention something about being “stuck” while I was getting ready to teach, and I thought that would be a great focus, but I wasn’t sure how to do that.  So I said, “Yeah, I heard you mention that, but I am not sure how to do that.”  Someone else piped in about being stuck, too.  And I laughed and commented that if I knew how to get “unstuck” I wouldn’t ever be stuck.  And the “stuck” we were talking about was a feeling of being stuck either in an emotion or a situation or just the feeling of being stuck!  So we focused on getting “unstuck”.

The person that originally mentioned feeling stuck was happy to hear that others sometimes felt that way.  That is something I learned about feelings they are like questions . . . if one person has it (the feeling or the question) there is at least one other person that does too.  There are no stupid feelings.  Now, I do believe there are no stupid feelings, but I will admit to being guilty of thinking and sometimes even saying that as a knee-jerk reaction to someone I love saying something I think of as not nice about themselves.  If one were to say, “I feel ugly.”  “I feel like a bad person.”  My automatic reaction is “that’s stupid you aren’t . . . ”  But if they FEEL that way that is not stupid.  So I am still learning to curb that reaction.  But I digress . . . back to getting unstuck.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoAs I said, I wasn’t sure how to dance “unstuck”.  I wasn’t sure how to make that a focus, but then I decided . . . . because I believe . . . that sometimes just thinking about it can help things move along.  So my thoughts were that if you were feeling stuck, just acknowledging it and moving with it could be enough to unstick it.  Or it could be enough to think of an idea on how to “unstick” it.  Or it could just open you up to an idea that is going to come later.  Just all types of stuff.  We agreed that dancing with the focus of getting unstuck and the intent of being open to that and whatever it meant and however we could achieve that would be our focus and intent for the class.

One person mentioned not getting “too unstuck” which gave me the opportunity to remind people that we are dancing our own interpretation.  When I suggest people move as if they are floating in water, everyone moves in their own way.  They imagine their own “floating in water”.  The same with getting “unstuck”.  One can get as “unstuck” as they feel they need to be.  The person that mentioned this left early so I didn’t get to delve into what she meant . . . because it could mean so many things.

After class, I actually felt better and a little less stuck.  “Unstuck” could relate to letting go or being loose.  It is one of those things that if you are feeling anything related and you focus on it with the intent of acknowledging it or relieving it, it can just happen.

For those that are challenged with focusing on things that are not strictly physical “unstuck” works for that because one could have a tight muscle that is “stuck”.  Or a joint that might need some loosening because it feels “stuck”.  So dancing to “unstick” is really a great focus.

I am always amazed at how my class comes up with such great things to focus on.  I am further amazed at how so often what they come up with is something I am feeling the same need for.  Getting “unstuck” is great.

Do you ever feel “stuck”?  In what way?  What do you do to get “unstuck”?

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

Roll Out The Hamstring

Posted by terrepruitt on September 4, 2012

This is not like rolling out the red carpet or a ball of string because the hamstrings are not really strings at all.  They are muscles in the leg.  Well, actually the hamstrings are made up of three muscles, so it is a muscle group/set.  The three muscles that are included in the muscle set are the Semimembranosus, the Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris.  They are on the back of the legs.  You can see them on my Hamstrings post I put up back in 2009.  According to The Muscle Book the word’s origination is “German:  hamme – back of leg, Latin: stringere – to draw together.”  The hamstrings are responsible for pulling your calf back towards your buttocks, and for extending the thigh.  There are a lot of ways to stretch out and increase flexibility in the hamstrings.  One way to treat tight hamstrings is with the foam roller.  The foam roller is a great way to ease tight hamstrings.  The roller can be used for a hamstring roll.

With many, many, many people working at desks all day, and sitting all day, tight hamstrings seems to be a common state of being for many people.  The position of the knee when one sits in a chair is part of the function of the hamstrings . . . as I mentioned above . . .pulling the calf back towards the buttocks.  So it is not unusual for people who sit a lot to have tight hamstrings.  With tight hamstrings one cannot bend over and touch their toes or easily bend over to touch the floor.  Sometimes tight hamstrings can even interfere with walking, the leg is not able to swing comfortably forward and/or allow the leg to straighten.  Does that sound familiar?  Maybe you have sat for a long time and when you stand up you don’t come up all the way and then your first few steps are short and your legs are tight.  The foam roller can help with that.  It is an easy massaging type of stretch that can be done watching TV or in between those long periods of sitting.

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, NiaUsing the full roller, sit on the roller with the roller positioned at your hamstrings (just under your glutes/butt), your legs are straight out in front of your body.  Use your arms to support your body.  The position of your arms is straight and under your shoulders supporting your weight.  Using your arms, roll so that your legs roll over the foam roller.  So you bring yourself backwards and tthen push yourself forward over the roller.  The roller is rolling along the back of your legs, gently massaging your Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris.  You can do this for as long as you would like.  It really is a great way to bring relief to tight hamstrings.

Sometimes tight hamstrings may contribute to lower back pain.  When the hamstrings are tight they might cause the pelvis to tilt up increasing the strain on the lower back.  So there are really a lot of reasons this easy roll with the foam roller might be something you want to do.

Do you have tight hamstrings?  Does this sound like something that you would do to ease those tight hamstrings?

Posted in Foam Rollers, Hamstrings, Muscles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »