Most people, when they walk into a fitness studio for the first time, are intrigued by all the equipment and want to try it out as soon as possible. As our Motion Empowered Me System is based on your own particular balance and strength, we won’t move you onto equipment until we’re sure you’re ready.
Any time you take on a new exercise program, you need to retrain your body. The best way to start is to begin by correcting any imbalance, strengthening your weak muscles, and concentrating on your flexibility. All the previous blogs in this series give pointers on how the ME System helps you establish a base for achieving those goals.
The first pieces of equipment you’ll use at Designer Fitness are the simplest: balls and bands. Working with these adds some resistance to your fitness training. The plan is to add resistance without loading yourself so much that you cannot maintain proper posture and balance. Adding too much resistance too soon causes you to rely on muscles that are already strong, rather than improving strength in your weaker areas, such as inner thigh and abdominal muscles.
A good place to start, for many people, is an inner thigh squeeze. For apparently healthy people, this is good for inner thighs and could be good for your back. A word of caution before we proceed: If this is not done correctly, it can hurt you. Do not do this exercise without guidance and supervision if you have low back problems.
Remember that posture is every bit as important in floor exercises as it is in any upright activity. You can review the good posture tips in my February blog: The Importance of Good Posture.
You will need a semi-soft ball that is somewhat smaller than a basketball, and a comfortable place to lay down that is firm but slightly padded.
Lay on your back with your knees elevated. Make sure your shoulders are even, and use a bolster under your head or neck if that makes you more comfortable. Establish a good pelvic tilt by contracting your abs (zipping your zipper) and pinching your (dime) butt muscles. Feet should be flat on the floor, parallel and about shoulder width apart.
Place the ball between your knees and gently squeeze. Release. Squeeze. Release. Squeeze and release only part way, keeping the tension on the inner thigh muscles. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and rest. Repeat.
You can definitely feel this exercise, and most people need to work on strengthening their inner thigh muscles.
The good thing about ball and band exercises is that you can do them anywhere. You can supplement your training sessions with at-home practice, and you can often take them with you when you travel.
Another thing you can do throughout the day, wherever you are, is to remember to keep your legs and feet parallel. It’s something simple that engages the inner thigh muscles in everyday activities – a true example of applying the ME System to improve your strength, balance and fitness.
TaDa! Hope to see you soon.