Better Body Workshops by Shirah
Our barre and body expert is here to tell you all about her workshop! What to expect, what motivates her to do this, and why it is so beneficial!
In the last few years, we’ve been hearing more and more about how bad the “Sedentary Lifestyle” is for the human body. It affects posture, causes aches and pains, creates weakness and stiffness that leads to injury, et cetera. It’s becoming pretty clear that this is simply not good for your physical or mental wellbeing. So, what can we do about it? Be active! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already doing a great job of that. So if you’re still experiencing those aches and pains, it can be incredibly frustrating — you show up to class, work hard, feel accomplished…and yet that nagging back spasm or knee twinge keeps coming back. Maybe you even go to the doctor, who tells you there’s nothing serious going on, and just to rest for a few weeks. Maybe then the pain goes away, but you’re bummed that you can’t go running or go to class, and as soon as you start working out again the pain comes back anyway. So, what to do?! As frustrating as it is, you are not alone!
While being active is the first and most important step to keeping your body healthy, if you’re having chronic issues or have been injured during exercise, your body is telling you to pay closer attention! Something might be amiss in your alignment that’s causing a chain reaction throughout your body. Often we hear how important form and alignment are, and maybe someone has even told you that your back pain stems from a weak core or a tight psoas. But what does that really mean? Your instructors give you as much information as they can to keep you safe, but the body is complex, and in a fast-paced 45 minute class, it might be tough to really get to the root of a problem. This too can add to the frustration. So it’s incredibly important, when your body is giving you these signals, to take the time outside of your regular workouts to listen to it and find out what it needs.
The good news is, you 100% have the power to address these problems. Often all it takes is having some tools to help you build awareness of what’s causing your issues and how you can address them. Understanding how your body is built, and how it should ideally function, can help you better feel how to align yourself in any context, whether you’re cycling, running, walking, or taking HIIT, Barre, Yoga, or literally anything else. And — even better — improved alignment means a more effective workout because your body isn’t having to spend extra energy reacting to and recovering from non-functional movements!
Fast forward to the Better Body Workshops. We wanted to provide everyone, from workout beginners to movement pros, the opportunity to develop the tools to understand how proper alignment feels and to become more in tune with what your unique body needs. Each workshop offers an opportunity to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts —- in BECYCLE classes and beyond — by refining form, learning the science of how your body works, and discovering what safe alignment means for you. If you ever find yourself wondering what your teachers actually mean when they give certain alignment instructions, or asking yourself “Am I doing this right?” then this is the perfect opportunity to find out the answers. We will specifically address one major area of the body and break down its essential muscle groups, how they work, functional ranges of motion, and common misalignments to watch out for. We’ll focus on refining movements that you probably practice a lot — squats, bridges, lunges, planks, and more — in the context of getting away from the movement patterns that might be causing problems and making these powerful exercises as constructive as possible for your body. These workshops are mental and physical. We’ll practice skills that you can incorporate into your own regimen (so be prepared to feel the burn), and you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions, take notes, and get specific about anatomy!
The first two Better Body workshops will focus on two areas of the body that teachers are asked about frequently and often misunderstood: the Lower Back and the Deep Core. Both are very much related, but we will offer the opportunity to focus on each in different ways. Join us on May 20 to learn strategies for keeping your lower back happy and healthy, including how muscles like the abdominals, psoas, glutes, and hamstrings play important roles. Then, on June 10, come learn just how tough the Deep Core is to truly engage…and how to engage it!
Better Body: Lower Back
Whether you’ve got a serious back injury, scoliosis, or simply experience chronic tension in your lower back, you are not alone! Lower back pain can be debilitating (it’s actually one of the most common reasons people miss work) and can prevent you from living your life to the fullest. This module will look at the most common reasons people suffer lower back injury both in and outside of the studio, and what you can do to avoid those habits and make your spine healthy and happy.
Better Body: Engaging Your Core!
Ah, the elusive core! We hear how important the Core is all the time, and we’re asked to engage it in just about any fitness class. But what does that really mean? Your core is so much more that your six-pack muscles — it includes a whole bunch of different abdominal muscles, back muscles, spinal stabilizers, and the all-important pelvic floor (and yes guys, you have those too!). Don’t just pull your navel to your spine and hope for the best! This module is an opportunity to learn what deep core strength really means and how to build it.
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Article written by Shirah Perry