Q: Can Pilates strengthen my abs?
A: Yes! Pilates is a great way to strengthen abdominal muscles. Add this ab toning exercise to your tummy routine a few times a week. Lie on your back with both legs extended and arms at your sides, palms down. Contract your abs and raise your right leg, toes pointed, until you can grasp the back of your calf with both hands. Now pull your chest up towards your leg. Lift your left leg slightly off the floor. Resistance is the key. (pull with the arms, while pushing back of leg againts hands.)Change sides, lowering your right leg until it's a few inches off the floor, raising your left leg. Reapeat 12 times, always keeping your lowered leg off the ground.
Q: Why am I more sore two days after a tough class than I am the day after?
A: Researchers are still trying to figure out why this happens. Most poeple experience what's called rapid onset muscle soreness during or right after a workout when the muscles are being worked or are recovering. It usually goes away within a day (if not a few hours). But some people have delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)-pain that peaks two to three days after a workout, when muscle fibers that may have been damaged or stressed during exercise start swelling. You're almost gauranteed to experience DOMS after doing a new exercise. To releve some of the soreness try a warm bath and then stretching lightly. It will help you to losen up stiff muscles.
Q: How can I improve my balance?
A: The best method believe it or not is practicing. As with everything in dance practice makes perfect. The more you balance the stronger your muscles will become. Also be sure you are holding your stomach in. This will help keep everything in line, thus making it easier to balance. For improved balances on a rise, try this exercise to strengthen your calves. Stand on the edge of a stair with heels hanging off. Rise onto the balls of your feet hold and lower, stretching out calves by pushing feet as far as they'll go. Repeat, do 3 sets of 12.
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THE ART OF BALLET SITERING|
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