Photo Credit: Heather Marsh
Integrative exercises, why do I use that word combination so frequently in my blogs and exercise iMovies? As a professional athlete who needed to move in coordination to another living body, I constantly had to look at integrating strength, power, flexibility, balance, weight distribution, and rhythm to improve first my internal awareness and then my awareness and timing for responding with a partner. While exercising at the gym, I would use these aspects for designing/choosing workout exercises, cardio plans, and stretching combinations, so the personalized focus on training enhanced the goal. Overtime, I realized that the focus on integration was a key part of my everyday functionality–sitting, standing, walking, bending, etc.
Another big part of integrative exercises is the sensing involved. The exercises require an inner sensing of tone/alignment, an outer sensing of limbs/torso in space, a timing/rhythmical sensing of how to coordinate/balance/distribute weight while in varying ranges of motion. The awareness is the key to safe and effective training; fitness building without injuries. Learning a more intimate awareness of the vessel we all live in called the body during focused exercises periods will spill over into one’s day to day movement. People would comment on what lovely posture I had, but it came as a result of awareness while dancing, riding, and exercising. Overtime, it wasn’t comfortable to slouch, because my slouch muscles were out of practice. Slouching allowed my back to hollow (lower back pain), my shoulders to round (shoulder pain), my neck/head to slump forward (neck pain), and left-right crookedness to creep in too.
I have been putting together these short iMovies focused on integrative exercises, (2 earlier blogs included Caball Integrative Exercises and the Integrative “I” Band on the stationary bicycle.) Have fun and don’t hesitate to email if you have any questions.