Joette Lisk, Certified GYROTONIC® Trainer, is excited about offering this 30 minute express workout for those of you on the go.
How would you like to experience a great workout in just 30 minutes? A workout that creates space between the joints and spine, strengthens and lengthens the muscles, and allows the body better range of motion. If you’ve got the time – I’ve got the workout for you.
You will get all of the benefits of a GYROTONIC® workout in 1/2 the time.
Call Joette today to schedule your appointment (360-402-1431).
5:30 – 6:30 pm
$10/drop-in or $8/class for a 4 class card
Registration required, Contact Julia at 360-229-6702
Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. It empowers people of all shapes and sizes by connecting the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Classes are taken to soul-stirring music in more than 45 countries. Every experience can be adapted to individual needs and abilities. Step into your own joyful journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live. Learn more about NIA at their website: nianow.com
Julia Annis, artist and Nia instructor, will teach these Nia classes.
How much movement do you have in your back above and below your shoulder blades (thoracic back)? Does that area feel stiff, sticky and hunched? Did you know that your thoracic back actually has the capacity to move much more than most of us realize and usually move?
The thoracic spine (12 vertebrae in the mid part of the spine) is intended to perform 2 motions:
Rotation – This allows us to move, reach and pick things up in mechanically sound ways. Many people are asymmetrical with these movements due to thoracic spine immobility.
Flexion/Extension – We typically have the flexion (rounded) part figured out because of poor postural habits, but extension is much more difficult with a stuck thoracic spine.
Poor posture is one of the biggest culprits for a stiff thoracic spine. Frequently, this is due to the way people hunch over their computers or desks at work, or driving in their cars.
When this posture, with the shoulders curved forward and the head bent over, is held for a long time the body fixes in this position. The muscles in the chest that pull the shoulders forward shorten and those that should pull the shoulders back lengthen and lose their elasticity. As the upper back is held with minimum movement for hours on end our thoracic spine slowly tightens up as a misguided protection mechanism. We can end up looking old before our time.
In addition, all of this immobility can result in a variety of issues up and down the spine.
Shoulder movement – If the thoracic spine isn’t mobile the shoulder blades can’t achieve a full range of motion and as a result your shoulder movement will be affected. If the shoulder has to move by itself, because the back can’t, and is no longer stabile, then the problem continues up the kinetic chain. Inappropriate movement pressure is placed on the small muscles which encase the shoulder causing problems such as rotator cuff injury and neck pain.
Shoulder impingement – If the thoracic spine tends to sit in kyphosis (rounded forward) most of the time, then the shoulder joint can become impinged. With impingement frequently comes pain. This is because the ball of the ball-and-socket joint has less room to move around and starts to rub against other things in the shoulder.
Lumbar spine pain and injury – The lumbar spine (low back) is the part of the spine below the thoracic spine. The lower back is designed to be stable in order to support the weight of the upper body. In an effort to compensate for the stiffness in the thoracic spine, people end up with overly mobile lumbar spines from excessive rotation or flexion and extension. The body will start to twist at this lower point and will also curve excessively to enable the upper body to remain in the correct center of gravity. This is what results in the familiar (but incredibly bad for us) S-curve.
What can you do to positively affect the mobility of you thoracic spine?
For those of you who are working with GYROTONIC or GYROKINESIS exercises, you’ve already experienced the benefits of approaching thoracic spine mobility from multiple planes.
GYROTONIC and GYROKINESIS movement retrains the body and brain, and reinforces thoracic spine mobility during all of our spinal mobility exercises; arches and curls, side shifts, side arcs, spiraling twists and spinal waves. In addition, gaining the core strength to stabilize the lumbar spine while moving the thoracic spine will help get you to better posture and back health, and minimize pain and injury. Lastly, not only will the spine be more mobile, but the nervous system will be retrained. The body will be trained to use the new ranges of motion allowing the mobility gains to be maintained better and longer. In other words, your back will be as happy and moveable as it can be.
If you would like to learn more about how and why the thoracic back should move, please check out the following resources. If you would like to try GYROTONIC or GYROKINESIS exercise, please look at my website: http://motioninbalance.biz, or give a call at 360-556-2619. I can assure you that if you work to get your back moving and strengthen it, you will be very pleased with the results.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracic_spine Good visual and explanation for the thoracic spine.
Bicycle road riding and racing require a great deal of both muscular and cardiovascular endurance. A good combination of speed, and strength, along with flexibility and range of motion, are also essential for cycling success.
The major muscles involved in road cycling include:
- The muscles of the legs and hips; the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus muscles, and the lower leg, anterior tibialis, gastrocnemius and soleus.
- The core muscles are important for maintaining balance and power; the tranverse abdominis, obliques (internal and external), hip flexors, and the spinal erectors.
= The muscles of the arms and shoulders are important to maintain a support position on the bike when leaning forward; the deltoids, biceps and triceps, and the muscles of the hand, wrist and forearm.
Weaknesses, or imbalances, in any of these muscles can lead to lowered performance or injuries for all cyclists. Correcting the weaknesses and imbalances can ensure improved performance, lowered injury rate and greater enjoyment. Special attention must be paid to proper strengthening and stretching techniques for the commonly over-used muscles to ensure continued flexibility in the muscles and range of motion in the joints.
A good strengthening and flexibility/conditioning program for these muscles will help ensure success on the bike. But, does flexibility training really improve performance? There is a good deal of research into the effects of flexibility in “working muscles” that suggests that making muscle tissue more pliable can have a positive effect on performance. Under similar conditions, pliable muscle is more mechanically efficient and will fatigue at a slower rate than stiff muscle. Muscle that is tight tends to be more susceptible to cramping and muscle pulls. Tight muscle can also expose an athlete to tendonitis and other overuse injuries. While it has not been clinically proven that more flexible muscle has the capacity to produce more power it has been shown to hold up better under the stresses of exercise and is less susceptible to common soft tissue injuries that disrupt the training process and delay positive training effect.
When speaking of flexibility and cycling performance, the focus should be placed on the opposing forces of muscle contraction and relaxation and their effects on the relationship between passive (static) and active (dynamic) range of motion (ROM) during the pedaling movement. As muscles fatigue they become less flexible and present resistance to the movement of the hip, knee and ankle joints as the pedals rotate. This causes one muscle group to work harder to move the joint because the less flexible, opposing muscle group is resisting the movement (i.e. tight hamstrings will provide resistance in flexing the hip to lift the knee to the top of the pedal stroke). Muscles that are more pliable will offer up less resistance as they fatigue on the bike. Static stretching can be used effectively on the bike, in the midst of a ride or race, to help to dissipate the tension and allow the muscles to relax and work more efficiently.
However, holding a static stretch is a completely different motion than that caused by sports specific muscle contractions and repetitive joint movements. This makes static ROM training a less reliable measure for attaining flexibility relative to athletic performance. Dynamic ROM training relates to the force of an opposing muscle that is required to stretch a previously contracted (resting) muscle back to the ready position in a sports-specific movement. For example; in cycling the ease with which the hamstrings and glutes can relax and allow the contraction of the hip and knee flexors to lift pedal has a greater impact on performance than the static flexibility of these muscles off the bike. While increased static ROM training does improve mechanical efficiency and reduce the risk of injury, increasing dynamic ROM training, not static ROM training, has a greater impact on cycling performance due to the fact that it increases power, flexibility and ROM (Reynolds 2008).
GYROTONIC® exercises offer simultaneous strength and flexibility training. This ROM training activates all of the joints and connective tissue that will be needed for optimum cycling performance. The Gyrotonic Expansion System® is comprised of a series of weights, pulleys, and a handle unit which acts to support the body while inviting movement of all of the muscles and joints to their greatest ROM. The system offers a full-body exercise program, with workouts tapered to the individual athlete’s needs. GYROTONIC exercises are offered in Olympia at Motion in Balance Studio (www.motioninbalance.biz 360-556-2619).
Flexibility is important to every cyclist’s health and athletic development. Choosing the proper methods and movements for a flexibility program is very important. It is not wise to pattern you’re stretching and flexibility training after what you see other riders doing. You will need to do some personal assessment of your own flexibility and determine what areas need work and which exercises are most appropriate. Consulting the Certified GYROTONIC trainer at Motion in Balance Studio is a good place to start. I will take you through a flexibility assessment session and can identify an appropriate strength and flexion program based on your goals. If you approach flexibility training with a good plan you will be able to improve your performance and prevent unnecessary injury.
Reynolds, G. 2008. Stretching: The Truth. The New York Times. November 2, 2008.
The Effects of Flexibility Training on Performance and Development –
I recently attended a Hip Replacement Workshop developed and presented by Hilary Cartwright, GYROTONIC® Master Trainer. Hilary worked with Juliu Horvath, the creator of GYROTONIC and GYROKINESIS® exercise to modify a number of the exercises done on the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®, also known as the tower and handle unit.
The workshop included exercises that could be done by both pre-operative and post-operative clients. Hilary taught about the purposes of different exercises for the two types of clients. For instance, it is important to provide as much mobility as possible for pre-operative clients without causing irritation to the tendons or joint. In addition, post-operative clients need to begin regenerating their atrophied muscles and work through their initial joint restrictions. Both pre- and post-operative clients should not have too much flexion in the hip joint for pain prevention and inherent motion restriction purposes.
Typical to what GYROTONIC exercise provides, strengthening, stretching and lengthening are very important for clients who are considering or have undergone hip replacement (and hip resurfacing) procedures. Strengthening is important for the hamstring and gluteus muscles. Lengthening is great for the hip joint, as well as for lifting the upper body away from the lower back. Increasing strength and range of motion in the areas surrounding the surgery is wonderful to give people confidence that they can move as they used to.
I would love to talk to doctors, physical therapists or people that you know who are either considering or have already had hip surgery. I can describe some of the movements that I would teach, the progression that I would use from very gentle to more and more engaged as strength increases, how I would develop their exercise routines according to the type of surgery that they have had or are contemplating, and I could show some of the exercises.
I would honor any referrals that you could pass my way. I have so much to share. Hilary Cartwright’s Hip Replacement Workshop enhanced my existing knowledge and experience since I have already been working with both post- and pre-operative hip surgery clients. This work is truly amazing!
Transform your riding performance through GYROTONIC® movement! Motion in Balance has a new program working with equestrians.
I am offering a one of a kind equine-based GYROTONIC® exercise program. The 10-session program will focus on evaluating and improving one’s riding and body mechanics; increasing balance and flexibility; controlling the horse by finding control in one’s body; and finding new connections to begin riding from the core.
If a rider expects their horse to be balanced, collected and sound then the rider must be the same. There are occasions when a rider believes the horse has a behavior problem, when it is actually a result of the riding habits and patterns of the rider. I believe that through GYROTONIC® exercise one can extend the rider’s lifetime of riding as well as that of the horse. A horse will mirror its rider’s injuries and stiffness. GYROTONIC® exercise can help eliminate those problems so that the rider will be in better shape and more supple.
GYROTONIC® exercise for equestrians is a unique approach to rider training. I work with riders to help develop balance, control, breath/movement coordination, body alignment and awareness, and ease of movement. I take a personal approach, like I do with all of my clients, to find the concepts that are currently challenging them in their riding. I will also consult with their instructor to identify those patterns and present how their are affecting the horse. All those concepts will be integrated into the GYROTONIC® sessions, by focusing on specific exercises that bring awareness to how the rider’s body moves with the horse. The goal of the 10 sessions will be to create harmony for the horse and rider to achieve a successful lifetime of riding.
Motion in Balance Studio, the first and only Gyrotonic studio in town, is growing very rapidly and is looking for certified Gyrotonic instructors. We are seeking highly professional instructors who wish to develop a schedule at our studio. Work will begin part-time, and will expand to full time.
Motion in Balance Studio prides itself on high commitment to our clients’ needs and abilities. We offer a warm, non-intimidating, yet challenging and positive environment to all clients. We see clients referred by chiropractors, massage therapists, dance instructors, team athletes, golf professionals, and friends and families.
The studio currently has three Gyrotonic Expansion Systems and will be purchasing an Archway before the end of 2009. In addition, the studio also teaches GYROKINESIS® classes.
We offer private, semi-private, and group instruction. For more information about our Studio, visit our website at www.motioninbalance.biz.
If you are interested in joining our Studio, please send a resume, a cover letter, availability and a brief statement describing yourself to email@example.com. We are hiring immediately to meet our growing studio needs.
Certified Gyrotonic Instructor
Carry your own liability insurance
Have a business license
Detail oriented, enthusiastic, dedicated mature, and passionate about Gyrotonic movement.
Part-time Gyrotonic instruction at first
Some clerical work – scheduling, light bookkeeping
Some marketing work – attending marketing meetings, distributing fliers, email contact
As I transitioned from being a triathlete to a dancer, I very quickly became aware of my body’s limitations. Whenever my dance teacher would invite me to move my hips or isolate my rib movement from my lower body, I found myself physically stuck and mentally frustrated. Would I ever be able to move in directions other than just forward and back? Could I find the flexibility to smoothly and enjoyable rotate my hips or ribs? Luckily, after years of dance training, focused attention, and GYROTONIC® movement training I have been able to realize the wonders of flexion in my hips and torso.
The hips are designed to move, and the more they do the stronger and more mobile they become. While dancers understand this, it applies to all bodies. It has been said that if we don’t move, we increase the inability to move. In other words, if we rest, we can rust. Tight hips don’t just prevent a dancers’ ability to execute beautiful turns; they can also make everyday movements harder, or even painful for everyone. With a sedentary lifestyle, or even one where sitting occupies a large portion of the day, hips lose their natural elasticity, opening doors to chronic discomfort or pain.
Evolutionarily, our bodies were not meant to be office dwellers. Walking conditions the hips for strong movement in one range. When you sit, the muscles become lax and gradually lose tone. Also, sitting for hours can tilt the pelvis, creating pressure in the lower spine and changing the position of weight-bearing surfaces in the knees. All of the above can be precursors to injury. Any imbalance in the hips can relay up the spine and down through the legs, which can cause pain and affect the stride and other activities.
The solution to averting a downward decline is exercise. The exercises should combine stretching and strengthening that helps discover areas of tension and then gently correct them. The hips are the body’s largest weight-bearing joints. They transfer weight and force between your upper and lower body. They are a fulcrum point, like the shoulders. So, keeping them flexible is crucial. Stronger, more flexible hips contribute to better posture, more confident carriage, a smoother stride, greater power for athletic activities, and of course, a lovely grace in dance. I encourage everyone to get out and move your hips through activities such at GYROTONIC or GYROKINESIS® exercise, or dance. Have fun and stay healthy with those hips!!
How many of us have experienced the sweet feeling of elevation and stability that comes from proper posture? If you are like many Americans, you slump in your middle and upper back. The chest tends to collapse and the shoulder blades are far apart. If you spend any amount of time working at a desk or a computer, driving, reading, or working at the kitchen counter, slumping comes as no surprise to you. All of this shoulder and back rounding shortens and strengthens those muscles that pull your shoulder towards your spine, while weakening those muscles that draw your shoulder away from the spine. You may have occasionally found the wonderful feeling of proper posture but have not been able to sustain it.
Often we assume that by pushing the chest forward and wrenching the shoulders back to the spine that we are attaining proper posture. However, when the shoulder blade alignment isn’t correct, some muscles are short and tense while others are overstretched and weak. What is happening in the body when one practices slumped posture?
The muscular-skeletal system of the shoulder is very complex. There are fifteen muscles that attach to each shoulder blade. The shoulder blades act as the foundation for the arms, but the stability and mobility of the shoulder blades depend almost entirely on that suite of muscles. Two opposing muscle groups are crucial for proper posture: the adductors, which pull the shoulder blades towards the spine (for example, the trapezius and rhomboids), while the abductors draw the shoulders away from the spine (for example, the serratus anterior). Because the shoulder blade contacts the rest of the skeleton in a small joint in the collarbone, shoulder blade stability relies almost entirely on the adductor and abductor muscles.
Are curious about how to achieve proper posture and counteract the mid and upper back slump? Gyrotonic® exercises provide the tools to achieve and maintain a beautiful and dignified posture. The exercises are rooted in elevated uprightness, applied sitting, standing or lying down. Use of the “elevated spine” applies a contrast between the shoulder adductor and abductor muscles and the spine to create stabilization and strength. Once you are able to activate your “elevated spine”, you will look better, will have fewer aches and pains in the neck and back, and will have greater range of motion in the arms without pain in the shoulders.
I invite you to come and achieve elegant, elevated uprightness.
219 Legion Way SW
Suite 203 - A
Olympia, WA 98501