Insider’s Intel from The Dailey Method
As you know, I have been doing it daily (well, almost daily…) at The Dailey Method lately. I have persuaded two friends to come with me to class over the past week. They both had the same reaction: “Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be. I feel great.” Which means that I am doing a hard workout on the regular. For the first time in my life…and that makes me feel pretty damn great, too.
This week, I thought I would give you some insider’s intel from Sam and Shelie, the lovely ladies who own my local Dailey Method studio and two of the fittest mamas I know:
1) What’s your favorite TDM exercise/position? Why?
(Sam) I love seated pretzel seat work! It’s the one I feel the most the next day even if I’ve only taught the class and not actually taken it. I feel it not only in my seat (bum) but all along my sides as well. It’s a tremendous amount of oblique work as you still need to maintain alignment, square your shoulders and hips and not sit into your supporting side. Holding yourself upright with your working leg bent, off the floor and behind your hip is a killer! (editor’s note: I did this today in class, she is right…it’s killer!)
(Shelie) They are ALL my favorite exercises it’s why I do it six days a week. I honestly can’t pick one that I like more then the other because for me every class is different. One day I love a certain position and the next day it humbles me to the point that I find myself swearing at the teacher under my breath (editor’s note: swear at the teacher under your breath?!? Who does that?? Ahem…me). All of the exercises we do in The Dailey Method are extremely beneficial in creating length and strength within your body and muscles. We focus on alignment over depth. We work from the inside out. We thread alignment principles throughout every exercise in class, so you can take something with you from class, that being proper alignment along with longer, leaner and stronger muscles.
2) What is your least favorite TDM exercise/position? Why?
(Sam) It’s always the exercise you need the most that you hate the most. I have a love/hate with planks and push ups. Planks are so effective in warming up your body since they require almost every muscle in your body to just hold the position correctly. However, it’s very rare that I can stay in the position all the way through without resetting on my knees. I get frustrated in planks and especially when we transition to push-ups (editor’s note: OH MY GOD, you get frustrated, too?!? Hallelujah!). I try to set a time goal with myself before I reset and I almost never make it. It’s frustration with myself more than anything else.
(Shelie) None of them are my least favorite but the one that challenges me the most is fold over seatwork. It incorporates a lot of upper body strength as well as spinal extension work. Fold over is almost like a plank standing up using the barre and you are on one leg if you can picture that. You use almost every muscle in your body and you feel that immediately. You feel it in the places we say are NON working like your standing leg, “it’s a bonus” we say…but while you are in it you do not think it s a bonus but more like a cruel joke.
3) What are your favorite healthy snacks?
(Sam) I always have a bag of organic beef jerky in the car or in my purse. I do not let myself get hungry as my body does not process a drop in blood sugar very well. The minute I feel the hunger starting to rise, I grab a handful and it takes the edge off.
(Shelie) Nuts and seeds..almond butter and apples (editor’s note: damn, she couldn’t have just said cupcakes, could she??)
4) Do you like to eat before class? Why? Why not?
(Sam) Yes, always. A very light breakfast. Usually a couple of organic chicken sausages and a scrambled egg and always a cup of tea, not coffee (it makes me too jittery).
(Shelie) I eat ALLLL day. I usually take class in the AM so you should always start your day with breakfast as it is your most important meal of the day, it jumpstarts your metabolism.
5) Which TDM moves/exercises can you do quickly and easily at home for the days when you can’t make it to class?
(Sam) Planks are “the power house of exercises”. If you can hold a straight arm/straight leg plank for a couple of minutes, your body will feel it. I like doing “Narrow Athletic V” while cooking (editor’s note: show off!). Stand a full arms distance from counter. Heels together, feet 3 inches apart and lift heels just 2 inches off the ground (don’t let heels come apart). Release your tailbone slightly behind you and find the natural S-curve of your spine- neutral spine. A good way to check is to place your hands on your hips. You should be able to support yourself without holding onto the counter. Bend your knees and keep them tracking over your 2nd and 3rd toes and begin to bend your knees down an inch and up an inch. Make the movements controlled and see if you can continue to move without needing the counter to hold you up. Do that for a minute and then when you’re feeling very shaky, try to make the movement 2 counts down and 2 counts up, still maintaining an upright posture, heels together and knees tracking over your 2nd and 3rd toes. If you can do narrow V for 2-3 minutes straight your quadriceps will feel it.
(Shelie) We start class with marching to warm your body up and bring your heart rate up a bit. You can march anywhere! Planks are always there for you whenever and wherever. They are the most effective exercise in working almost every muscle in your body. You can always do thigh work using a counter or back of a chair. Standing seatwork can easily be done using your counter or chair. Stretching should be a part of your everyday routine; it’s important in flushing out toxins in your muscles and keeping your muscles long and supple.
So these are just some fun tidbits from the ladies behind The Dailey Method — your first class is free so if you decide to give it a go, let me (and them!) know what you think!