Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Core Sequence, Part 6: Upper Body Circles

If you haven't already, please read Core Strength and Me and Introduction to Isolating Movement.

This is the final installment of My Core Sequence.  I will eventually post other core and dance related instructional pieces.  Also, keep an eye out for other fitness articles.

Some of these upper body circles can be quite strenuous and difficult to do with good posture and technique.  Focus on that so as to avoid putting undo strain on your back.  Be sure to do all circles in both directions.

Chest Circles

Your head will not move for this one.  You will pass through all the full extension points in the Back and Forth Rib Slide and Up and Down Chest.  Push your ribs out to the side, round your chest to the front, round to the other side, to the back, and repeat.  Do ten and then repeat in the other direction.  There will be no twisting involved, so your chest should be pointed toward the front the whole time, albeit tilted up or down a little.

Ribcage Circles

Your head will move, but your hips will not.  Make a big circle passing through all the full extension points of the Back and Forth Shoulder Slide and the Front to Back Chest.

Awesome Tip of the Day:  It is extra important for these next three movements to be done from good posture.  Lift your torso as if you were trying to be tall.  Especially if you are finding a bad or uncomfortable portion of the movement, really check your technique.  Most commonly, it is the back bend that people are not okay with.  Sometimes it is a strength issue and sometimes it is technique.  Don't let your body sag on the forward part either.

Tilting Ribcage Only Circles

This one is a bit difficult for some.  You will use the diaphragm area articulation point.  Your head will move.  If you do it right, it should look odd because the belly area should not move.  Review the movements of the Back and Forth Rib Tilt and Front to Back Rib Tilt as you will be making these movements into a circle.

Torso Circles

Starting from good posture, and keeping your torso more or less stiff, take your torso in a medium circle making sure that you are leaning evenly in all directions (as you should in any circular movement).  Do ten and repeat in the other direction.

Big Torso Circles

These require a bit of strength, so if you feel satisfied with the regular torso circles, just get used to those for awhile before you move to these ones.  They are essentially the same, only you will make a much wider range of motion.  You should feel a stretch and even let your body curve downward a little in every direction you lean.  Do not twist.  Do not lean further to the front than you do to the back.  Chose whichever direction is most difficult for you and make that your range for every other direction so that you can maintain an even motion.  With time, you will get stronger and more flexible at that angle and can increase your range of motion for the entire circle.


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