Connections.

I recently started teaching an arms & abs class at barre n9ne (taking it over for one of the other instructors who is pregnant – and super cute, I might add!) and it’s been a fun, very different class to teach versus the usual classes I teach that are all full body workouts.

What I’ve noticed since I started teaching the class though, is just how connected everything is. Since that class focuses SO MUCH on core work and engaging those muscles throughout the workout (not just during the sections that are ab-specific), I’ve noticed some things.

– For one – hello abs, where have you been all my life? You hurt like hell after that class, but I kind of love that.

– Also? It’s all connected. As in, a strong core ties into SO MANY other parts of your body…your entire body, actually.

I noticed that this morning while taking a fusion class at the studio (same class I took last week with my bestie right upfront!) – since my abs were already sore, I was much more aware of how my abs played into every single exercise we did.

– My posture was taller while we sat and worked our shoulders with those love-to-hate silver balls.

– My back was flatter while we were working our glutes on all fours.

– And everything – EVERYTHING – felt a lot more difficult than if I didn’t have such ‘worked’ core muscles this morning.

Which lead me to this very simple conclusion: it’s ALL connected.

And the more I can personally focus on that connection to my core and to all of my muscles really, the more I’ll get out of my workouts, but also the more I’ll help clients get more out of their workouts too.

While teaching arms & abs especially, I’ve been trying to remind clients to make sure they are engaging their core while doing ALL of the exercises I run through in that class. So while standing and working our biceps with the gray band, really think about pulling your belly button to your spine, engaging your core muscles and holding them firm throughout the bicep pulls. So even if we’re not doing a so-called ‘core’ exercise in that class (or any of the other classes), your core should always be working, always engaged, always firm and strong. Because that’s the key – making that connection to your core, to your muscles, and working them as hard as they can and should be worked. Trusting that you can work a little harder, dig a little deeper, engage your muscles even more.

And yes, that’s exactly what I thought about throughout my ‘me’ workout this morning in fusion.  Connecting with my body, making sure to stay in the zone and enjoying the heck out of every last minute of that class (even though it hurt…a lot, ha).

So that’s my mini pep talk ‘o the day – think about those connections, all of them. And put it to practice during your next workout. I’m thinking you might be surprised at how different the workout feels both during and in the days after that workout (think: DOMS).  Juuuuust a hunch. ;-)

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21 thoughts on “Connections.

  1. I am a Jazzercise instructor and I stress this to my students all of the time! I tell them how important it is to realize that everything is connected and when one part of your body is strong (like your core) it will help strengthen the other parts (like having correct form while working legs). It’s so important to realize how much our body parts work together! Thanks for the great reminder!!

  2. SO true sis! I never felt a connection in my core with any ab work before and would get so frustrated with why it wasn’t working and why I hated ab work so much. But now that I actually FEEL the connection and feel it working, wow, what a difference!!! Great post sis :) Rock those smabs!

    • I never, EVER had that mind/body connection to my core until we started at barre n9ne and it REALLY kicked in during teacher training and really hit home for me while teaching arms & abs because I really had no choice but to focus on my core even more. And I LOVE that so much about this barre journey — constant evolutions!! and YAY for smabs hehe ;-)

  3. Great post! It’s hard to remember to squeeze your abs when you’re focusing on the pain in your arms at the moment. But that’s why instructors like you are awesome – to remind, remind, remind!!!!

    • Oh it’s absolutely hard to remember all the ‘right things’ to be doing in the heat of the moment, when everything hurts and it’s taking all your power NOT to give up. But when you do take a sec to think about that connection, it can make a big difference. SO interesting to me how little tweaks can produce big results, you know?

  4. Such a great post! I’m a huge “core” person in so many ways…abs, back and life. It is all connected for me. I’m always reminding my clients to hold their core tight when they are working out too. It really is the basis of your strength. I honestly did not realize this until I had surgery to remove part of my abs. It left me feeling incredibly weak. Just using my arms and legs was difficult since everything stems from your core. Now that I realize there’s more to your core than just your abs, I have found my strength again! This is why I’m a huge believer in back strength and I love planks!

    • Wow. I had no idea you had to have that surgery, that is crazy town!! I can totally see why you are such a huge fan of core work and finding that inner strength, talk about an attitude of gratitude, huh?

      ps I love planks too ;-)

    • YES, I think people easily forget that your core SHOULD come into play in all physical activity, not just the obvious activities like pushups or planks, but on a spin bike really pulling in that core will help you push harder and work your body to its full capability. love that! I wish I could spin with you!

    • Ha, they are these little, VERY deceiving 1 lb weighted silver balls that we use for shoulder work in barre fusion (or in fusion class) and after about five minutes of shoulder work, your shoulders are screaming for mercy. It’s the best, haha.

  5. I am kind of learning the hard way how everything is connected. I pushed my body a little too soon postpartum and my pelvic floor has paid a price. After a bit of physical therapy I’m doing much better, but it has opened my eyes to see how every muscle of my pelvis is essential to running! And if anything is out of whack at the hips, things will be affected down the line: like plantar fasciitis in my foot. It is all connected!

    • Wow. I’m glad you are doing better at taking care of your body post-partum…and am sorry you had to learn that part the hard way, no fun at all. BUT at least now you’re on the road to recovery and renewed strength and with a better appreciation of that connection. so important!

  6. Reminds me of the Beyonce HBO special where she talks so much about life connecting the dots.

    You’re so right about really digging deep and focusing on all your muscles. Quality over quantity.

  7. So true! I was just thinking about this the other day about how important it is to engage your core and what a huge difference it makes. For me, it was in relation to doing a different variation of a headstand which I had found so so hard. But when I remembered to engage my core, I lifted right now. Amazing.

    • I actually struggled for years to truly connect with my core — and everyone told me that it would happen one day and I never believed them. But now I do because it’s true — it takes focus and concentration and commitment but it can be done, and truly comes down to recognizing the connections. I’m sure it’s all the more clear to you how connected everything is post-baby, your body is an amazing thing isn’t it?

  8. A few years ago one of my yoga instructors iterated this “everything is connected” idea to me – and it’s so true! It’s one of the gifts that running has given me – an education about my mind and body. And to a certain degree I now can even appreciate an injury and the lesson that it teaches me.

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