Muscles in Motion meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday during lunch, and attracts area businesswomen ages 20 through 50. The class is almost exclusively women. It began in 1994, and usually draws between five and 10 people. Organized like an aerobics class, it uses steps along with hand and foot weights. The choreographed routines follow music and an instructor’s cues. Read more
Coram’s class attracts women of all ages. She tells them to do as much as they can, and if they’re struggling, she tells them to back off. Women are comfortable in her class and organize their schedules around it, some taking a step class before. This works out well because “women can budget a set time to lift weights, [and] they can tell their husbands to be home by a certain time to watch the kids,” says Coram. Read more
Non-specific sport conditioning is also part of the class, as are semi-intimidating moves such as push-ups and leg dips — two moves that women, in particular, shy away from. Coram encourages the class to try new things by telling members that they don’t have to, but that she’d like them to try the new moves. Read more
Parents and teachers know that it can be challenging to make exercise and nutritional information interesting to children. There are so many distractions nowadays with television, video games and the Internet that health education can sometimes get short shrift. Yet, the practices that children learn while young can dramatically impact their dietary and lifestyle choices throughout their lives. The goal is for parents and fitness professionals to make this education fun so that children will want to learn. Read more
Taking off on the wave requires fast paddling, timing, balance and wave knowledge. Riding the wave requires balance and, on long rides, leg endurance. Doing moves such as cutbacks, off the lips, etc requires coordination, skill and strength and flexibility, especially in the back, abdominals and legs. Read more
Hamstrings (the muscles in the backs of your thighs)
Anyone who runs — even if it’s just to catch the last commuter train — is subject to tight hamstrings. To loosen them, lie flat on your back with your right foot over your left knee. Grab your right leg just above the knee using both hands, with your fingers pressing into the back of your leg and your thumbs on top by your kneecap (as shown). Run your hands up your thigh, pressing with your fingers as you go. Repeat several times. Finally, press the fingers of either hand into the middle of your hamstring and slowly rub across the leg from side to side. (Use enough pressure so that your fingers don’t slide across your skin.) Move your fingers to work the entire muscle. Avoid putting pressure on the area directly behind the knee, where there are fragile tendons and ligaments. Then work the other leg.
Step Two: The Program
Biceps (the muscles in the front of your upper arms)
Pushed yourself a little too hard in the gym? To give yourself a shot in the arm, start by using your left hand to grab your right arm just above the elbow so that your thumb points up toward your right shoulder. Your fingers should wrap around the outside of your arm. With your right arm down at your side, gently press your thumb into the biceps muscle and stroke upward toward your shoulder. Repeat several times.