Tag Archives: Core

ballet-inspired: core


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The other half of me: Link here! Thank you for reading. 🙂

-Pennington

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Ballet Training Life



Ballet Training thus far has been a really interesting journey.  It’s about 4 months (or a little more) and I’ve grown to take immense pleasure in Ballet Beautiful (and other Ballet Conditioning work I’ve come across).  I always liked Ballet, but I can appreciate it more now that I perform Ballet-inspired movement (and some actual Ballet exercises).

Ballet has been very tricky in some areas like getting the form down.  There’s a lot going on most of the time – movements come from all angles and are done simultaneously at the same time.  For example: Picture yourself balancing on one leg while the other leg is in midair lifting up/down/sideways/bending or performing large circles while you swaying your arms up/down/side/waving.  It’s challenging and the focus needed has to surpass 100%.


There’s a lot of balance and concentration involve, but it’s all good because I’m a special kind of woman who’s built for this with my work ethics.  I have the capacity to push myself beyond my mind’s or body’s limitations especially since I have to deal with burning arches and aching cores throughout each exercise.  Not to mention dealing with borderline cramping even if you’re simply bending or stretching to one side or backwards without arching the spine.

There’s also the act of practicing stability and working through a super intense muscle burn along with having super muscle control.  What I enjoy the most is getting through the first exercise sequence of 4 sets in counts of 8’s at a rapid pace because the exercises are so difficult particularly Ballet Beautiful that for you to finish without pausing is a HUGE accomplishment.  And although there’s a lot to learn I’m keeping my mind and body open as I carry on flexibility in every technique and exercise I approach.

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I benefit from using different muscles than what I’m used to.  The techniques and exercises I’m performing have further enlightened my sense of physical awareness for instance engaging the center.  I currently pull in through the center even when I do dishes or take a shower.  Back then the only time I engaged my core was during a weightlifting session since it’s very important to do when you’re Deadlifting, performing the Military Press and Barbell Squatting.  Sometimes I think my core is lacking, but I think the only reason why I think this is because of the fat on top.  There’s nothing wrong with my core – it’s much stronger than I give it credit for.

There’s also the ease of gaining lower back, hip inner/outer, glutes and ankle flexibility.  As is, there are positions (including Yoga) where I couldn’t get the top of my foot flat and now I’ve made gains where I can flatten my foot another centimeter or a full inch – which is outstanding as FUCK!  To get this foot and ankle where I want it to be has been a mission.  I’ve been given the wrong information from stupid surgeons saying if I can’t make any gains in 6 months to a year from the accident then I won’t be able to make any improvements.  However, since Ballet Beautiful I’m making tiny gains after a year and naturally this makes me very happy.  Plus I’ll take any miniature gain I can get.

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There’s the minimizing of cellulite behind the back of my upper thigh right under the glutes and no matter how many lunges I’ve done in the past that’s been something hard to knock off when you have extra weight on.  I have extra weight but the cellulite is still minimized like some kind of magic trick.  The best part is (although I don’t need it) I’ve received an even higher instantaneous butt lift at the same time my cellulite is disappearing.  In the beginning I was scared of losing my curves with Ballet Beautiful, but I haven’t lost any – it’s all being enhanced.

As far as the flexibility is concerned, well I’m back to the flexibility and have even surpassed the flexibility in certain poses (including yoga).  Holy crap!  You don’t even understand how awesome this is for me as I used to stretch intensely for an hour, and sometimes overstretch to the point where I would actually hurt my muscles and couldn’t stretch for a week or more.  I used to think I have to stretch at least 5 times a week in order to get to where I want to be (one of the goals is a front/middle split), but it’s not true.  Ballet Beautiful is magical when it comes to simply just performing exercises and having you become flexible within the process where lengthening happens literally overnight.  I will say – better flexibility also means better sex.  (I apologize.  I had to throw this in here.)

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I love exercises that are different and difficult.  So it intrigues me very much to perform exercises that have a lot of internal and external rotations.  I’m carving out the larger muscles I’ve built over the years simply by building all the small muscles and vice versa.  This creates an even better and more efficient foundation.  I like having to create and work for better isometric contractions.  I like that there are new rules I have to learn like rounding my back during exercises or going through a full extension through the knee as opposed to never locking out like weightlifting and bodybuilding.

I like leveling up my fitness and I enjoy cross-training again.  I like being introduced to a whole wide world of new muscles.  I like feeling as if with less weightlifting – I’m allowing my body to become more symmetrical.  I’m decreasing size (mass/bulk) and even bodyfat at a pace I didn’t think would be possible with my exceptionally low thyroid and such.  And did I mention my posture?  It’s also changed immediately!

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Just like weightlifting – ballet exercises give me the feeling of constant motion in physical existence as well as completeness in the present moment within the body.  To close this long entry I’m still learning everything I’m sensing from head to toe with Ballet Beautiful.  This is one reason why trying to write about my Ballet Training has been different as I feel these entries don’t flow as well as I wanted to.  I digress.. I believe I’ve exceeded the phase of novelty, so this isn’t a phase I’m going through and I’m into ballet-inspired workouts which is not to be confused with actual dance ballet and such.

Happy Training everyone!

-Pennington

Alteration


ghost in the shell 1
TRX is one of the truths of fitness along with weight-training, cardio, calisthenics and a host of many other activities within this realm.  And sometimes I’m good at putting in a little bit of everything in a single week for a workout program.  But other times I forget to be well-rounded. Sometimes I stick with my reasonable rep scheme and my above moderate to heavy weight training with compound exercises and/or Total-body programs (all resistance-related) that I forget that there is anything else in the physical activity world.

So once again I was reminded by a training session (isn’t this one reason why people get actual Personal Trainers no matter how good they believe they are? – for getting out of the comfort zone) with Dark Knight just how pairing TRX, Stability Ball exercises along with Plyometrics could accomplish for my mental and physical state during, not to mention the remembrance of soreness the very next day which I’m experiencing lovingly and heavily.

TRX is amazing although not one of my favorite things to EVER do because the difficulty and exert level is beyond ridiculous when you carry a lot of weight (like me).  I also associate the TRX to be highly core related.  And let’s face it, I dislike doing core probably more so than I do visiting my mom at the nursing home/hospital. But aside from these negative relations these reasons are exactly why the TRX is extremely important.  My muscles worked super hard during these movements that my flesh seared red, my bodyfat diminished for a moment in undetectable time and I didn’t want to provide another rep despite the fact that I grinded my lips and teeth like a bad dream as my biceps and forearms wanted to fall off in sweet deliverance.

I got through some intense TRX Rows.

And I got through the Banded Pull ups, Jumping Squats, Rope Pulls, Dynamic Lunges, Tricep Rope Pull-downs, Planks and Push ups both done on the Stability Ball.  I was quite amused although I’ll be honest; I’ve never liked the unstable feeling of my body being out of control.  I like muscle fibers shaking when I lift weights (and even that I had to learn to get used to) but when the body is going completely haywire and excitingly random because it’s wondering what the hells going on within the unknown trying to make it known.. I feel tremendously uncomfortable and by uncomfortable I mean I spaced the fuck out and I needed to bring my head back down from the cosmos because it’s concentrated and very present and at the same time a stirring out-of-body-experience.

The goal before New Year arrives is to make sure I’m working on getting to the next level even if it means getting over my immense hate for core and extra bodyweight work because it’ll help me achieve more of the best. During this process I’ll be required to break through old beliefs, training rituals, destroy my mind and body all over again to gain a newfound structure and a special level of physical enlightenment.

It’s all about parts and making them into absolute and reassuring wholes, strengthening strengths but also strengthening weaknesses and dislikes until they’re no longer a phase to ponder about while enjoying the journey which keeps us on the edge of the magnificence of uncertainty. 🙂

-Pennington