Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Work Your Arms and Legs with - Rising Elbow Power!

My husband and I were driving in the car recently and we had one of our classic life-changing, life-planning conversations; something we do at least twice a year.  In these we end up talking about how all aspects of our lives are going, discuss things we’d like to make adjustments in, and then plan out the future, both immediate and more long term; this last conversation resulted in a three to five year game plan.

As I said last week, Spring is a time of growth and renewal; let it be the same thing for your life.  What do you want this next year to be?   What changes do you want/need to make?  Sit outside, soak up the feeling of Spring and feel out what you really want; then make a game plan and begin making the adjustments.  Maybe it’s as simple as re-evaluating what you came up with for the New Year…maybe it’s something entirely new (big or small); either way, tap into it and let the new beginnings and opportunities that come with Spring inspire you and carry you to your new goal.
This week we are working our legs and arms with Rising Elbows.  In the martial arts, elbows are used for “in-tight fighting” (defending).  They are very strong and powerful as long as you use your entire body to strike; think of this exercise as a chance to hone in our your entire-body power!

Rising Elbow Power
Begin with your feet wide in a comfortable squat position (that means knees are bent and muscles are working but you don’t have to be all the way down).  In martial arts this is our “horse stance”.  Remember, the lower you are able to squat down, the farther apart your feet need to be.  Rule of thumb: you always need to have your knees over your feet and be able to see your toes when you glace down (knees pressing out and bootie back); this will protect your knees so that you can do many more squats and movements for years to come.  In addition, go as low as you can go while keeping your back upright.
Pull your hangs up to your armpits with your elbows back (“elbow position”), keeping your chest open and your head up.  Now it’s time for the rising elbows.  Drop into a low squat position as your drop your right elbow down in front of your belly.  From here, explode out of your squat, simultaneously rising up in your stance and forcefully pushing your elbow up until it is in front of your nose.  As you do this, exhale (audibly) from your belly; this will activate your core muscles, giving you a better workout and more power.  Repeat on your left side. 
Go fast and strong for 1 minute; repeat for 2-3 more rounds.

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