Increase Core Strength and Cardiovascular Endurance
• Push-ups, planks and crunches on mats, bosus or balls
• Strengthen your core and define your abdominal muscles
• Stabilize your low back and improve your posture
The abdominal area is often the most difficult area for men to strengthen and tone. Though weight training is effective for men, it is often ineffective at developing the midsection. Since the primary funcion of the abdominal muscles is to stabilize the spine, the way to increase abdominal strength is to put the body in unstable positions. This makes the abdominal muscles engage to stabilize the spine. For example, when you are doing a push-up with the hands on a ball, the challenge to the abdominal area is more intense than it would be if if you were doing a push-up on the floor. Since the ball has the potential to move around, it requires that the abdominal mujscles stabilize the body. The challenge is not to see how much you can lift. The challenge is to see how well you can stabilize the body in an unstable environment.
Core training is useful for beginners as well as experienced athletes. There is a full spectrum of core training exercises ranging from simple to extremely difficult. At Studio Maya, core training exercises are adapted to each person’s skill level and progress as one becomes stronger. This ensures that a person improves steadily, avoids plateaus, and does so safely. In addition to transforming the midsection, core training can give you something similar to the “runner’s high.” At Studio Maya, people have described it as “feeling very centered” and others have said that it makes them “feel invincible.” Though people articulate it differently, there is a general consensus that after a core workout one’s mental state feels improved.
Upper Body Intensive: this class focuses on shoulder stabilization, strengthening exercises for the pectoral and back muscles as well as the abdominal/core muscles. This functional training class uses body weight, the bosu, balls and cables. The exercises alternate between push-ups, cable exercises, planks and crunches to challenge and fatigue the upper body and core muscles. This class is NOT appropriate for someone with neck/back pain, shoulder dislocations or forearm pain.
Intensive Core: this class focuses on the core muscles: the transverse abdominis, obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, diaphragm and the pelvic floor muscles. Core training has revolutionized the abdominal workout by working the deeper abdominal muscles, especially the transverse abdominis. Core training differs from sit-ups and crunches even though both are working the abdomen. Although useful, sit-ups and crunches primarily work the superficial muscles while core training forces the deeper abdominal muscles to engage. This presents a greater challenge to the abdominal area producing more significant results. This class is NOT appropriate for someone with low back pain/injury.
Bosu Body: this class is the most cardiovascular challenging class. Every exercise is done on the bosu. A bosu looks like a ball cut in half. You can stand, jump, sit and kneel on it. This class consists of lunges, squats, jumps, planks and other full-body exercises. This is a very challenging class and is NOT appropriate for someone who has chronic pain or an injury. This class is not appropriate for someone with knee pain.
Outdoor Stair Workout at Ft. Greene Park: this class builds lower body strength and increases cardiovascular endurance. The class starts at the top of Ft. Greene Park with exercises to activate the glute (butt) muscles. Then you go to the stairs for slow lunges up the stairs, followed by sprints up and down the stairs. You can go at whatever pace works for you and you can rest whenever you need to. This class is not appropriate for those with low back pain. If you have minor knee pain, you can try this class.
Low Back Class: this class is a rehabilitative class specially designed for those with low back pain. Every exercise has been created to alleviate compression to the low back while reprogramming the muscle patterns of the body. Most people with low back pain have under-active abdominal/core muscles and over-active back and neck muscles. This class focuses on strengthening the abdominal/core muscles and training the back and neck muscles to be more passive. This class is the most appropriate class for someone with low back pain.