Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Circus Tricks & Little Fitness Wonders

I lead a little fitness and nutrition group every Wednesday morning.  It's been an eye opener for them, but also for me.  For most people reading this, you know stuff about fitness and nutrition.  You've read a book or two, participated in a fitness forum, or you're my friend and had to listen to me ramble about stuff.  Because you know stuff, you don't know that others don't know the basics.  It's a good lesson for me to keep in mind.

Little good things like fiber, fish oil, and protein are surprises to them.  They've never heard of the problems with soybean oil, corn oil, omega-6s, and processed foods, either.  The biggies are news to them and I was so happy to be the one to expose them to this stuff.

We're on week three, and today we delved into some exercises to combat the poor posture and habits that most of us have because of PCs, driving, sitting, television, etc.  After my speech and demonstration on how to "be tall" -- thanks Bill Hartman -- we did some minor stretching of the wrists, hands, neck, and torso. 

Toward the end, one guy asked about some serious stretching and lamented that he wished he could touch his toes.  I asked him to show me.  He was four inches from touching.

"Let's see the rest of you try."  They all tried.  No one was any better or worse.  None of them could touch their toes.

"You guys want to touch your toes?  Five minutes and you'll all do it." 

They seemed skeptical. "How much stretching?"

"No stretching," I told them.

We all lined up, our toes on a thick rug, so our heels were below the level of our toes.   I had them "be tall" AND reach high for the ceiling, sweep from the waist, staying tall and long as they went, reaching for the toes.  The best of them was two inches away. 

Repeat the drill.  One inch from the toes was the best.

We moved off the rug and to our feet flat again and tried once more.  Success for one, but the other two had stalled out.  Number one was happy, but the other two gave me the "see, I told you so" look.

I grabbed a plastic water pitcher and told one of the doubters to squeeze it between his quads and try once more.  He thought I was crazy, but did it.  He touched his toes on the first try.  While he was still amazed, I handed the pitcher to the last guy.  It took him two attempts, but he touched his toes, too.  Three for three.

I took a few minutes to explain the issues that each could work on, based on what method helped each one, and I firmly believe they wanted to rush home, right then, to show their wives their new skillz!  Yay for them!  I remember my first time? (Thanks Bill Hartman!  Yes, Bill again!)

I know it's just a trick, and they might have left thinking I'm some biomechanical genius or something.  I'll take it. 

Hopefully, my circus trick and my explanations made them a bit more confident that I know what I'm doing.  I wonder how much  of the training battle is inspiration of the client.  A big part, I think.


  1. hey cool blog check out mine

  2. Now you're just showin' off my friend. :)

    Nice Blog.

    Bill H.


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