You will hear me say that phrase–a lot! It is so easy when doing T-Tapp to start letting momentum carry a move or to get focused on going as far as Teresa does on a move, and we totally lose activation in the muscle(s) that is/are supposed to be working!
The reason Teresa has the sequence she does is to fatigue the large muscles that like to take over–especially thighs, buns and even some of the back muscles over abs, lats and arms. For example, when I do plies, I can’t go down very far without starting to pitch my shoulders forward. It might be 4 inches of movement most days! Keeping the core curled and ribs up, using that tummy! Push the knees out as you go up and down–focusing on tummy and inner thighs–stay in the muscle!
Lunges is another move it’s tempting to go as far as Teresa, but again, you often lose muscle activation. It’s only about 3 inches of movement, but as you keep that knee aiming towards the little toe and tummy tight/ribs up–you will really feel muscles working!
In just about every move, it’s easy to use your larger muscles and/or momentum and not work the muscles that should be working! If you do Chest Press during Plies and your elbows touch, you released your lats. If you do plies and your shoulders pitch forward and your buns go out, you released your core and ribs. If you let your hips twist during Jazz Twist or T-Tapp Twist, your core is not doing the work–and it’s hard on the knees! If your knees are aiming in or out during Hoedowns, you released your tummy/core. If you focus on how high you can lift your leg in Balance, you very likely release your core. Lead with that heel and keep tummy tight/ribs up–I can only lift about 4-6 inches off the floor!
I’m going to take one move, Plies, and tell you what I did to find my “max”. I got with a mirror, standing sideways to it. I got into Plie “position”, heels just outside my shoulders-width, pointing at 11 and 1 on the “clock” with my toes. I curled my core and lifted my ribs, keeping knees pushing out. I then slowly went down, all the while keeping an eye on my shoulder/hip alignment. When I had a hard time keeping my tummy tight and ribs up, I noticed my shoulders pitching forward a bit. I backed up an inch and got the “feel” for that position–that was my max.
You see, it’s not “how far down can I go?”, but “how far down can I go and stay in the muscle?” This is really the focus in every move, but especially the moves where we’re moving our upper body down and up–or lifting a leg, such as Plies, Hoedowns, Lunges, Balance, Lat Presses, Puppet Pulls, Thread the Needle, Torso Twist, Step-Lifts.
Does this also apply to floor moves? You bet! In Hit The Floor, there are many moves where it’s easy to focus on “going as far up as Teresa”, and totally lose ab activation–and that’s not what we want! The two moves I really noticed it on are crunches and cross-over sit-ups. It’s easy to try to go higher, like Teresa, but I found my abs weren’t really that strong! I was using back muscles–and my neck! :p When you focus on “staying in the muscle” vs. going higher, you also may find how to get those abs on board!
I have one side on cross-over sit-ups that I don’t go as high as the other one, but I still stay in the muscles that are supposed to be working. Once I concentrated on that (vs. how high I could go), I saw my muffin start to disappear! If you’re not getting results, do a check–are you staying in the muscles that are supposed to be working while trying to go farther than maybe your body type or flexibility is able right now? Shorten the stance, don’t go down (or up!) as far, and try to stay in the muscle–and you just might see some results!
Today is also Deep Discount Tuesday! MORE for 20% off–and you know how much I love MORE! 😉
(You can go to the Trisch’s Tips page to read “more” about MORE!)
The DDT code is: DDT022112 if you shop online, or you can call the office–if you leave a message they will get back to you!
MORE is a phenomenal workout–great for newbie and veteran alike! If you don’t already own it, this is a good price and MORE should be part of every T-Tapper’s “repertoire”!