This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Step and Cycle

I went to the doctor and discovered the cause of my Ailment. What a relief! Nothing life threatening fortunately, and I was told how to avoid similar problems in the future. However, I was disappointed to learn that it was one of those things that you just have to wait out and let it run its course. Rats.

I attended K's step class this morning. She occasionally pops into class when I'm teaching, and has given me some feedback in the past on how to improve. Since she's been teaching for "a while" (I'm not sure exactly how long) I thought I'd check out her teaching style, see how she cues (so I can be more consistent with my terminology) and possibly learn some new choreography.

K's warmup was quite interesting because it's choreographed. I don't recall her doing any stretching (which is fine, since that's a hotly debated issue right now), but that meant I didn't know when she had transitioned to the actual workout. There were three things about her routine that I had trouble with:

  1. K taps. Not only for tapping moves like turnsteps and A-steps, but for changing leads. I've never done that, so I find it awkward.
  2. K wasn't on the 32-count which forced me to count.
  3. K only uses right basic as a holding pattern. I would have used something like step knee center to even out both legs

I've been reading a lot of threads on TBB recently about tapping vs. tapless, being on the 32-count or not, so I tried to put my biases aside and just enjoy class. The participants had a blast and certainly whooped it up! I built up a sweat and relished the ability to zone out for a change. It's much less stressful than teaching.

I learned a new move, "kickboxing", that I'm going to modify and teach at some point. Here it is with Margaret's suggested changes: start off at the short end of the bench, assume the right/East side. Step up on the bench with the left foot (1), front kick with your right leg (2), right foot comes back down on the floor into the squat, while simultaneously punching forward with alternating arms (3-5), right knee up (6), right foot back on floor (7) extend left foot into a crush kick (8).

Margaret took K's class as well. I pointed out the things that I found surprising in class, and Margaret suggested it may be because K was testing out a new routine and still needed to iron some things out. It didn't help that in addition to Margaret and myself, there was a third instructor, Sandy, taking that class. I have experienced first hand how unnerving it can be to have another instructor in class: I'm certainly on edge when K's around when I teach!

After step, Margaret and I headed over to the cycle studio to take Becky's spinning class. It was lots of fun! Becky focuses a lot on form. Here are some of the things she did:

  • Encourages participants to cycle to the beat of the music.
  • Uses imagery: we picture ourselves cycling up and down a mountain. At various points in class, Becky will tell us where we were: halfway up the mountain, at the summit, etc.
  • Reminds us to change hand positions often and wiggle our toes to make sure our extremities don't become numb
  • Tells us to maintain alignment between shoulders & hips
  • Focuses on form: no swaying from side to side, and no excessive pressure on the upper arms (especially when cycling with our rears pushed back)
  • Talks about muscle memory, and push points with regards to how much resistance to add.

The regular instructor was going to be away the next day so Becky said she would be teaching again on Sunday. I told her I would be at that class as well, and she said that she'd bring a gift for me then. Another gift from the Y - excellent!

No comments: