Tuesday was a fun fast paced workout, most of us have been in this class before and the ten of us clipped along with deep squats, powering up and jumping into the air before repeating the exercise, atomic crunches are just what the word atomic means in this case for peaceful purposes an explosive use of core muscles, arm strength and of course endurance. I know I’m stronger now I completed the entire exercise but not without some difficulty on the last two crunches.

I have a malady that I have kept under control for many years by avoiding certain prolonged activities that have my arms raised above my shoulder and quite frankly I had forgotten Thoracic Syndrome (the squeezing of the artery by muscles pressing it against the first rib) but lately we have been doing many exercises where my hands are above my head whereby my arms feel very heavy, especially my right side. I can visibly see the change in my body mass in terms of musculature leaner tighter and somewhat larger. Not large like a bodybuilder but more defined. With some of these exercises I need to be mindful of keeping my shoulders low and back this will probably mean going a little slower than the instructor and that is okay. I want to complete all the exercises.

We did a wonderful combination lunge and our arms fully extended and somewhat back of our body. This is opens the body up by stretching the muscles and it feels good.


Nicole went around our class before the start and asked each of us which exercise we enjoy the most and it had to be a strengthening exercise, not a warm up or cool down, my first suggestion was napping and that didn’t fly. What I found intriguing was all of us chose difficult exercises. They were so difficult and in rapid succession that my heart rate momentarily was raised over 150 BPM.

I don’t recall the order but here are some of the exercises. Heather chose the burpees, I’m not sure how the name came into being, one leg in placed in the loop, you drop down onto the mat do a push up and with your free leg, swing in upwards toward your chest and hop back up into the vertical position and of course you do that twice, one leg at a time for about a minute.

Mark chose the passive crunch that I have never been able to accomplish. You are lying flat on the mat, grab the hand loops, flex your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, push down on the loops and bring yourself slowly one vertebra at a time up into a sitting position. I have temporarily given up on this and follow Jocelyn the cute pregnant girl’s cue. We start, kneeling and being tall the suspended straps in front and slowly with arms fully extended slowly lower your body, and this is all core muscles holding you in place and then roll back into the vertical position. I’m not use if this accomplishes what the former exercise does but it a great mini workout.

I think it was Tom, (Heather’s husband) whose exercise we did, again on leg in the loop, you keep spine vertical and slowly lunge forward while the tethered leg is extended behind you, you go back and forth between the lunge and standing on one leg the burn in the quads is remarkable. My legs felt like rubber bands for a few moments

Mike chose the head stand but not the one we did as children. Again one leg is in the loop, you get down on all three, two arm and one leg and move backwards until the looped leg is high, now get up on to your hands so you are fully extended and the loose leg is crossed over the tethered foot. I managed one pushup each time.

Nicole our instructor chose another fun exercise; the straps are in single handed mode. You control going backward until your legs are bent and your thighs are horizontal your free arm is well behind your head. This is all core, lift yourself up with the hand gripping the loop is always extended and the free arm swings up over your head. This is difficult to do one hundred percent correctly.

Another exercise was another variation of being in the plank position, instead of bringing your knees up under your chest, you pull you legs toward you and therefore your bum and back rise into a pike. The lady who chose this was very limber she could not only get into the high pike but bring her lower body almost against her upper body. Sorry this seventy year old body just isn’t that supple.

One of the great cool down exercises is the oblique stretch as shown. This just feels good not only do you stretch but you use your oblique’s to move back and forth under the straps.

There were others but I was either too tired or my memory is failing. Nevertheless it was an energetic forty-five minutes and we had a tremendous workout. My walk home took almost an hour I was beat. Many of you I’m sure are like me getting a full nights sleep as we age get more difficult, but on the days I workout and walk there and to and back I sleep deeply and soundly for most of the night and occasionally the entire night. I awake, like today refreshed there isn’t any pain in the joints or muscles. I’m ready for the day!