Lately, I find that I feel tired easily and my energy level is low most of the time. I notice myself slouching more and more, my feet get tired whenever I’m out (and I need to quickly get home to hole up). My neck and shoulders are tense every damn day, and this worsens whenever I go out carrying my bag which is heavy from camera equipment. This is really starting to bother me because there are lots that I still want and need to experience, pursue and accomplish. I can’t do much when my energy level is always so low and physically I feel weak, it’s such a downer. So I’ve been thinking about some sort of workout or physical activity that I ought to start doing in order to build strength – but I don’t want anything too hardcore.
Last week I decided to join a CoreAlign® trial class offered at The Moving Body Studio. CoreAlign is a new workout routine, designed by a physiotherapist, that challenges the body with very deep stretches and core-controlled aerobic regiments to activate core muscle stability, resulting in a strengthened core that works in unity with the rest of the body. Part mind-body, part cardio, part strength and totally unique, CoreAlign exercises emphasize an upright posture and are designed to improve posture, balance and functional movement. The Moving Body studio is the first and only studio in Singapore to offer personalised training for this regimen by a certified Master Trainer.
Audrey, principal instructor of The Moving Body studio at Robertson Walk, gave me private coaching on the CoreAlign exercises.
CoreAlign utilizes a “machine” which is a wooden frame enclosing two tracks and carriages, and they move independently with smooth resistance created by elastic resistance tube assemblies on each cart. Resistance/assistance is possible in one or both directions. And there’s also a ladder for support as most CoreAlign exercises are done in upright position.
These CoreAlign exercises are full body movements that incorporate the entire body by engaging the core muscles to strengthen. The exercises also direct more balanced body movements; I realized that body balance is something we all don’t notice as much on a day to day basis.
For example, I know that I have weak legs (and for years always joke that I am a mermaid). This is because I have high-arch on my feet so when I walk I steady myself by putting pressure on the outer part of my feet for balance. I think this has given me a bit of bow-leggedness and whenever I wear heels, I get shin cramps – guaranteed. The exercise movements using CoreAlign very quickly identified this problem area and it is definitely something that I need to work on.
The first area to give way for me was my thighs, when I did the bending knee movement shown above. -___-” Reminded me of the time I scaled the Eiffel Tower and my thighs were sore for a few days afterwards.
The CoreAlign exercises are slow paced and using fluid movements that stretches, strengthens and tones all body parts. While the initial basic exercises were easy and gentle, they got increasingly challenging as I had to try balance myself on the moving carriages under my feet.
Top right image: This looked easy but actually wasn’t. In fact it was a bit like doing a pull up (but standing up). I had to push myself backwards using my core and hips, but I kept using my arms. The position of my thumbs over the ladder rung instead of under was also something I wasn’t used to. I think most people have tendency to grip while the thumb is below, right?
Sliding sideways to activate the inner thigh muscles, while the upper body remained straight and equal pressure divided on both feet. This I could do.
Then came the super challenging part of doing push ups while kicking the legs alternately back and forth. Actually it wasn’t even real a push up, I was supporting myself with my arms while my legs were sliding on the carriages. The movement was done slowly, I think we did about 8 reps and I was gonna DIE!!! >_<
We concluded with arms and nerves stretches. I winced because I have a locked right shoulder (from carrying heavy bag on the right side, and also right arm is my drawing/writing arm using stylus and tablet).
Watch examples of the exercises I did in this video to give you a better idea of what CoreAlign is:
Throughout the class, I didn’t break much into a sweat but I could definitely feel deep stretches and strains in several areas (ie. shoulders, lower back, thighs, upper arms). I was expecting to be sore the next day and indeed I was for two days straight, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Sorta like mild aches in some areas after a very deep-tissue massage. (Eiffel Tower was much worse!) I rewarded myself by soaking in a hot bath with essential oils. :P
I enjoyed the CoreAlign class and the one-on-one coaching with Audrey helped tremendously too. The Moving Body studio offers other private sessions too, such as Pilates and Gyrotonics – both of which I’m interested in taking trial classes in also. They also have several different packages that include a combination of these different exercises, depending on your objectives and needs. I am definitely keen in continuing this so that I can correct my posture, build strength and improve overall body balance.
FREE TRIAL CLASSES, including the CoreAlign workout which I did, are available from 31st August – 7th September, in celebration of The Moving Body’s 4th anniversary. More info below and please sign up quickly if you are interested.
The Moving Body studio is part of The Moving Body Group, one of Singapore’s largest fitness and rehabilitation centre. Together with Pilates Inc, both studios will host its fourth anniversary celebrations that will take place from the 31st of August to the 7th of September 2013. Free trial classes will be offered at each venue and goody bags with vouchers will be given out to every participant. Other activities include lucky draws, sale of lululemon athletica™ yoga and sports apparel, and complimentary light refreshments.
The Moving Body
11 Unity Street, Robertson Walk #01-23/24
Tel: (+65) 6235 1051