The Core Freestyle Land Wellness class held on Monday and Wednesday from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at West offers an intensive advanced level workout focusing on building core strength, endurance and flexibility.
Jen, the instructor, provided a warm, engaging environment for the 10 members attending on September 20th. As the regulars arrived, they grabbed a mat, a right-sized stability ball based on their leg length/body composition and a base. Then they set up their equipment on the hardwood floor. Jen assisted newer participants in situating their mats to maximize comfort and safety.
Jen took the class through a warm-up with low tempo music playing. She demonstrated proper alignment while seated on the stability ball, including keeping one’s chin down. While gently bouncing on the stability ball, she cued for foot positioning on the floor in front of the ball. She smiled as she reminded everyone of the law of physics, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Once everyone mastered that, Jen walked the group through a series of stretches in a standing position, including the basic tree, one with arms overhead rounded in a circle, one foot planted on the ground, while the toe on the other touches the floor as the plantar fascia of the other foot rests on the inside of the calf. Jen continued her instruction in clear, concise cues through the entire class as she introduced each new piece of equipment, including bands and small weighted balls. She transitioned through various modes, combining sitting, standing and the most intense, a supine body position, with the employment of one or more pieces of equipment to enhance and vary the intensity of the workout. The last few minutes of supine floor work provided the most challenging core work.
One longtime class participant described Jen as “charming.” Jen’s engaging style of instruction provided a deeper connect than just an exercise routine. The hour session also included a few anticipated features unique to her class. Each week Jen brings dahlias cut from her garden to share with one class member. Since all the regulars had been recipients of the flowers, the blogger was given the lovely bouquet. Jen also throws out “The Question of the Day,” to stimulate a bit of pondering and just enough social interaction to break the monotonous moments. That evening she asked, “What are you doing on the first day of fall?”
Jen’s Freestyle Core members include participants from the introduction of the class several years ago and first timers. They collectively shared how much they loved the class and were pleased with the results. They mentioned how much stronger they felt, improvements in their balance, stamina and core strength. One member, an avid golfer, said she can hit the ball farther. Another said her desk job left her very sedentary. Once she started attending the class regularly, she noticed she had new energy…enough to rake leaves for an hour and a half. The first-timer to the class was ready to return for more.
The YMCA of Broome County offers many choices of both Land Wellness and Water Fitness Classes at both our locations. Each instructor brings a unique teaching style to class. The variety creates many options and opportunities for members to find classes that fit their wellness and fitness goals!