Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Inside The Dailey Method’s Core Values

What makes the difference in the quality of our lives? What makes us feel balanced and happy? These are questions we all seek to answer in our lives. At The Dailey Method we try to stay grounded and guided by our Core Values, because they are WHY we do what we do. They define who we are and what we stand for. These values are what we base all decisions on, whether it is on a national or a local level. They are the foundation of our Core Member program and guide our training and continuing education. Since all of you are the reason Dailey Method is what it is today, we wanted to share these values with you.

To empower individuals to become their most vibrant and authentic selves through mind/body transformation within a compassionate and supportive community

Core Values:
Health - We naturally care for the bodies, minds and souls of ourselves, our clients and our communities through alignment, balance, compassion and human interaction.

Excellence - We value and require continuous education at all levels of our organization. Quality is at our core.

Evolution - We value intelligent growth and refinement. Always be a student.

Empowerment - We give clients the tools to become their personal best in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Authenticity - We believe in acting ethically and taking personal responsibility for our actions. Own it!

Selflessness - We give generously and intentionally of ourselves in every interaction.

Humor and Joy - We believe that physical practice guided by heart and science has the power to bring every individual more joy. Laughter is priceless.

I hope this helps you understand even better why we do what we do every day at TDM!

-- Jill

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fit Tip: Balance Out Your Quadriceps Strength and Your Knees Will Love You!

The quadriceps are the large muscle group that run down the front of your thigh. They are responsible for straightening (extending) your knee joint, bending (flexing) your hip joint and are the primary power source for movements like walking, running, squatting and cycling. Targeting all four of the quadriceps muscles in a balanced way is essential to facilitate optimal knee health.

The four quadriceps muscles are:
- Rectus Femoris
- Vastus Medialis
- Vastus Lateralis
- Vastus Intermedius

At The Dailey Method, quadriceps exercises (aka thigh work!) are primarily done using eccentric contraction lengthening and contracting the muscles at the same time by maintaining a deep knee bend and working in a small range of motion. The one exception to this is Dailey Method single leg lifts. This exercise is incorporated to give specific attention to vastus medialis by working with a straight leg. Vastus medialis is the smallest of the quadriceps muscles and is often weak (especially in women and runners). Training students to access and strengthen this muscle has long reaching health benefits improving knee alignment and helping to heal and prevent knee problems. Additionally, our thigh work always includes parallel and turned out variations to effectively strengthen all of the quadriceps muscles and create balance in your physique.

The turned out variations primarily target the lateral quadriceps muscle (vastus lateralis). This muscle is crucial for both power and tone of the quadriceps and it is the strongest of your four quadriceps muscles. During turned out work, you will often hear your Dailey Method teacher remind you to maintain inner thigh engagement as you move. An example of this is pressing your heels together in athletic V - which travels up to maintain inner thigh support. This helps to provide resistance for the strong vastus lateralis to work against and ensures proper tracking for your knees.

Parallel variations primarily target the center of the thigh (rectus femoris & vastus intermedius) and the more medial portion of the quadriceps (vastus medialis). In addition to the quadriceps muscles, thigh work that includes squeezing a ball between your thighs adds work for the inner thigh muscles (adductors).

Finally, including the back body support for the knees is a huge part of creating balanced strength for the joints as well. Your hamstrings are the back body support for your knees and exercises like squats or lunges are great examples of work that uses the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals together to support the knees and hips. In each thigh work segment of a Dailey Method class you will find at least one exercise that incorporates this back body focus.

We take your joint health very seriously! By focusing on your alignment and helping you to create the balanced musculature to support your proper alignment we will help you create a longer, leaner, stronger physique. The next time you are lunging, thigh dancing or waterskiing away at your local TDM studio enjoy the fabulous music and put a big smile on your face knowing that you are creating a healthier body that will help you do all the things you love for many years to come.

With love and lubricated knees,

-- Jill & Kerry

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tips for Staying #happyfit all Summer Long

Now that summer is here (kids out of school…yay?), many of us have upcoming travels and a shift from consistent schedules to those that interrupt our health and exercise routines. Here are a few tips to help keep you #happyfit during the crazy days of summer.

1. Make time for yourself
Whether we’re on vacation or at home, it is so important for our well being to take a few moments out of the day just for ourselves. Whether this means waking up 10 minutes early or taking a quick bath at night, try to carve a few self-moments out of every day. Putting the kids in front of a 30-minute TV show and locking myself in my room for a power nap or meditation is my personal quickie. Your body will thank you for it, and I am sure those around you will too.

2. Even a little exercise is better than none
When we are off our normal routine or out of our regular environment, it is easy to think “I don’t have an hour to work out.” But even 10-20 minutes of exercise is better than none. This was my primary motivator in designing the Dailey Now DVD, which has shorter class options that you can combine or do alone.
My go-to if I’m in a pinch and just need to do SOMETHING is:
Forearm plank - as long as I can hold
20 push-ups
3 minutes of high c-curve
2 minutes of thigh work (WTO is a good one without a barre but I prefer thigh dancing!)
1 minute of back dancing
This is less than 10 minutes, always makes me feel better and gives me more energy.

3. Go with the flow
Set expectations to have no expectations. When we travel or shift into a new routine, it is easy to set expectations, but more often than not, we become disappointed or frustrated when things do not work out as expected. So, instead of defining how you want something to be, try just to let it be. This is easier said than done for some of us but if we don’t have a rigid expectation of how something ‘shouldbe, then we are bound to handle the chaos (and there will be chaos) with a bit more grace and ease.

4. Moderation is key
Temptations are endless, especially when we are away from home. Life is not meant to be perfect, it is meant to be lived; so allow yourself indulgences, but do so with thoughtful moderation. Have a healthy breakfast if you know you’re going to have chips, guacamole and margaritas later in the day. Wake-up to a green juice after a night of ‘one too many’. And try to drink lots of water, which will keep you healthfully hydrated and feeling full. Balance is key to staying both happy and fit.

5.  Simplify
Sometimes the thought of packing for 4 or 5 is so overwhelming for me that I almost want to forego the trip. I consistently attempt to pack lighter, but it takes more thought and preparation - read some of the benefits of lightening your load here. But your job will be simpler by asking for help (this has not always been easy for me but it’s amazing how the more I do it the easier it is). I have a friend that has a packing list for each kid written out. If you take the time to do that, you can have your sitter pack the items or have your children pull out their own clothes so you just have to check against the list. If the planning of a party or another event is overwhelming, ask friends or family to pitch in with something they are good at - not only will it take something off your plate, but it makes us feel needed to help each other out which is incredibly gratifying for so many people… win-win for all!!

I wish you the funnest (officially a Webster Dictionary word), healthiest, and happiest summer…. wherever it takes you!

-- Jill