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T-Tapp Tuesday–Lots of Goodies!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

SO much to share today!  :)

First of all, the meaty stuff–it will be a bit shorter and sweeter since there are a few other things I want to tell you about ( including the give-away!).

I posted a little while back about the importance of Ribs Up (shoulder/hip alignment).  Now I’m going to give you a little “try it out” to see what I mean.  We did this last night in our class.

First, get into the “plie stance”, feet shoulder width apart, toes out to 11 and 1 on the clock (if you have knee issues, bring the toes forward a bit).  Bend, tuck/curl that core (flatten lower back as if against a wall, pulling belly button to spine), lift ribs, knees out.

Now reach away with your arms, straight out from your shoulders, as if someone is pulling your arms out of their sockets–really r-e-a-c-h!   Turn your hands so they are facing forward, thumbs up.  Gently fold your fingers over, and gently stretch the thumb up.   Now reach away again.

Keep everything tight tight tight!   Stay very focused and lift your ribs a bit more.   You should feel some extra tightening in your triceps, lats, pecs, tummy area, and along the outside of hips and thighs!

You might not be totally connected kinetically to feel that on the first time.  Go ahead! Do it several times, focusing on a different muscle group each time!

Now you have a “hands on” (or is that “muscles on”?!) example of how keeping the ribs up can help you activate all the way from triceps to quads!  ;)

If you have a mirror, why not do a few moves in front of the mirror this week, specifically focusing on keeping ribs up and shoulders back in alignment with the hips?

More fun stuff!

PBS has put out a “sizzle reel” of what they’re going to be showing for their August fund-raising.  This is what I flew to Ft. Lauderdale for back in February!

You can click here to go to the YouTube clip, and if you pause it at about the 27 second mark, look to the right of the screen and you’ll see Marty in a blue shirt–and he has a perfect “heart” sweat mark on his shirt!  We teased him about “sweating hearts” because he loved T-Tapp so much! :)

(Do realize you will see everyone in workout gear, just to advise you! )

T-Tapp will be offering some tremendous deals for the PBS fundraiser, so see if your local station will be carrying this promo and you might be able to purchase T-Tapp products for a steal of a deal that won’t be available anywhere else!

Okay, now for the really fun stuff!

I am having a giveaway–actually I will have giveaways for the next FOUR weeks, leading up to my birthday in June! 

For this week, the prize is a Step Away the Inches dvd!

Now, how to enter!

1. Leave a comment and tell me which T-Tapp workout is your favorite (if you don’t T-Tapp yet, which one you would like to get).

2. Leave a comment each time you do a T-Tapp workout (yes, TappCore counts–at least 3 moves–so even you busy young mamas can enter! ;) )  Let me know what workout you did (or which moves!).

3. Tell others about the giveaway–FaceBook, Twitter, e-mail, blog, forum (if appropriate–don’t violate any forum rules!)  Let me know you did and post a link, if applicable (I don’t have FB, but I have friends who do! ;) )  You can do this up to 3 times a day if you so desire!

4. Practice the “exercise” I gave you for ribs up every day this week (you can take Sunday off).  On a workout day do it before you work out, and on off days do it at least once.  Post that you “did the Ribs Up Exercise”.

5. This one counts DOUBLE!   Tell me what you’d like me to address in future T-Tapp Tuesday posts.   If you have a big list (LOL!) just one entry per day on this one, please! :)

This giveaway will run until midnight Monday, May 30.  I will announce the winner next Tuesday as well as what the next giveaway is!

And Fabulous Family Friday will be back–Lord willing!–this Friday. 

Happy Tappin’!  ;)

Workout Wednesday–Find Those Lats!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Just got back early in the morning yesterday from a wonderful time of visiting my dear friend (well, we decided we were twins separated at birth!) J. and her family in New England!  (Which is why you haven’t heard from me for last Friday or yesterday!)

We had some T-Tapp classes and I had a lot of fun and I hope everyone else did, too!

You hear about the lats in T-Tapp a LOT!  So where are they and how do you find them?

“Lats” refers to the latissimus dorsi.  You can click here  to see where your lats are located.    This is one area that is hard to get and keep activated until you have the mind-to-muscle connection.   One easy way to “wake up” a muscle is to tighten it, then poke it.   This work well for the inner thighs, right before you do Plies, and in The Box, this is partly what you are doing when you are pulling up and in and pressing in with your fingers.

But the lats are a bit harder to “poke at” while you’re in T-Tapp stance!  You could have a friend or husband or child poke there to help you feel it and tighten, but I have found some people will automatically tighten there but still not be aware of it.

Teresa showed us another way to find and engage the lats when we were at Ft. Lauderdale in February.

Stand with your back against a wall–bring your feet out just enough to be able to “curl the core” and flatten the lower lumbar against the wall.   Now bend your arms at the elbows, with the hands straight out in front of you.   Palms should be facing, thumbs on top.   Slowly open out the arms and somewhere close to or when the backs of your hands touch the wall, you should feel the lats kick in!  Remember to keep the core curled while doing this.

Now stand away from the wall, toes forward, bend knees, tuck/curl core, lift ribs and push knees out (T-Tapp stance).  Again, put hands in front as above, and slowly open arms out and keep lifting those ribs and you should be able to feel the lats again, but away from the wall!

“Ribs up” is a BIG KEY to this, so throughout the day, lift your ribs and “set the lats”.  That means just tighten them a bit—do not be overinvasive (yes, I’m talking to you Type A’s out there! ;) ).   This will help improve your posture tremendously!  You will also make more room for your organs.  

Charlotte Siems, the wonderful mama of 12  and T-Tapp Trainer who lost 10 sizes, said that when she won the 60 Day Challenge in 2007 and went to the Safety Harbor Retreat she asked Teresa what she could do for her tummy.

Teresa’s answer?

“Lift ribs, set lats.” 

Charlotte attested that it really helped with the tummy!

Teresa also has shared, especially in the LadyBug move and workout, that stretching that rib to hip really helps with hormonal balance.  But even if you don’t have LadyBug, you can incorporate this.

First of all, find and use your lats!   All throughout the day!  A great way to do this is while driving—hang onto the steering wheel underhanded, pull your belly button up and back to your spine, curl your core, ribs up.  Now, gently squeeze the hands on the steering wheel and tighten those lats!  Release, then tighten, release, tighten, release….etc. 

When you go over to a flat back in Primary Back Stretch, push those thumbs into your hips/back to really get those elbows up.   Pretend you have a beach ball balancing on your back!   Tighten the buns, pull that tummy up to your spine and engage the lats.  Press your breast bone to the floor to help as well.

Keeping ribs up during the head tilting and turning portions of the second half of PBS will also help.

Plies—ahhh!  May I confess to you that the first two sets are tough for me to keep my ribs up and lats set?!    Doing them slowly in front of a mirror is the best way to watch what is happening and get a feel for what “right” feels like as you’re seeing it in the mirror.   Hold the plie squat to really focus on ribs up, lats set throughout the Plie sequence.   A good tip on the Chest Press portions is to think “ribs up, ribs up, ribs up,” as your elbows come in, then “elbows up, elbows up, elbows up,” as your elbows go back out, to keep from dropping them below shoulder level.

Reach Scoops—here’s a great one for practicing that rib to hip stretch!   Get into position, making sure you are standing as between two panes of glass.  Tilt, keeping that alignment (not leaning back or forward).   Keep that belly button to spine at all times,  and as you reach up and inhale, reach down with the other arm, too.  Keep those ribs UP (think breastbone to ceiling) while stretching.  Now flip the palm and reach away as if someone else is pushing against that top hand to help keep the lats engaged.

Jazz Twist—you know what I’m going to say—ribs UP!  :)   Thinking ribs up right before you twist helps, as does really pushing with that thumb into the back of your hip.  Get that back elbow back, using the thumb to help press it back.   Initiate the move with your back shoulder, but use the lats on your reaching side to keep that shoulder from climbing towards your ears.  This is also a good move to do slowly in front of a mirror to check on your form, and doing it slowly helps you feel the muscles work!

I’ll share more tips to keep the lats engaged next week for the rest of the moves in BWO+.   Try these in your workouts this week as well as throughout the day, standing, walking, sitting (especially at the computer!) think, “Ribs UP, SET lats!”  and see if you don’t feel better!   You might even see a little trimming of the tummy, pec and bust measurements from getting those lats on board!  ;)

Until next week, happy Tappin’!