This is week 4 of my 1 month Dailey Method membership and I am starting to get sad that it’s about to expire! As I wrote back when I purchased the package, Dailey Method is an incredible workout that incorporates focused movements which all begin in the core to strengthen the entire body. The majority of the moves use body weight alone (light weights are used for the upper body sculpting portion) yet are excruciatingly difficult.
Unfortunately due to my training schedule, I’ve only been able to get in 2-3 classes per week but I am certain that my body is thanking me. In fact, I can tell that my stomach is flatter and my body is tighter from less than one month of Dailey Method. Every move in the class involves core strength and I know that this will have a huge benefit on my running. Although at times my legs want to go out beneath me during thigh work in class, I also know that the strength I’m building in my thighs will benefit my running. It has been way too long since they have had to endure squats and lunges and they are protesting at their return.
Some of my favorite Dailey Method moves are also exercises that you could try at home (although there is nothing comparable to being in class) and that I will try to incorporate into my routine after my membership expires:
Plank: The standard forearm plank is simple, yet effective. It works your entire body from shoulders, core, thighs and buns. In Dailey Method we typically do 2-3 minutes of plank work each class. It varies from instructor to instructor and class to class, but often there is no relief between variations of the pose. This is one of the first moves in class and it is an extremely effective way to warm up all muscles in your body. My recommendation is to start with a forearm plank and try to hold it for one minute. Time yourself (I like to use my iPhone timer at home) and once you get to one minute, try to hold it even longer. You might be surprised at how long you can hold it!
Tricep Work: No woman wants flabby arms and Dailey Method is a great way to prevent them. Although I used 10-15 lb weights during P90X for my upper body workouts, in Dailey Method I use 2 or 3 pound weights. The difference is that in Dailey Method, you contract the muscle the entire time. A typical tricep curl involves contracting and releasing the muscle so you are only working half the time. A Dailey Method tricep workout however, involves flexing the muscle for the entire workout and then flexing it more. For example, grab a pair of 2 pound weights, stand with your legs hip-distance apart with your weight centered over the balls of your feet, keeping your core engaged. Slightly bend forward and extend your arms straight behind you. Now, keep the arm straight and slightly lift it up (NOT down) over and over again, just an inch at a time. Now move the weights in just an inch and out, keeping them lifted and straight still. Now micro-bend your arms just a bit and straighten. Now hold. Your arm is contracted for the entire workout and although 2 pound weights might seem like when you begin, by the end of the 8 minute upper body portion of the class, you will be begging for mercy.
Bar Squats: One of the hardest moves in Dailey Method is the squat. We stand with our legs hip distance apart and a few steps back from the bar. Then we grab the bar and sit back and down into a squat position. Legs should create a 90 degree angle. Once in the position, we do various moves that make the position even more difficult (tucking, moving up and down an inch, moving legs in and out, etc). Although at home I don’t have a bar, this move can be simulated using a wall instead (sitting against the wall which is slightly easier since your back is supported). The reason this move is so effective (like all TDM moves) is that your core, hips, thighs and glutes are all contracted for the entire sequence. I have yet to make it through a squat without standing up to relieve the intense burning sensation in my legs but one day I hope to build up the strength to make it through!
These are just a few of my favorite moves that I hope to incorporate into some at-home strength training. My favorite thing about Dailey Method is that I feel like every second of the full hour is utilized to the max. My core is contracted for 60 straight minutes and every move is incredibly effective. Once I get my finances in line after all this Ironman and wedding spending then I will most likely sign up for a 10 class package so I can incorporate one class a week into my marathon training. Until then, I’m on my own!
Have you ever incorporated moves from a group fitness class into your own routine? What are you favorite moves for strengthening core and legs?