Megamove of the month of June 2018: Bear
‘How to Bear’!
In June, we will be focusing on perfecting your Bear, an exercise that that targets all the muscles in your core! Until the end of June, all classes will include a bear, or one of its variations. Our instructors will focus on providing detailed explanations on how to perform the exercise in perfect form.
The perfect Bear
The Bear, is one of the signature Lagree Fitness Method exercises that will get your entire body working quickly. Why simply plank, when you could do more?
The Bear can be performed on the Megaformer in four different directions. You will start out in a plank position, controlling the S-L-O-W movement of the carriage by flexing and extending your legs. You will be stabilizing yourself using your abdominals, which is where you’re likely to feel the burn the most! The arms do not move during the bear (unless your throwing in some pushups!), but they are definitely working to help the stabilization of your upper body – think about constantly pushing away from the platform or carriage with your arms, creating space between your shoulder blades, and keeping your neck long! Exhaling as you pull the knees in helps you work deeper into your abdominals. You know it’s time to straighten your legs back out once you’re bent knees are in line with your hips. As for the hips, you want to keep them in line with your shoulders to avoid any arching your spine!
Variations of the bear include but are not limited to the dancing bear, the twisted bear, and the one -legged bear (guaranteed oblique burn). You can also add in push-ups to increase the arm work!
Notice how in her video, Giulia starts the bear off in a plank position. It is important to start with a strong plank, as it lays the foundation for the bear. As she starts to bend in her knees, the rest of her body stays completely still. Her core, her back, her arms, and her legs are working under constant tension. The slower she moves, the more controlled the exercise becomes.
If you start to feel your lower back giving in, or if you feel the need to modify, simply drop down to your knees, or add a 2nd yellow spring for more support!
Half way through her video, Giulia changes from the bear to a one-legged bear (advanced move), and finishes with a dancing bear.
Sinking into the shoulders or the lower back
You might start to feel your abdominals giving in and finding tension in the wrong places – your lower back or shoulders. Thinking about pushing away from the carriage or platform with your arms and separating your shoulder blades should help you keep the core stabilized and the tension in your abs!
Neck & hip alignment
You want to think about having your entire spine in one straight line so that neither your neck, nor your hips are lower than any other point of your spine. To help yourself with this, try to avoid your knees from sinking down as you bend them in.
Range of motion
Stop the flexion of the knees once your knees are at a 90° angle, positioned right below your hips, and then extend back out into a full plank. Bending your knees in further past the level of your hips may cause your hips to drop bringing tension out of the abs and into the lower back.
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