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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE June 15th 2010
Feel Better... Live Better
Effective Ways to Stimulate Your Core
by Woody McMahon
Your core is a group of important muscles whose main job is to stabilize
your spine and pelvis when you are moving during work or play. The core
muscles are also responsible for helping with good posture allowing us to
sit and stand up straight with less effort. When you say core, most
people think about the abdominal muscles. But in reality, there are many
more muscles involved than just the abdominal group. The muscles of
the lower back, pelvis and diaphragm all play an important part in spinal
Without your core muscles, your body would be too flexible and unable to
hold itself upright making walking a challenge. It would be impossible to
lift or move during work or play because your spine would want to fold
right in half. A healthy, natural posture would be nearly unattainable
because your lower and upper body could not work effectively together.
The core provides the necessary body stabilization that allows you to
move safely through many different directions and actions.
Training the Core
Training the core is best accomplished in the standing position. This is
the position that you will commonly use when lifting and moving during work
and play. Any exercises performed standing will by their nature help
strengthen your core. For certain people, especially if standing is painful
or balance is an issue, core strengthening while lying down is also beneficial.
Suggested Core Exercises
Try adding these two core exercises to your fitness program and feel how
much stronger and more stable you become.
1. Standing Row: This is great exercise that is performed standing and
really works the entire body including the core. You can perform this
exercise with a pulley machine or some bands. Facing the machine, stand
with your knees bent, back straight and head up. Slowly pull the weight
towards your chest as you breathe out. As you pull, squeeze your abdominal
and gluteal (butt) muscles. The squeezing action will help to both
strengthen your core muscles as well as increase the safety of the exercise
by stabilizing your spine and pelvis.
2. Walking Lunge and Press: The lunge is an exaggerated stepping
motion that forces the core muscles to work harder just to maintain your upright
posture. Adding the press to the lunge makes your upper and lower body work
as a team creating both a balance and a lifting challenge. Take one
dumbbell and place it at shoulder height. Take a bigger than normal step
forward keeping your knees slightly bent, back straight and head up. Once
you are balanced, breathe out and press the weight above your head keeping
the elbow slightly bent. Return the weight to the shoulder and take your
next step forward with the opposite foot. Repeat 6 to 8 times with both
These exercises will stimulate not only the core but your whole body. Add
them to your current workout and watch your balance and stability improve.
Would you like to improve your health but don't know where to start?
How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your bones?
Do you have weight problems but are tired of dieting? We provide an easy toWoody@SequoiaHealth.com.
follow programs without the gimmicks or fads. You'll also get the education,
motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping
you feel and look your best. Please call Woody McMahon for a no cost
consultation, at 703-464-5171 or email to
Food Label Sticker Shock
by Woody McMahon