I keep my eyes open for inspiration to create different types of workouts. While writing this “Create the Feeling for the Workout” series, I constantly look for signs of the “feeling” for the next blog post. The other day I was excited to buy a new bar of soap. The description on the packaging promised the ingredients would reveal luminous skin and a fragrance experience that mimicked the scent of an island spa. The description created a refreshed, luminous feeling just by reading it. I thought, why not create this same experience with a workout? I was inspired to create a process for shedding the old energy and revealing a new bright and refreshing one.
When clients appear to be dull and sluggish, perhaps a workout designed to brighten their spirits and bring back the sparkle is in order. So first, I looked at the definition of luminous. Luminous, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is giving off light; bright or shining. That sounds like a great feeling and an awesome gift to your client. Try it...
Warm Up: What better way to start a luminous workout than by honoring the sun? If possible take a yoga mat outside and spend time showing gratitude to the actual sun. Take your client through 4 rounds of sun salutations. 1 round includes a set on both the right leg and left leg. Here you can introduce an inspirational theme or mantra for the workout. “Be luminous. Don’t adapt yourself to the circumstances around you, but change them to be better. Always take your sunshine wherever you go.” - Islam Elnady
Strength Exercises: Brighten the mind by focusing your training on neuroplasticity, which is combining thoughts and verbal tasks with movement. (Biscontini, 2016). For example, as silly as it may sound, when lunging with the right leg have your client tell you a different vegetable for each rep on that leg and when lunging with the left leg tell you a fruit.
This type of verbal cueing helps to brighten the mind while strengthening the body. Are you already feeling the light shining a little brighter? Another added benefit is subconsciously your client is thinking of all the nutritious foods they might incorporate into their next meal.
- 3 x 10 Alternating Reverse or Curtsy Lunges (using the verbal cueing).
- 3 x 8 Starburst Squat Jumps- Dynamic jump beginning from a narrow stance squat reaching towards the floor to a plyometric lateral extension of both arms and legs (like a bright shining star!)
- 3 x 10 Bridges with Drum Beat. Using drumsticks or chopsticks, start in a lying position, knees bent with arms overhead. As you push hips up, bring the drumsticks to the floor creating a fun and lively beat.
- 3 x 8 Warrior Press. Start in side plank with dumbbell reaching towards the floor, extend upwards opening the powerful chest in alignment with the shoulder.
- 3 x 8 Roll like a ball into boat pose. Start with the pilates move rolling like a ball, then at the top position transition into boat pose for about 3- 5 seconds to open your strong body to receive more strength and light. Also, rolling like a ball gives a playful feel and your client is sure to smile!
Stretches: (Hold each 20- 30 seconds)
Standing Quad Balance Stretch
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Lying Hamstring Stretch with strap
Lying Abductor/Adductor Stretch with strap
Overhead shoulder stretch and chest opener with strap
Breathing: Finish the workout guiding your client through 2-3 breaths. Breathing in as they reach towards the sky absorbing the energy from the sun, then breathing out as they allow their arms to slowly fall to their sides.
Look for the sparkle in your clients eyes as they will feel like a luminous glass of bubbly, cheers!
Lisa Jameson has a B.S. in Health Education and is ACE, AFAA certified. She has nearly two decades of experience in personal training and group fitness. She has worked in corporate, commercial, college, in-home and outdoor fitness settings. She stays hungry for learning and feeds her mind with journal articles, books, conferences, webinars, and classes.
Reference: Biscontini, L. 2016. Fight Aging by Training the Brain. IDEA Fitness Journal.