Do you hate it when you hear the “arms” request shouted out by your fellow students? Fuse Ambassador Melissa Sharp feels your pain. But, she got over it. Here’s why:
Recently I’ve noticed a new trend in my reaction to students requesting arms as the class focus.
I’m one of those girls who always requests glutes, thighs and/or lower abs. Basically, I’m just not an arms girl. I carry more weight in my lower body, so I always feel like I need to work those areas more. And, admittedly I’m not particularly buff in the arms department. Combine that with flimsy wrists and the fact that exercises focusing on triceps, biceps, delts, and/or shoulders used to make me cringe. Who looks forward to exercises which they know they will fail miserably? Not me.
Thanks to all of the arms-obsessed students at Fuse (yes, all of you brides-to-be, I’m talking about you!) and all of the different arms exercises in the Fuse repertoire, my opinion about toning my upper limbs is now much improved.
I’m not a Pilates expert, but I’ve decided there are a couple of reasons for my sudden attitude adjustment.
First, thanks to the five classes in a row where arms were requested which resulted in me barely being able to lift my wine class at that Friday’s happy hour, I now realize my arms were really neglected by just hitting the treadmill for workouts. My arms were so, so, so sore that week. Pretty sure the soreness was a wake-up call telling me to stop ignoring my arms.
Second, as much as I used to hate push-ups, I’ve started to embrace the challenge they generate.
I’ve heard a few Fuse instructors call push-ups the perfect exercise since they work core, arms, back, shoulders – everything – all at once. So I know they are worth the burn. I also really appreciate all of the different variations of push-ups I’ve encountered at Fuse. From the downward-dog push-ups, to moving from a forearm plank to a traditional straight-armed plank, and all of the other variations, I’ve discovered push-ups that almost feel like I’m stretching and then others that burn like crazy. Either way the dare of all of the different types of push-ups thrown at us in Fuse classes keeps me on my toes. Did I mention that I’m doing a lot of those pushups on my toes now?
And even when we do reps of a variation of a push-up I don’t particularly enjoy, I try and focus on the music, do as many reps as I can and then have no shame in either holding in a plank position or finding a downward-dog stretch or child’s pose. I know over time I’ll get stronger and will be able to do more and more reps. I can already tell, I’m much stronger now than when I started taking Fuse classes this summer.
Also, here’s a tip for fellow push-up haters who still want to get a hard core arms workout in, you can always try the toys class or an apparatus class to tone your arms with weights and springs. Last week in Allegra’s toys class, the class dared her to focus on arms without incorporating push-ups. She confidently accepted the challenge and had plenty of exercises using the weights, the exercise balls and the ring to make our arms burn. Plus, there are tons of exercises in the chair and reformer classes that focus on your arms, too. The variety for me has made a world of difference.
My attitude adjustment is all thanks to the Fuse “taught on request” philosophy. I’ll probably always feel the need to request glutes, lower abs and thighs but that’s what’s great about group classes. Besides the energy and fun atmosphere, different requests help everyone achieve an overall fit and toned total body. I’m pretty psyched about that. Thanks arms requestors for keeping me balanced.