We love to kick. So much so that we’ve coined it the “Barre Intensity Kick”. It’s one of the most effective low impact movements to elevate the heart rate. But do you know all of the benefits to kickin' it up a notch?
Let’s take a look at a parallel forward kick incorporating a little momentum for height and range of motion.
- Elevated Heart Rate: OK, nothing new with this one. You work with a large range of motion long enough you will get the heart rate up.
- Balanced Leg Work: If you are thinking balanced because you are supporting yourself on one leg for a portion of the exercise, we like where your head is at and 100% agree, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We are talking about working the front and the back of the kicking leg at THE SAME TIME. Your quads are working concentrically to keep your knee straight (don’t let that knee bend just to get your leg higher) and hamstrings are working eccentrically as the hip flexes to lift the leg.
- Combination Stretching: We are providing the opportunity to get dynamic (moving through challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly) and active (contracting the muscles in opposition to the one you are stretching) stretching done at THE SAME TIME… are you noticing a theme here? When your clients start to give you the evil eye half way through your kick series tell them “you’re welcome” for this hamstring stretch opportunity.
We didn’t even touch on the benefits to the supporting leg growing stronger by holding the body, or how the torso is recruited to keep up upright, stable and steady, but we will save that for another post.
So next time you provide that option to intensify and add a “Barre Intensity Kick” to your choreography, educate your clients on all of the benefits kickin' it will bring. The ones that always opt-out of that intensity option might just opt-in.