There is this amazing thing that happens when you begin exploring exercises in different contexts. The experience of the exercise (or movement, or asana, or whatever it is you are doing) changes. A forearm plank, for instance, can be taught many different ways once the basic set-up is mastered. How it is cued will change what a person feels, even though it still looks like a basic forearm plank. (Anyone that has ever studied Iyengar yoga knows the feeling when you are asking yourself, “how is it possible child’s pose can be this hard? It’s supposed to be a resting position”). We can create internal forces that feel like a lot of work. We can also make our selves feel light, as though we aren’t doing any work at all. It’s an interesting way to explore movement, and it adds variability to the neuromuscular system.
Recently, after finishing a set of single arm bicep curls, a client looked at me excitedly. “Why didn’t you tell me that was a core exercise? I felt my entire torso working while I moved the arm.” I have worked with this client for years, and gave her different cues that day, altering the outcome. How appropriate is it that changing a perspective changes an experience, just like in life? If boredom sets in with your current physical routine, explore the movements from a different angle. You might be surprised what you find.