EQUUS - - Conversati­ons -

So … what if you don’t have time to do the “ideal” num­ber of sep­a­rate work­outs for strength, stamina and flex­i­bil­ity? What if your weeks are, like mine, a run­ning chal­lenge to get peo­ple and an­i­mals fed, make clean clothes hap­pen, and main­tain a rea­son­ably dirtand dis­ease-free home---not to men­tion meet­ing work dead­lines, tend­ing to barn and horse chores, spend­ing some rid­ing time, and pay­ing at least a min­i­mum of at­ten­tion to per­sonal needs. Oh yes, and then there are the ur­gen­cies of life that won’t wait, like birth­days, car trou­ble, pay­ing bills. If you, like me, look for places to dou­ble up (and dou­ble down on re­sults), this could be as good a so­lu­tion for you as it is for me.

The an­swer Dara Tor­res dis­cov­ered and re­lates in her lat­est book, Gold Medal Fit­ness, is a form of re­sis­tance stretch­ing called Ki-Hara, which she cred­its with max­i­miz­ing her work­outs and mak­ing a huge dif­fer­ence in her over­all physique. Ki-Hara is a form of com­bined flex­i­bil­ity, strength train­ing and core work re­fined by Steven Sierra and Anne Tier­ney of In­no­va­tive Body So­lu­tions. The gist of it is mov­ing your arms and legs in spe­cific ro­ta­tional and di­ag­o­nal pat­terns to con­tin­u­ally en­gage your core mus­cles and gain strength and flex­i­bil­ity in all ranges of mo­tion.

Tor­res ex­plains that Ki-Hara teaches the body how to con­tract its mus­cles while they’re be­ing stretched and strength­ened (“ec­cen­tri­cally”) and while en­gag­ing and en­er­giz­ing the core (“con­cen­tri­cally”) in ways that are most ef­fec­tive for strength­en­ing and pre­vent­ing in­jury. “Ki-Hara trains mus­cles in the way they are used most fre­quently,” she adds. “This strength­ens the body dy­nam­i­cally.”

The ob­ject of this kind of stretch­ing is “tak­ing a mus­cle from its short­est po­si­tion to its long­est po­si­tion, while con­tin­u­ally re­sist­ing (con­tract­ing) the mus­cle.” Also known as the e-cen­tric

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