One of the things I regularly hear our students say about The Dailey Method is that they love the variety. No two classes or teachers are the same, it’s never predictable; enabling them to stay focused, present and continually challenged. Within all this wonderful variety, there is a very intentional format that has evolved over the years. In conjunction with our Word of the Month, Flow, I am going to give you some insider information on how and why we format our classes the way we do, to allow every student to be successful and achieve optimal results.
Class always begins with a warm-up. The purpose of this is to warm up your body and bring focus to your alignment and your breath. From there we move into a series of planks. Planks are a continuation of the warm up, they truly work almost every single muscle in your body. The focus on proper hand and foot foundation as well as spinal alignment, shoulder alignment, and core engagement in plank will benefit you throughout the remainder of class. Following our plank series we bring deeper focus to the core with abdominal work. Education on how to properly access your pelvic floor and all layers of your abdominal wall is essential at the beginning of class to set you up for success in every Dailey Method exercise. You use these muscles to give your spine the support it needs for optimal range of motion, strength and stability in and outside of class.
After we have warmed up the body we transition into arm work where we focus on the biceps, triceps and all three parts of the deltoid muscle. Throughout arm work there is continued focus on shoulder alignment and scapular stability. Proper shoulder alignment allows us to efficiently and safely target the smaller muscle groups of the arms and shoulders, bringing the muscles to fatigue, effectively toning your muscles and stabilizing your joints.
Now it’s time for thigh work! A quadriceps stretch is provided just before thigh work to create length prior to adding load (or strengthening exercises). This allows our muscles to find a more optimal position and greater range of motion in thigh work, resulting in The Dailey Method’s signature longer, leaner, stronger look. Following thigh work, mat stretch provides you with a well deserved lengthening stretch for your quadriceps and hip flexors. Hamstrings and back body releases during mat stretch prepare your body for the abdominal and seat work to come.
Now those of you who have taken TDM for a long time might remember when we used to end class with 3 abdominal exercises (Round Back, Flat Back and Low C-Curve). A few years ago we began adding one or two sets of abdominal work prior to seat work because we realized that seat work requires SO much abdominal strength that we wanted to help you be your most successful in keeping your spine and pelvis stabilized during this challenging section. This way your booty can get higher and tighter with each class while still maintaining a healthy spine!
Seat work – everybody’s favorite, right?! Seat work is SO much more than just work for the gluteals and hamstrings though. You use all of your core muscles in seat work to create a tension structure that allows you to isolate your hamstrings and gluteals while maintaining optimal alignment in your pelvis and spine. We have a large repertoire of seat work exercises used to not only create variety in your workout for mental focus, but also to target the many different angles and fibers of your gluteal muscles and hamstrings.
Following seat work is barre stretch. At this point in class your muscles are very warm and barre stretch provides a great opportunity to stretch the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as well as work on spinal length, mobility and balance.
Class ends with one or two more sets of abdominal work and then a quick set of back dancing. 1. Because who doesn’t love that final little party in class and 2. This allows you to look (and feel) fantastic as you leave the room.
Once the high energy of portion of class ends, you’ll get your final stretch to help prevent soreness and ensure that your long healthy muscles will be less prone to injury. Then its time for your final integration of all your hard work – Savasana!
So there you have it! The WHY behind WHAT we do! Our teachers are empowered to be intelligently creative in how they structure the class – you will likely never take the same Dailey Method class twice. Our intentional formatting ensures that your body will benefit from every class and our freedom within this structure ensures that you will stay mentally focused and continue to love and enjoy your Dailey Method practice for years to come!
Flow on TDM!