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How To Increase Muscle Activation For Certain Moves?

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  • How To Increase Muscle Activation For Certain Moves?

    Hi Everyone!

    Hi Everyone!

    It's nice to be back on the forum and I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday weekend!

    I'm not new to T-tapp but once again starting over after about a year break... I am using the Instructional portion from HHMM five days a week and T-tapp Chair segment from MORE twice a week. My schedule looks like this:

    Monday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Plie Sequence, Organ In Place, Combination)
    Tuesday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Lat Pulls, Lateral Lat Pulls, Mitten Chop, Combination)
    Wednesday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Oil Wells, Oil Wells w/ towel)
    Thursday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, T-tapp Twist w/ towel)
    Friday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Hoedowns)
    Saturday & Sunday: T-tapp Chair segment from MORE

    Question 1: I wanted to know since I'm only focusing on a few moves each day Mon-Fri how do I increase/intensify muscle activation for each move for maximum results? Like for instance with the stance I feel like sometimes my knees are not out enough or that I'm not tucking enough.

    Question 2: I also have difficulty holding the stance for the Lat & trap Warm Up from Instructional. When I "hunch up" my knees don't want to stay out as much how can I keep a better stance while performing the lat & trap warm up?

    Question 3: Also for T-tapp Chair segment from MORE how hard do you have to push your feet into the floor? I find this very difficult and I wonder if chair height matters.. For example should a shorter person use a shorter chair to ensure feet presses into the floor? I know this might sound ridiculous but if that is the case I might need to buy a new chair. Also does pushing feet into the floor maximize lower body results?

    Question 4: For the extra activation with plies to trim the inner thighs (bring heels towards each other--keep weight in heels and act like you're going to bring them together while keeping knees out). How long should I hold this activation (10 secs, 20 secs, 30 secs etc...)? Can I do it as stand alone without moving the arms as in the original pile sequence?

    Question 5: I have major difficulty w/ t-tapp twist HHMM Instructional and MORE instructional I can only do it w/ a towel which Teresa showed as an extra move in HHMM full workout. Can T-tapp Twist also be done in a chair? If so which DVD is it featured on?

    I know these are a lot of questions but I would really appreciate some answers and help I want to keep T-tapp up longer than six months. I always end up stopping and having to start again after a long absence

    Thanks and as always I am grateful and looking forward to your answers and help!

  • #2
    How to maximize muscles activation... How you position your hand, arms, ribs, shoulder; and do every movement slow and fluid. When in doubt, do it slow, a lot slower if you are wobbly.

    Try the 5 mins hoe down. Yes, do 1 Hoe Down, but takes 5 times as long and slow. You will know all the muscles that you need, then when you do the movement in regular speed, recall those muscles and make them work. If your knee goes back, then make sure it does not go anywhere... You will need to keep your base or stance stable and do not deviate. You might not be able to move the limbs, but moving the limbs should not be the main goal. Your goal is to maximize your muscles activation, not limbs movements.

    If you want to activate inner thighs, it is not just knees out. Point the knee cap to the outside edge of your foot to little toes, there is an outward twist at the hip ball joint.

    I am not sure what is the "bring the heels towards each other" comment, maybe it is meant as do not roll at your ankle to achieve KLT. Strength and flexibility will come, even if you point your knee cap down and out to the middle toes, you will still be activating inner thigh. Are you engaging your inner thigh is more important than whatever you are describing.

    I do a lot of the stance alone when I was new, I do the elements like a ballerina, just one thing at a time. I am not good with left and right brain and I do not like to fall on my face. There were a few weeks, I was just doing elements by elements, trying the correct posture and stance with one HD element at the time. I then finally piece everything together. By the time I was done with the 2-3 weeks, I can do the Total, More, Basic and I already lost 20+ inches.

    Not sure what is hunch up your knee, will you explain a little more or just tell me which DVD and which sequence at what time or what Teresa was calling out?

    It is not how many workouts you do, it is are your engaging your muscles and if you are doing your best and your max. How long should you hold the activation, for as long as you want to use your muscles. If you are doing 20 mins of workout, you are keeping 20 mins of muscles activation.. Not just one muscles, it is pretty much all the muscles. Your stance is a must, and I don't think we untuck and Un-KLT when you are in PIle.

    So, if the Pile is 2 mins, you hold the piles stance and inner thighs activation for 2 mins.

    How hard you push your knees to the floor, how hard do you push to not sit on the chair? Imagine that you are sitting on an invisible chair or invisible horse, your T-Tapp stance should be that firm and your chair knee push is just a little less intense as you are sitting on the edge of a chair.

    I do not think it is the height of the chair that matters, but you are really not supposed to be sitting that deep into the seat. I always sit on the edge, like 4 inches from the edge is as far as I touch, but then I have a small bum. The point is, you need to sit on the edge so that your knee and femur form a 90 degree, knee to feet ankle also is a nice 90 degrees. You hip and torso is another 90 degrees. You push your feet hard enough that your glutes are used and firm up and can give you a 2-3 inches boost (like the guy in front of you in the movie is too tall, you need to sit higher).

    If you have problem with HHMM, then just focus on More. More Chair's torso twist is a good lung and obliques workout, and you can practice your lats and ribs up there. The torso twist on More Chair is the TTT on the chair... what is the question again?

    If your stamina is not there... then just focus and master the More, or the short workouts: More Chair, More Broom, More Step Away, master one set of workout or one sequence. The organ in place in More too should be mastered. Everything in More are the gold standard of T-Tapp.

    If you feel more lats activation with the towel, feel free to use it anytime you want. It is your workout, we want you to be activated. Eventually, you need to try to activate the same muscles without the training wheel (towel).
    Last edited by ayj67; 05-29-2017, 07:15 PM.
    ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
    ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition
    ISSA Certified Specialist in Corrective Exercise
    T-Tapp Trainer in Training

    Ordered More and TWO on 7/7/2010, Started tapping on 7/30/2010.
    2011 30 Day Challenge Less to Lose under 50 Category Winner.
    2012 60 Day Challenge Trainer/TnT Category Winner.
    2014 60 Day Challenge Trainer/TnT Category Winner.
    2015 60 Day Challenge Trainer/TnT Category Winner.
    2017 60 Day Challenge Average to Lose over 50 Category Runner-Up

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    • #3
      Hi, SaraLily! Glad to have you back!

      First one thing I would like to mention--I don't see a day off. While MORE Chair is gentle I think you would benefit from taking a day off (Spinal Curl okay).

      On to your questions! ayj has also hit on these--I'll comment and you can compare and combine and contrast our answers!

      1. Alignment is key, as is core and lat activation. Core and lats are your foundation for leverage isometrics. You reach through from your core. If you feel your knees aren't out enough, shift weight into the heels. Tucking is from the core--not glutes. Think belly button up and back to spine. We all have to refocus throughout the workout (great that you're doing HHMM--built in kickouts and resets!). So you're not just tensing up the muscle more--think from joint to joint and from core out through arms/legs to activate.

      2. When you hunch up shift weight into heels. You're actually shifting weight back, curling your core (belly button up and back to spine) as you hunch and shift weight off big toes to keep knees out.

      3. How hard can vary. You do NOT want pushing the feet hard to take over for the core. Your knees will be sore! Chair height does matter when you have shorter legs. I have used a thin book to make it easier for me to have my feet flat (vs feeling like just my toes are really in contact). Yes, pushing the feet helps but you are activating core and the feet help you lock into place. Try shifting "weight" into the heels even as you are seated. Makes a difference!

      4. If you are doing it with the arms portion of the moves, then keep the activation while executing that part. And kick out! If you are doing it on its own, think of going up and down just with the legs and not doing arms portion. Don't go up and down very far and really focus on the heels together/knees out/weight in heels as you come up. 4 reps will about kill you!

      5. Yes, it can be done in a chair. I'm not sure that it' s on a dvd but you can get in alignment as taught in MORE chair and just do the upper body portion with the standing workout. You can do a LOT of standing moves while seated! Just keep the body alignment techniques happening (knees straight out from hips, ankles under knees, toes forward, core activated and ribs up). Results with twisting moves comes from having a tall torso as you twist--not how far you can go.

      Hopefully something in there is helpful!
      ~ ..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
      ¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
      ((¸¸.·´ ..·´ Trisch -:¦:-
      -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*

      Master T-Tapp Trainer in Indiana, certified in all workouts!

      From a 22W to an 8!

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      • #4
        Hi,

        Thanks ayj67 and Trisch for your tips! Sorry it took me so long to answer back. I have been using the tips and I had lost three inches off my hips in the first three weeks but now I noticed I gained it back. My diet is the same so I am wondering if it has to do with my form. I noticed I am having a difficult time now curling my core and keeping knees out. I noticed that my left foot has been moving: my heel going inward and my toes pushing out to the left instead of forward. I never did get around to doing MORE Chair consistently or the extra activation with plies to trim the inner thighs (bring heels towards each other--keep weight in heels and act like you're going to bring them together while keeping knees out). I have only been doing HHMM with the following schedule taking Saturday and Sunday completely off:

        Monday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Plie Sequence, Organ In Place, Combination)
        Tuesday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Lat Pulls, Lateral Lat Pulls, Mitten Chop, Combination)
        Wednesday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Oil Wells w/ towel)
        Thursday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, T-tapp Twist w/ towel)
        Friday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up, Curling w/ towel, Hoedowns)

        This week I think I'm going to try the following schedule. I did Monday already and I still have the same problem with my left foot:

        Monday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Lat & Trap Warm Up and Curling w/ towel)
        Tuesday: Off
        Wednesday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Plie Sequence, Organ In Place, Combination, Lat Pulls, Lateral Lat Pulls, Mitten Chop and Combination)
        Thursday:Off
        Friday: HHMM Instructional (Stance, T-tapp Curl, Oil Wells w/ towel, T-tapp Twist w/ towel and Hoedowns)
        Saturday: Off
        Sunday:Off

        I'm worried about my stance because in the beginning I was able to hold it and now my left foot won't cooperate. Is this something that can usually happen where you can hold form well in the first couple of weeks and then it gets difficult to keep it?

        I also tried diva derriere today and I did not feel my buns burning but I felt it in my calves and abdominals. Is this normal? I'm pretty sure I had the correct form with knee aligned with hip, knee aligned to ankle, heel pressed down and toes up pushing on my hip with my thumb. How can I tweak my form to feel my buns burning?

        I am looking forward to response and tips. And as always thank you for your help!

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        • #5
          Interesting, when you corrected some of your form, you lost 3 inches at the hip within 3 weeks. Then you stop losing and actually gained it back. When you do DD, you don't feel your hip (it is not your bun is burning, it is the hip and all around the gluteal muscles are activated) muscles.

          Good to hear that you feel your abs, but which part of the abs? Upper, middle or lower abs?

          I think you might have acquired some bad form and path or least resistance during the 3 weeks, that you did not give yourself some resting time. The over fatiguing muscles will tell you to back off and make some other muscle over compensate, like the calves. Now, you are using your calves to do your leg moves instead of using your hip... therefore, no feeling at hip and gaining back at hip. You are having muscles imbalance...

          So, let's do this, instead of doing target moves repeatedly day in and day out without change. You will do 4 reps for everything in HHMM, end the workout whenever you had enough on Day 1, Day 2 do some More Chair or More Step Away, Day 3 some OIP and DD or AL. Day 4 rest, no movement, just go walk around, take a nap, or sit on your buns. Day 5 start the HHMM cycle, short More, floor and rest again. Give yourself some rotating and avoid repetition over fatigue.

          The anatomy chain works that way, it is not just your hip moves, you are using from toe, calves, thighs, hip and abs (also arms and lats) in DD. Because of the dreaded 24 reps in DD, what you overcompensate with is dying and the under use is resting...

          I will suggest you invest in a floor workout DVD, either Brain Body Floor (3 sequence) or Critter Crunch Floor.

          Since you are prone to over fatigue, your muscles cannot handle that muscle slow movement, so, you have to mix in instructional with regular faster work out. So, start doing the regular workout and stop prolong instructional... Mix them in, you can do 1 day slow and then another day fast.

          I know if I do Total Superslow everyday, I will acquire the same muscles fatigue and over training too. Obviously HHMM instructional has that effect on you, so, please go ahead to switch to fast workout.
          ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
          ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition
          ISSA Certified Specialist in Corrective Exercise
          T-Tapp Trainer in Training

          Ordered More and TWO on 7/7/2010, Started tapping on 7/30/2010.
          2011 30 Day Challenge Less to Lose under 50 Category Winner.
          2012 60 Day Challenge Trainer/TnT Category Winner.
          2014 60 Day Challenge Trainer/TnT Category Winner.
          2015 60 Day Challenge Trainer/TnT Category Winner.
          2017 60 Day Challenge Average to Lose over 50 Category Runner-Up

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          • #6
            I came on this while doing a search on abdominals, and find the information here, both in the query and the trainers' replies, really helpful.

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