Essentrics understands that every body is unique – to get the best out of your workouts, follow along at your own pace and listen to your body!
Please read the following Beginner’s Guide in its entirety to ensure you get the best results with the Essentrics program. Many of our workouts are suitable for all fitness levels, however, some are made specifically for those suffering from pain and stiffness and/or have low mobility.
Note: Before beginning any new fitness program, it’s important to get your doctor’s approval.
If you are limited in your fitness ability, are new to our technique, or suffer from chronic pain, we suggest that you relax your muscles during all the workouts and move slowly and gently until you feel ready to pick up the pace and intensity.
Work as hard as you are able to—your muscles will grow at a pace that is safe for you. Don’t push too much to begin with; your body will change much more rapidly if you don’t force it. Be patient!
Even when done in a relaxed mode, the dynamic movements in Essentrics and Classical Stretch workouts will increase your blood flow, which will bring healing nutrients and oxygen into your muscles. Don’t feel that you are wasting your time relaxing as you will actually gain strength faster!
Your body gives you signs—be sure to respect them. There is a difference between the discomfort when you are safely strengthening your muscles (a good thing) and a sharp pain sensation (a warning that you should not be forcing it).
Don’t forget to breathe as you go through the exercises.
It is safe to do daily 23-30 minute workouts. Similar to how brushing your teeth protects your gums—daily stretching will protect your youth and vitality. A minimum of 3 times weekly is a good place to start.
Exercise mats are useful for standing and floor work. They prevent you from slipping on flat surfaces and can provide relief for those with foot pain. Any foam mat will do—some of you may prefer a slightly thicker mat for floor work and a thinner one for standing exercises.
A foam exercise brick is practical to have for seated exercises. If you’re unable to sit on the floor with a straight back (specifically your lower back), with your legs extended in front of you—a foam riser will help facilitate this and enable you to solicit the correct muscles. (Recommended size: 2x8x12″)
A soft foam cushion is useful for those who may feel discomfort while lying on their sides/hips during floor work. (Recommended size: 18″)
A resistance band is great to assist you with seated exercises. If you have tight muscles, the band acts as an extension to add resistance or assist with release during certain floor stretches. (Recommendation: Choose the beginner or advanced set based on your level of flexibility.)
The barre can be useful during deep, targeted stretches, as well as when balance proves to be a challenge. As many people do not have barres at their disposal, we recommend using a chair that is sturdy, preferably without arms, whose seat is at an ideal height for you to place your foot on while the leg is extended.
On Essentrics TV you can find challenges and programs consisting of specifically and thoughtfully chosen workouts to do each day. Ranging from 5 – 30 days, check out the “Programs & Health Challenges” section.