Dailey Arm Challenge
A note from Jill Dailey…
I started dancing at 11 and basically have never stopped. I started teaching pilates and strength training in 1992, and through all of this movement somehow I always struggled with getting definition in my arms. I came to believe that either you were genetically predisposed or not or you were a gymnast when you were young and trained that musculature and since I wasn’t, and didn’t, it wasn’t in the cards for me to have a defined upper body. I have noticed over the last few years how my arms have slowly begun to have more definition- but it really hit me recently when several people mentioned, at different times, how amazing my arms are. It was hard to really hear- because of what I taught myself to believe, but it made me think of the “WHY” after all these years I finally have the arms I wished for growing up. What has changed?
The Dailey Method has evolved over the years, but most of the exercises haven’t. What’s changed is the focus on cuing and education. The continual intent on helping our students find engagement of the entire body regardless which muscle group they’re primarily targeting is what helps people get so strong, so fast and to create true physical change.
For the arms, it’s a lot of the weight-bearing exercises- like planks and pushups – but also focusing on how you’re engaging the muscles during each exercise. It’s also weight work, and as you know, at TDM we encourage lighter weights so you can keep the work in the muscles of the arm and not the larger stabilizing muscles that we address with the rest of class. Even a 2 lb weight can do magic when you’re truly using your mind to continually engage all the way around the joint. I only use 2 lb weights and when I teach I don’t use weights at all- but I do simulate the engagement my students are experiencing as I demonstrate the exercises, variations and transitions.