When former professional dancer Carrie Ekins’ body was sidelined to due hip surgery and a wheel chair, her creativity kept flowing. Being restricted to arm and hand exercises only, Ekins randomly began hitting boxes in her basement. This odd development has lead to a new workout trend, Drums Alive.
Eventually Ekins grew strong enough to stand once more and moved from basement boxes to exercise balls, drum sticks, and a variety of upbeat music. Drums Alive was created and found to be more than just a a workout for fitness. Hitting the exercise balls produces immediate stress relief for starters. However, the seemingly primitive routines can also improve coordination. As drumming engages both the left and the right hemispheres of the brain, coordination can be boosted. And finally, current studies have noted that drumming can contribute to increased immune functions along with improved moods and creativity. That’s a lot of punch for one workout session.
The classes are beginning to catch on around the United States as they have seen great popularity around the world. The popularity can be explained by the excellent workout attendees are getting. As one is pounding on the exercise ball with their arms, the lower body is engaged in more traditional aerobic movements. A routine may include hitting the sides of the ball between lunges or jumping while banging sticks overhead and proceeding to a squat on the ground. Clearly these classes are high energy and highly effective.
As the class is very rhythmic, it’s also known for its sampling of music from around the world. Nearly all types of cultures are represented in Drums Alive classes. African, American Indian, Asian, Latin, and Irish are among the popular music samples.
When running like a lab rat on the treadmill or riding a bike that goes nowhere can make working out a bit boring and stale at times, it’s great to see new and exciting options. And it’s always good to have fewer and fewer excuses for not getting that heart rate going. If a wheelchair bound woman created this in her basement, most of us are out of reasons why we can not grab some sticks and head to Drums Alive.
Via: The Washington Post
October 27th, 2011