From Sore to Soar: Talking about the Healing Power of Essentrics®

Lisa Ryckman HeadshotThe Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is adding another Essentrics class to our Group Ex schedule. We recently sat down with the instructor, Lisa Ryckman, to find out more about this dynamic class.

What are some of the benefits of doing Essentrics more than once a week?

“Essentrics is a full-body dynamic strength and stretch workout that is safe for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is both effective and healing, which makes it perfect to do twice a week or every day, for that matter! Much of the movement we do in Essentrics, which requires no equipment, is designed to rebalance your body, to help even out the muscle imbalances that can lead to pain and injury. The more you do Essentrics, the more quickly that rebalancing effect will work for you!”

What if I’m not flexible, can I still do Essentrics?

“If you’re not flexible, you’ve come to the right place. Essentrics will help you not only regain lost flexibility, but it will also help you maximize your flexibility potential! Essentrics is low-impact and safe for everyone. However, if you’ve been sedentary for a while or are just getting back into a fitness routine, do Essentrics in a very relaxed way. Essentrics creator Miranda Esmond-White suggests the “loose like a ragdoll” approach until you build up some strength in those muscles. If you’re already exercising at a high level, it’s critically important to add the kind of stretch found in Essentrics to heal your muscles.

I tell my students to listen to their bodies and move within their range of motion. If any movement becomes painful or uncomfortable, they need to back off a bit and try to approach it more gently.”

Let’s talk turkey: What is fascia, and how does Essentrics relate to fascia?

“Fascia is the connective tissue that stabilizes your entire body, basically holding you together beneath the skin. Flexible and chockful of sensory receptors, fascia encases every muscle and organ and responds to movement – and lack thereof. Are you feeling achy? It’s easy to think that pain you’re experiencing is muscular, when in fact, it’s in your fascia. That stiffness after hours of couch potato-ing through a Netflix binge is most likely your fascia telling you to move it or lose it.

Fascia is fundamental to maintaining a pain-free, flexible body. And as a full-body, rebalancing workout, Essentrics’ special series of rotational movements helps rejuvenate stiffened fascia, break up adhesions, and leave participants feeling relaxed and strong. That’s why Essentrics creator Miranda Esmonde-White recommends it for the athlete who hopes to up their game while avoiding injury, the weekend warrior who sits at a desk all week, and the exercise-shy senior who just wants to be better able to perform daily tasks.”

What do you love most about being an Essentrics instructor?

“My favorite aspect of Essentrics is how healing it is. It’s wonderful to hear from students that doing Essentrics has helped resolve their physical issues and makes them feel great.”

Do you have a favorite exercise?

“I love the Essentrics shoulder blast. Like many people, I tend to hold my tension in my upper body, and I do a fair amount of desk-sitting and computer work. The shoulder blast opens and relaxes your entire upper body – it feels amazing!”

When can I take your Essentrics class at AHWC?

“Join me on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30pm in Studio 2 for a workout that will strengthen and stretch your entire body, and leave you feeling energized and ready for anything!”


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Anschutz Health and Wellness Center