Hi guys. How’s everyone doing? It’s already February, don’t you think time flies? After the long year end vacation, I’ve been thinking to get back on track on exercising. But here I am, still not doing much lately. So, I was thinking to review on what I’ve learned from the previous episodes of my favorite Japanese TV shows about exercise. And, I’m hoping that by posting it here will give me motivation. This post will be just a start of more posts related to health and exercise.
Last year, “taikan” (trunk in English) training has been very popular in Japan. There are many books and DVDs released and it became a hot topic on television and throughout the country. There’s even one book/DVD that features the well-known Japanese footballer of Inter Milan, Yuto Nagatomo.
For someone who spends most of the time sitting at work, like me, we tend to use our inner muscles less in daily basis.
What is inner muscle? What’s the importance of it?
Taikan, or trunk, refers to the part of body excluding the head and extremities. Muscles have the main role of connecting the trunk to the rest of the body parts. One of these muscles is what we called inner muscle. To understand easier its role, it’s better to give an example. When we pick up something, first our brain sends a signal to our inner muscles and it leads the actual action of picking up the object. With a not-so use or trained inner muscle, leads to inability to respond quickly or as expected that might lead to stumbling.
In the TV show, they performed an experiment to a number of people. They asked these people to stand up on a balance board while a tray is placed on their right hand and left hand on their hip. They recorded how long each of them can keep the same position. One of the participants, an office worker, scored an average of 19 seconds and 75 milliseconds, while a young builder on his 20s scored only 16 seconds. On the other hand, a woman aged of 29 was able to maintain the same position for more than 5 minutes. So, what this woman has and others don’t?
Photo credit: BurnAway
Actually, the woman is a ballerina. Compared to the young builder who might seem have a well-trained muscles by just looking at his appearance, the ballerina is well-trained in terms of inner muscle because of the regular movements of taking balance that helps in training the inner muscle.
Let’s check our inner muscle and do the balance age test!
Photo credit: star5112
Are you ready to take the test? Let’s do it. Here are the steps based on what I’ve seen on the episode of “Mega-ten” TV show. Make sure to perform this in a wide open space with no obstacles around that might cause you any harm.
1. Stand up straight, place your hands on your hip and lift your right leg.
2. Keep your current position and start counting after you close your eyes.
3. Continue counting until your right leg touches the floor.
How did it go? You can check with the chart below your balance age. This is taken from The National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG) in Japan.
Age Duration (in seconds)
20 70 or more
30 55 – 69
40 40 – 54
50 20 – 39
60 10 – 19
70 5 – 9
80 4 or less
Mine is 20 seconds – 50 years old! Sitting all day at work and no regular exercise, it’s no wonder. But no worries, the show also gave an advice how to improve one’s inner muscle.
How to train your inner muscle
Photo credit: Robert McDonald
Just follow the steps below:
1. Lie down in bed.
2. Place your two finger tips on your belly and find your hip bone. From hip bone, move two fingers inward and two fingers downward, then press a bit that part.
3. Now, drow that part in, and if you feel it hardens, then you are doing the right thing.
4. Keep it for 10 seconds.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for 3 times.
The show suggests to try this for two weeks to get improvement.
I’ll start today and I’ll let you guys know how it goes!
Will it really work in improving my inner muscle? Let’s find out after two weeks!
Wanna join me?