What is Essentrics?
You may have noticed that on the schedule every day Framewrk offers a class called Essentrics. “What is that?” you might be asking yourself and you wouldn’t be alone. This program has only been offered in Toronto for a few years and is only offered by a few movement studios in the city.
Essentrics is a fluid, dynamic technique that is challenging and healing at the same time. People of all ages can do the workout with some modification and it’s a favourite with the Pilates-loving crowd, athletes and people seeking to improve their mobility and range of motion especially after injuries.
The unique program has been used by high-performance athletes for years and is getting more popular as instructors start to pop up in different parts of the world.
The name “Essentrics” is based on a technique known as eccentric movement that will enhance your fitness routine. This is a unique, challenging program where the benefits extend out to other movement practices and sports and makes everyday living easier by improving range of motion, increasing flexibility and rebalancing the muscles in the body. And it’s the most popular class in our studio for many reasons.
Essentrics is a full-body stretching and strengthening program designed to decompress joints and rebalance and lengthen your muscles. The workout combines ballet strengthening, tai chi fluidity and physiotherapy techniques. Each element provides your body with specific benefits.The ballet movements promote lean, strong muscles, the tai chi movement rebalances your energy and the physiotherapy promotes healing and prevents future injury.
You can expect to be standing for the first half of the class and engage in some large, fluid movements using your full body. While in the standing portion of the workout, we also take time to isolate the arms and the legs to work the muscles eccentrically. Then when we hit the floor for mat work and do some controlled abdominal focus sets and a killer leg lift sequence. At the end of the class we do a dynamic stretch where the focus is on movement within our stretches to get the most for our joints and relieve pain.
In an Essentrics Barre class we use the ballet barre for isolation in the standing series and to increase the range of motion and deepen in the stretch sequence.
Essentrics is taught by Framewrk Studio founder Josephine Cuthill, who is a Level 4 instructor of the unique body movement technique created by Montreal-based mother daughter team Miranda and Sahra Esmond White. After an injury to the psoas muscle resulted in repetitive pain and back problems, Josephine had to stop working out. Seeking a new fitness routine that would not irritate her injury yet strengthen her body, she stumbled upon an article about the Essentrics creators. The technique sounded ideal but with no studio or gym in Toronto offering classes, Josephine had to order a DVD and try it at home. The workout helped to heal the injury and she returned to an even better level of fitness then she had been before the injury. This is when she decided to get certified to offer the program and has been teaching it in Toronto studios since 2013.
So how does it work? Basically eccentric movement is one of four types of contractions a muscle can make. An eccentric contraction is the motion an active muscle makes while it’s lengthening under load. In an Essentric classes, the load is your own body weight of your legs, arms and torso. The result is your body works hard to lengthen the muscles without bulking them up since they are stretching consistently and building longer, leaner fiber. You’ll notice immediate results in your arms, legs and abdominals and over the long-term you’ll see improvements in your posture, mobility, longevity, muscle retention while aging.
Framewrk offer Essentrics at least once a day. On Monday and Saturday, it’s offered after a hard conditioning class to rebalance and recover from muscle overload. We believe that the body needs to move in many different ways, and we believe that the body needs to rebalance after challenging muscle groups. We love Essentrics for this. We cannot get enough of it. And we hope you’ll love it too.