Workout Wednesday: My Preliminary Thoughts on The Dailey Method

If you only have time to read one sentence of this blog post, let it be this: I tried The Dailey Method (or TDM) for the first time and I am definitely going back.

But since brief isn’t my thing, let me fill you in on the dets if you have time…

Dailey Method Review

Lately, I have been hearing about bar (barre?) classes every time I turn around. One friend swears by Pure Barre. She said she loves it so much that she is in danger of blowing her budget on clothing, now that everything looks so good on her bangin’ body. Another friend credits Pure Barre and Bar Method with relieving her chronic back pain. My favorite prenatal yoga teacher credited the Bar Method with healing her diastasis recti.(Let there be no confusion. I mean my prenatal yoga teacher from when I was pregnant in the past. I am very much enjoying not being pregnant or nursing for the first time since 2011). A diastasis recti is when your abdominal wall separates down the middle, almost like a hoodie unzipping. That’s the clinical term. This sometimes happens because of pregnancy, which was the case for me.

Since I had Lady Bug, I’ve tried various approaches to healing my diastasis recti and strengthening my core. That process deserves its own post, but to sum up, I tried pilates (both group classes and private lessons). I saw two different physical therapists, one of who wasn’t so helpful, and one of whom was a lifesaver. About eight months ago, I got the green light from the awesome PT for normal core exercises, with a few restrictions.

Lately, I’ve been doing planks and pushups, but not as consistently as I should be. I’ve also been running about three to four miles three to five times per week, since September-ish. Every time I’ve increased my mileage, some lurking injury came out of the shadows, forcing me to back the mileage down again. Just when I thought I was in the clear and ran a fabulous 5k on Thanksgiving Day, I found myself thwarted yet again. Since then, I’ve had a nagging pain in my right glute that even an intense dry needling session with my physical therapist could not touch.

I have a sneaking suspicion that all the injuries that have been popping up since Lady Bug was born a year and a half ago are the result of a weak core. So, when I found out that our local Athleta store was hosting a free Dailey Method class, I decided to try it. Here’s a review of my first class.

What it was: A mix of yoga, pilates, and stretching, with fun music. There was a huge emphasis on spinal alignment and engagement of the core, whether we were doing squats, upper body work with a resistance band, or planks. From The Daily Method website:
It’s simple, but revolutionary. Proper alignment radiates outward from the spine, bringing balance. When we start with alignment the muscles engage in their correct positions, elongating, contracting, strengthening. Other workouts focus on movement first, they have you spinning your wheels, working harder than you need to, and never really balancing the body for optimal fitness and safety. The Dailey Method helps you work smarter.

I feel their description is vague, but I can’t offer much more detail myself. I was too busy grimacing and engaging my core to have the brain cells to come up with a coherent description of this particular brand of torture.

What I Wore: A slim-fitting tank top, leggings, and socks
The website said to wear tight-fitting clothing so the instructor could ensure your body was in proper alignment. The website also said socks were required. When I arrived, the instructor said we could be barefoot or in socks. I chose barefoot, partly because I didn’t want my feet to slide, and partly because my birthday pedicure still looks great. Some girls wore toe socks.

What I Brought: A bottle of water
The water was nice to have, but not necessary. I was glad I remembered deodorant, but I certainly wasn’t sweating during class. You might say I broke into a light mist. No equipment was necessary. A floor mat and a resistance band were provided.

Who Was There: 20 year-old girls, one of their moms, and me.
If it weren’t for one of the girls’ mom I would have been the only person there, beside the instructor, who was of legal drinking age. This is not typical of The Dailey Method, from what I have heard, however. I went to a free class at Athleta. Boulder’s TDM Studio, on the other hand, has childcare on site, and has a reputation for being inclusive of all ages and body types.

The teacher gave a lot of instructions and she was very hands-on, coming around to each person and adjusting our bodies, and offering verbal cues to each person, as needed. I liked the music and the 60 minute class flew by. I especially liked the fact that I was working my core the whole time, including my back. And despite not getting hot and sweaty and disgusting it was really freaking hard. There were a lot of moves that were so hard I had to stop and take a quick break. Also, I did things to work my triceps that I never even knew you could do. I was sufficiently sore the next day to make me feel like it was a worthy use of my precious hour.

I didn’t break much of a sweat. This might not matter to you, but I really crave the feeling of damp clothes clinging to my body and the prospect of wrestling my sports bra off while the shower gets hot. I’m weird, I know. Also, it was distracting to work out in a retail space. It was hard not to salivate over $98 leggings and hoodies while I was supposed to be planking.

Will I Go Back?
I will definitely go back. I have another free class at Athleta on my calendar for this coming weekend and I intend to try the Dailey Basics class this Thursday evening at their studio. If I still like it, I will probably buy the Groupon they are running if it is still available. It grants you a month of unlimited classes for $51.

Typically, if I go to a class, I like classes with a strong cardio component, like spin class, Body Pump, or bootcamp. But, given my injuries, I realize that something needs to change, as far as my fitness routine (or recent lack thereof) if I’m ever going to consistently run again.

Ever since the beginning of December, I’ve had a very hard time motivating myself to work out. First there was the fact that we had just returned home from a week out of town and I felt discombobulated, trying to unpack and hit the grocery store and go through all of the mail. Then Lady Bug got sick, and has been waking up in the night coughing, sniffling, and calling for me for over a week, which has given me an excuse not to wake up extra early to squeeze in a workout. Plus, it’s super dark and cold, which makes me want to hibernate. All of that combined with the fact that I’m not running while I wait for this glute thing to sort itself out, and therefore have no races scheduled to light a fire under my butt, means my motivation is in the toilet.

So actually, now that I am taking (yet another) break from running, it’s the perfect time to try something new.

Stay tuned. If I jump in on that Groupon and start going to this class regularly, I will let you know how it goes.



2 thoughts on “Workout Wednesday: My Preliminary Thoughts on The Dailey Method

  1. Nina says:

    I LOVED barre after I had my 4th. I did it for a few years and it whipped me back into shape — better shape then I’m in now. After a while I just needed a break from the routine and from the price!

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