Of the many comments I have received from users of the "DMC" system, one of the most humorous ones is that I have titled the product somewhat incorrectly. Calling DMC "dance inspired fitness" gives some readers an idea that it is "lighter work" and deflects the truth that the program is one of most gut-wrenching training sessions you can find. Indeed, it requires an iron will to succeed at it.
for early users the initial shock of the system is that the program emphasizes
an unyielding core and a powerful posterior chain and lower body unlike any
other training approach. DMC
TM professionals spend an inordinate amount of time
ensuring picture perfect posture, the development of hip flexibility needed in
elite athletics as well as easily missed traits, such as whether the incumbent
can press the big toe into the ground as opposed to rolling on the outside toes
or being able to drive the heels down and maintain the constant tension of the
glutes and hamstrings. Much like life itself, DMC requires intense focus
through high levels of intensity. For the athlete, "want and desire" must be
high for true success.
Though it can be said that the early levels pay extraordinary attention to the lower extremities in many areas rarely considered (i.e. developing foot strength) using the basic notion of maintaining proper body position under what is often extreme duress, upper body strength is developed in a highly "purposeful manner." One of the gravest problems I see is unbalanced training in which the upper body is heavily influenced, particularly laden with exercises that work the anterior chain of muscles. This is a key error and to balance out years of improperly directed training and to target the needs of a developing athlete, we must address the key needs of the broad shoulder capsule and upper back.
With this in mind, we have a perfect opportunity for those not completely involved with the DMC to jump in on the "fun sessions" with some relatively uncomplicated moves. Each of these moves evolve from the basic early "Table" poses and while fundamental in nature will push the boundaries of relative strength as well as range of motion while making use of unique bodyweight movements. Through only the smallest of snippets from the entire DMC program, it will also establish how this program hammers home total body development while satisfying virtually every "spoke" in the "Wheel of Conditioning."
following six-part "table rotation" plan, shot with Jordan Collins, will
enhance relative strength within the shoulder and trunk regions, making use of
a static, no jarring manner. Jordan
is a perfect example of the broad use of DMC as he has used it exclusively in
the recovery of a serious back injury and is once again able to perform at a
high level of athleticism.
In performing the following six part move this should be used within thirty-second holds, thus equating a full set as my standard six minute "training blocks." Two to three circuits of this make for a delightfully challenging segment of "general physical preparation," that if performed properly will have a big impact upon the upper body.
photo 1, the individual is in a standard table position with the ankles to
knees, hands to shoulder creating near perfect 90° angles. The thighs and
torso should be flat with the individual in a relaxed frame of mind. I have
seen many heavily muscled individuals unable to hold this pose or even
straighten their arms due to imbalanced training and stated simply, if you
cannot maintain basic positions while under duress, you should be reevaluating
your training regime.
In photo 2 the individual pushes against the heels of their hands, whilst simultaneously straightening one leg (left) and dropping the buttocks towards the opposite heel (right). At the lowest part of the transition the raised leg (left) should be parallel to the ground.
In photo 3 the individual pushes off the heel of the plant (right) leg back towards a table position whilst bending the (left) leg under the opposite thigh. In the above photo, Jordan and I have shown the movements slightly out of cadence to establish the final timing of the hip thrust. Per the left image, the leg is now tucked under just as the plant (right) foot is driven powerfully into the ground with the hips coming up as in the right image.
In photo 4, the individual turns the left 180° to face away from the body as you begin a powerful turn ("swipe"). The right shin should be at a 90° angle so instructors need to be sure of foot placement, lest some additional movements that roll from this will be skewed off course. Through the swipe maintain tension of the plant (right) leg such that thigh and opposite shin are at or near parallel to the ground. Extreme pressure must be placed with the plant (left) arm with the entire body "open" and ready for an explosive turn.
photo 5 the individual now continues the turn as they pull through driving the
heel of the opposite leg (leg) through the ceiling. Key areas to watch are the
full extension of both legs into a "scissors" position and that the hips should
be directly in line with shoulders.
In photo 6 the individual slides into the "modified pushup" whereby they bend at the elbows to bring their head very close to the ground and then look up through their navel.
Focus on each of these movements with picture perfect technique and the impact will be pronounced. If possible this section should be merged with the In Search of Power part 6 and the shoulder capsule work found in Squat Power part 5 and it will set the stage for more progressive section of the entry level of DMC program.