Neuromuscular Training

Susan Hefner TrainingNeuromuscular training is a process of education designed to achieve an efficient, pain-free use of one’s body in relation to the demands of one’s dancing and/or everyday life. Patterns caused by compensation to injury, poor alignment, muscle imbalance and the repetitive motions of one’s work habits are identified and new movement patterns are introduced as recuperative activities. Individual sessions are scheduled by appointment at Susan’s studio at 119 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Individualized programs are designed with the client’s specific goals and challenges in mind. Dancers and lay people alike benefit from a detailed analysis of their movement patterns. The initial session is for the gathering of information and seeing movement patterns, usually through walking, sitting, standing and simple movement. Susan discovers which muscles are weak, strong, overworked, or underworked, and how that may affect joint alignment. Other factors considered are flexibility, resilience, coordination and endurance in relation to what is required by one’s current activities and desires.

For changing a chronic pattern or ongoing general fitness, it is most effective to come once or twice a week for consistency. The momentum perpetuated by this allows the most rapid change. When that is not possible due to schedule or financial concerns, some people are able to make good changes coming every other week, especially if they are able to do their exercises regularly on their own. Some who are very experienced in movement can come once every 3 weeks or even once a month for updating and evolving their program.

The client’s progress is carefully charted and tracked, with refinements and additions to the individual exercise program constantly evolving as changes are made and more and more is possible. We are each very unique, and different people respond to different exercises. Susan crafts each person’s program based on a partnership of experimentation, careful observation and feedback with the client.

A program may involve floor exercises, standing exercises and/or exercises with a chair; for advanced dancers, special movement sequences by Irene Dowd may be appropriate. We may use a theraband, exercise ball, Pilates equipment, or free weights, but most often no special equipment is required.

For more information or to schedule an initial session, please email Susan at shefner@pipeline.com. Susan maintains a 24-hour cancellation policy.