Getting serious about getting better: EXTRA low-impact workout

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m being as conservative as possible until I get that MRI.  I’ve posted a low-impact workout here before, but even that has potential to cause pain, with some bouncier moves thrown in.  Yesterday, I threw together three circuits of completely no-impact exercises, in the same format as the previous workout, but for 45 seconds an exercise.  Here’s the workout:

WARMUP

10 minutes fast squats to get the heart pumpin’

CIRCUIT 1

– Single leg push ups with knee crunch L

– Single leg push ups with knee crunch R

– Warrior crunches

– Down dog to up dog NO TOUCHING!

CIRCUIT 2

– Hindu squats

– Alternating back lunge

– Squat and side crunch R

– Squat and side crunch L

Circuit 3

– Calf raises

– Alternating front lunge

– Arabesque down + up R

– Arabesque down + up L
Thera-band exercises

And as always, an explanation of my crazy exercises:

Single leg push ups with knee crunch kind of a modification of the updog to downdog, start in downdog with one leg straight up behind you, and then extend forward into a push up position and crunch the free leg under your body up towards your chest while contracting the abs and bending at the elbows in as much of a push up as you can get with that knee in the way.  You should feel it in the arms, shoulders, and core.  One leg at a time please!

Warrior crunches lay on the ground in a long, straight line with arms and legs extended along the floor.  Crunch all the way up into a ball without using the floor to aid you.  You should be fully up and sitting on your butt in a tight little ball.  Extend back out and let your arms and legs return to the floor.  BUT, make sure to keep those abs engaged even while you’re laying on the floor because you’re doing this one for speed.  How many can YOU get in 45 seconds?

Down dog to Up dog start in downward facing dog then come through to upward facing dog without letting your legs or stomach touch the ground.  Keep it tight!

straight from one to the other, no resting, no touching the ground with your body!

Hindu squats we did this at Hour Blast, and they’re difficult.  Think about ballet, and throw out everything you’ve ever learned about squats.  With your feet close together, back straight, shoulders open, head up, arms out to your sides and bent at the elbows down at a 90 degree angle (think about a goal post turned upside down), begin to bend at the knees and come up on your toes.  Yes, weight is in the toes – weird!  As you go down, your arms straighten and go down as well to touch the floor lightly when you have completely bent your knees.  So, at the top your feet are flat, close together, you’re standing straight, and your arms are in a goofy looking upside down U shape.  At the bottom, your knees are fully bent, fingertips touching the floor, knees over toes.  Really focus on keeping your body nice and straight.  An explanation of the benefits of hindu squats can be found here.

Squat and side crunch is just your typical squat: feet apart, toes forward, sit back keeping knees behind the toes and coming down nice and low.  Exhale as you come back up, squeezing that booty and keeping the abs nice and tight.  At the top, lift one leg straight out to the side and crunch it up, feeling a burn in the obliques.  Again, one leg at a time and go as fast as you can while maintaining good form.

Arabesque down and up arabesque is a move borrowed from ballet dancers where one leg is held straight back.  Obviously, I’m not a ballet dancer and nowhere near as graceful as the picture below, but this exercise requires you to hold one leg straight back as high and straight as possible while, with arms outstretched, you hinge at the hips to touch the floor and come back up.  It’s really tough to keep balanced, and my back always really feels this one which is awesome because back strength exercises are often really boring.  This one is tough and will keep you focused and working hard the whole interval.  One side at a time!

 

As if I could ever look this elegant.

With the minimal cardio that I can do with just my shoes, I was not sweating as hard as I normally would.  But, when focusing on proper form throughout all of the exercises and really engaging all the muscles I definitely had to work hard and sweat a lot more than if I were to just go through half-assing everything.  This is what we instructors mean when we say things like keep everything tight, engage the core, and it’s YOUR workout!  It really is possible to do an entire workout but achieve almost nothing, so give it all you’ve got – you’ll feel incredible afterwards, I promise.

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