(An A to Z Challenge entry)
Much like my “C”, “F” brings a plethora of strength training and toning exercises. It may seem excessive, but trust me it is not. I needed the variety on these and even still, it kicked my butt. The ending routine was: Flys, frog sit ups, fire hydrant, front leg raises, feet jacks, flutter kicks and foot-smr. I did this combination three times, minus the foot-smr, and ended in the some stretches and finally did the foot-smr. With each exercise, I added more repetitions each round, and for the most part that went over well. But let’s see how it all really went!
This is the first exercise I have used from an A to Z list I found as I was preparing for the challenge. It is from this pdf I found from Crank Health & Fitness.
For these, I dug out my dusty five pound weights (literally had to clean them off!). I didn’t use a yoga ball like this suggests, I just did them on the floor. I own a yoga ball somewhere… but have yet to actually locate its deflated self and blow it up.
I have done these before once upon-a-time, but it has been a very long time. And man, I could feel them. I did my best to be in the moment in these, to keep focused to maintain control and balance — but it can be tricky. They are way easier when you don’t pay attention but I also know that is how you injure yourself!
These are much like normal sit ups or crunches except your legs are in the shape of froggy legs, like so:
I didn’t think these would be much different than normal sit ups — but man, I felt these way more in my central and lower abs. These are a great workout!
Time to bring out your inner dog and mark your territory. Yep, these are just like a male dog peeing on a fire hydrant. To get into position, you get down on all fours and then you lift your leg with your knee bent and repeat.
Much like the clams, these work our abductors and your glutes — and you can quickly feel the burn! A great workout where I could feel my body adjusting to these the more I did them — it felt like a great warm up. I am sure if I did more than 30 repetitions at a time, it would be a different story, but I worked my way up from 10 to 20 on each side for these.
Front leg raises
I saw the front legs raises on bodybuilding.com and they looked like a lot of fun. Almost like my legs were taking flight!
And they weren’t bad, but the thing I will change for next time is that I find a higher/more sturdy furniture to keep my balance with. I first used the back of the couch but it was too low, then I used the table, but I kept wiggling it too much, and then tried the wall but didn’t have enough room for where I was. I eventually returned to the couch but I know I didn’t get the full benefit from these that way.
Feet jacks are basically jumping jacks minus the arm movement. These did not go as well as I had hoped. Mostly my own fault. As a well-endowed woman, I was not wearing the proper bra for this time of jumping around, if you know what I mean. Definitely wear a sports bra with this one, ladies.
These were awful. Once I started these, I realized they were very similar to a leg lift exercise I have done in the past that I was never very good at it. I thought they might be something like swimming, but NOOOOPE. I underestimated these by a long shot. I really miss that whole anti-gravity feature of water.
In my first set of flutter kicks, I did them right after the frog sit ups and that was an ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE IDEA. I could barely do it. So then I decided for the next rotation, I would move them to the end. To give my abs a slight break. I managed to do it, but barely and I can guarantee that I counted super fast.
To be honest, I am embarrassed with how poorly I could do this exercise. It made me realize just how weak my core/back muscles are. I do wonder how these would be if I did the kicks on my stomach like bodybuilding.com suggests:
Nevermind, let’s face it, I am in no hurry to figure out.
After ending my workout session in stretches, I sat down to write this post and tried the foot-smr exercise from bodybuilding.com.
I initially did it with the foam roller that I bought and used in calves-smr, and while it felt like a massage on my feet, the curve of the foam roller was too big, it didn’t get the stretch I needed. That’s when I reached for my hand weights and used the handle of those to really get the hold position nicely and to feel the stretch/pressure. That helped a lot, but my weights are more oval shaped than circular. I could see where a pvc pipe would be very beneficial In the end, both versions were nice — one more relaxing than the other, and I anticipate doing more of these — and maybe find a better tool.
I can feel this workout a lot. I wasn’t sure on some of it — and I underestimated a couple of these exercises, but I am telling you to not make my same mistake. These exercises are excellent for toning and strength training. A few of these I will try again willingly, but those flutter kicks… well, you will have to entice me with something grand in order for me to jump back on that wagon.
Health point challenge: Success!
Do you have any favorite “F” exercises? Have you ever done flutter kicks? Did they kick your butt –err– abs as much as they did for me? Do you have ideas on how to improve that part of your core without doing those? Leave your comments below!