(An A to Z Challenge entry)
As I write this, it is technically Sunday night, barely. Four minutes to midnight when I started this post, so I will technically be posting on Monday very soon. While most of the A to Zers are resting on Sunday, well, my Mondays are a bit hectic, so Sundays are essentially my Mondays. Maybe I should go for the earliest post time ever?
Today I was bumming — convinced I wasn’t going to get my workout in. One of those days were you wake up and you just feel SAD. But 11 pm hit and I was like –screw you mood, I am going to get my shit done today! And so I did.
When I had determined my A to Z theme, I was most worried about the vowel letters. But I shouldn’t have been! So far my vowels have been the easier exercises to find, with today no exception. Well to be fair, my list was looking a bit bare, but yesterday I found several exercises to complete my lineup. It includes: Ice skater, iron cross stretch, iron crosses, isometric chest squeezes, isometric neck exercise (sides) and Isometric neck exercise (front/back). Let’s see how it turned out!
I went ice skating in my living room, guys! No really, I kinda did. On bodybuilding.com, I found this ice skater exercise:
Put on some good tunes and you are set to go! I really liked this. You can sway your arms too, like you would if you are on ice, or as an alternative, you can move yours arms like you are dancing. I did both, depending on how upbeat my song was. No lie, I did this for the majority of my workout. It does kind of feel like you are ice skating — but it also reminded me of being in a middle school dance and when you don’t know any other dance moves than to side step back and forth. Well this is like an advanced version of that! All joking aside, I do highly recommend this. It got my heart beat up to the cardio range and could feel it in my body. Since my low back is very tight, I felt it there the most, but I also felt it in my calves. If you add more of a bend in your knees, you will feel it more in your glutes and hamstrings too.
Iron cross stretch
I was excited for these iron cross stretches, especially after ice skater. Unfortunately, you need a lot of space to complete these — the photos don’t look like you do, but you need enough space for your legs to swing over the back of your body and for your arms to be stretched out. We just don’t have that kind of open space in our tiny two-in-one living/dining room. So I kept either hitting my arms or legs on something.
So lesson learned: I would like to try these more with more room.
Who knew there were so many different iron crosses — just like in real life I guess. Well this one was no stretch. In fact quite the opposite — it’s a strength training that activates most of your body and they are hard! While it primarily works your shoulders, it also activates chest, glutes, hamstrings, lower back, quadriceps, and traps. I was able to do two sets of ten of these and I would like to try them again.
Isometric chest squeezes and isometric neck exercises
These are easy to do. Isometric teamed up against iron crosses for the tonight’s theme. Looking at these exercises, I assumed isometric meant using your own strength against yourself. But just to be sure, I looked the word up. It actually means “of, relating to, or denoting muscular action in which tension is developed without contraction of the muscle.”
I am unsure if I have ever done the chest squeezes before, but you can feel the squeeze for sure.
The neck exercises bring me back to my childhood soccer days, where my soccer coach would team us up in pairs to help stretch before and after practice, and we would help each other with these neck strengthening exercises. I remember it being gross to be touching another kid’s sweaty head, especially after practice, so I was glad I could do these myself without a partner. The goal for these exercises in soccer was to strengthen your neck so when you did a head butt to the ball, you wouldn’t hurt yourself! Makes sense to me! I would definitely do all of these again.
I liked all of these exercises today! And what was a bumming Sunday ended on a productive one, so that is always good!
Health point challenge: Success!
Have you ever done any of these exercises? Are there strength training exercises you did as a kid in sports that you could bring back to adulthood? Leave your comments below!