Friday, March 15, 2013

Low Impact Exercises Do Not Have to = Low Intensity!

Woohoo, do the Friday Dance! :)

Why are Fridays so amazing?! Hopefully it means you have a day or two off, this is the first time in foreverrrrrrrr that I haven't had a weekend job and it is glorious! I babysit here and there, but I don't consider that work, because I love kids and it's actually an enjoyable side job. I was a waitress for almost 10 years while putting myself through college/grad school and even though the money was good, having some "me" time for the first time in my life feels so so good. I literally lived off 4-5 hours of sleep for the 2 years I spent at UNCC for my masters. I worked 50-60 hours a week, (I had 3 jobs and also did three 200 hour practicals - UNPAID)  and went to school full time. Soooo... sleep was the first thing to go. Caffeine intake was at an all time high, and I was always hungry and sleepy. Exercise was the second factor I let slide by. I still ran when I could, but my fitness level was definitely lower than it was previously. That is when those ugly pounds started piling on. The moral of the story: allow yourself some "ME" time, make time for exercise, prioritize your to-do list, and take deep breaths often.

I had a request from a client to provide some workouts to do with a lower body injury. Low impact exercises with minimal weight bearing do not have to mean low intensity. Monitor your heart rate as you do these workouts, if you are pushing yourself, you will see that you are still getting your heart rate up, while letting your lower body heal/rest. Soooo, here are some ideas:

  1. Swimming is a great way to burn calories and increase fitness without adding stress to any joints/bones.
  2. Interval routines with minimal weight bearing
  3. Biking (Depending on the injury)
I found these swim workouts from and have done a few of them myself. This article was written by Stew Smith and can be found here.

1. Swim Workouts for Cardio:
Do sprints/fast swims/kickboard/underwater swims first phase (20-30 minutes) then go to easy pace cardio swims to burn fat at a higher rate the 2nd half of the workout. If you can get anaerobic first and then go aerobic in the later part of the workout, you can focus on fat burning the last 20-30 minutes.

Workout #1
- 5 x 50m sprint freestyle (change strokes as desired)
- Rest with 20 seconds (hydrate if needed)
- 5 x 100m sprints -- any stroke
- Rest 40-60 seconds

The remaining time of your hour, swim at regular pace non-stop for 15-30 minutes
Organize other workouts by adding kickboard / underwater swims too

Workout #2
- 5 x 50-100m sprint/rest with 50m kickboard using flutterkicks
- 5 x 50-100m sprint/rest with 50m kick board using breast or dolphin kick

Swim with fins for 15-30 minutes non-stop
Stretch your legs well as you will feel the burn after kickboarding using flutterkicks.
For more of an upper body pump add in some calisthenics or weights in between laps

Workout #3:
- Swim 100-200m moderate pace
- Pushups - 30 seconds worth of pushups (10-40 reps depending on fitness level)
- Abs of choice - crunches, setups, flutterkicks, leg levers - 1:00 of abs

Repeat 5 times

Workout #4
(Bring a medium and a light weight set of dumbbells to the pool deck)

- Swim 100-200m moderate pace
- Pushups - 10-20
- Crunches - 20-30
- Bicep Curls - 10-20 reps
- *Military Press - 10 reps

Repeat 5 times

Here are pool running workouts from my favorite magazine, Runners World: 
(I swim very infrequently which is why I am not making these up myself.)

30 minutes of lap swimming using kickboards, breast stroke, freestyle, butterfly.. switch it up. Then choose 1 of the running workouts below:

ENDURANCE-SPEED 3 x 5 minutes at perceived 10-K race pace. Jog two minutes between each.
SPEED 6 x 2 minutes at perceived 5-K race pace. Jog 60 seconds between each effort.
SPRINTS 10 x 60 seconds at perceived one-mile race pace. Jog 30 seconds between efforts.

2. Interval Routine With Minimal Weight Bearing
Repeat this workout 4-5 times. Keep moving with only 10 seconds rest between exercises to keep your heart rate up and burn more calories. You need a stability ball and hand weights, you may need a lighter and heavier set.

1. 15 Bicep curls on stability ball- keep your abs tight. 2 count up/2 count down
2. 15 Shoulder Press on ball - Punch weight to ceiling
3. 15 Lateral raises on ball- Arms by your side and palms facing towards body, extend arm straight until it is at shoulder height, slowly lower down.
4. 100 Quick Punches-Put weights down, stay seated and have a wide stance with your legs for stability. Punch Left arm to right corner and repeat with Right arm. PUNCH quickly to get your heart rate up.
5. 10/20/10/20 Stability Ball Crunches- Do 10 crunches at a 3 count up/3 count down pace, 20 crunches at a 2 count up/2 count down pace and repeat. Arms behind head. The less amount of your back on the ball, the more you will be working your abs. You can put your feet wide and against a wall for more stability.
6. 20 Stability Ball Pike- Lay on the ball on your stomach, walk yourself out so that your shins are both on the ball and crunch your knees in towards your chest while lifting your butt to the ceiling. Click HERE for a demo. You will see modifications for easier/harder.
7. 30 Hamstring Curls on Stability Ball- On your back, on a mat, put your feet onto the ball. Lift your glutes, bring ball in towards body by bending knees and drawing feet in. Push ball back out. Keep glutes raised throughout entire reps. Click HERE for a demo.

3. Biking
Warm up with 10 minutes easy cycling, always cool down with 5-10 minutes easy cycling.

1. Bike 1 mile at 100+ RPM
2. Cycle easy for 2 minutes
2. Do 10 intervals of 30 seconds FAST AS YOU CAN/45 seconds easy
3. 1 Mile at 100+ RPM

BOOM! Don't let injuries keep you down!

Have a great St. Patty's Day Weekend & Get Active!

Xo- April

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