New Fitness Opportunities
It’s been about a week since I learned about my knee injury and got the order to rest. My initial reaction was frustration with “I can’t do this, I can’t do that. . . What am I going to do?. . . I’m going to get so out of shape!” I love exercising and being told not to was a huge disappointment.
But, I’m happy to say I have a new frame of mind. Like my aunt told me, “when one door closes, another door opens.” I also believe that everything happens for a reason and God has a better plan for me. I don’t understand why I’m side lined with an injury, but I’m trust that I will come out better in the end.
There are many different ways to exercise and a small injury or physical limitation shouldn’t stop you completely. With your doctor or therapist’s permission, you can find something that works for you. For me, I have to avoid weight-bearing knee bends like squats or lunges, and no fast movements with knee bends like running or biking. That sure cuts out a lot of classes and cardio for me! I can however, bear weight on my leg with a straight or slightly bent leg so I can still do balance exercises. I can also do upper body and core work all day long.
The positive outlook. . . I now have the opportunity to focus on other forms of fitness while rehabbing my knee.
Refocus on Pilates
After getting certified to teach mat Pilates, I got so caught up in training for Xtend Barre that I stopped practicing Pilates. Pilates is the foundation of Xtend Barre and I still teach it in my classes, but I let my attention slip away from the core principles. Now is my opportunity to refocus of Pilates to help myself get better, deepen my own practice, and to improve my teaching skills.
I’m so thankful I can still do Pilates, it’s one of the best forms of exercise to rehab your body. My favorite Pilates classes are on PilatesAnytime.com so I renewed my membership for only $18/month for unlimited online Pilates classes.
This week I did Courtney Miller’s mat class and LOVED IT! Courtney is my friend from Xtend Barre who trained me to teach Xtend Barre and she is one of my favorite instructors. Her classes are always challenging with a good flow of exercises and pace, but what sets her apart from other instructors is her ability to help you get deeper into the pose or exercise. As you work through each exercise, she explains what you should be feeling, which muscles should be working, the proper body alignment and how to bring your breath into the movement.
Here are some of my favorite exercises from the class:
Bottoms Up with Straight Leg Lifts – burning booty! From a strong bridge, you send one leg straight up. Keeping your hips elevated, lower the straight leg with a flexed foot down to about 6 inches off the floor and then briskly return the straight leg up with a pointed toe. The pace is quick but controlled. 8 reps each leg.
Pilates Teaser – love this one, very challenging to hold your balance while lowering and lifting your legs. It’s all about control.
Side Leg Series in a Side Plank – The side leg series is usually done lying on your side on the mat. You do leg lifts, leg kicks forward and back, and leg circles. But, Courtney combined it with a side plank, which amped up the intensity. Not only was my hip feeling the burn but also my obliques and shoulder.
After the 50 minute workout, I felt stronger, refreshed, and more balanced. In regards to my knee, I could do all of the exercises but one so I’m definitely doing this workout again! Thanks Courtney & PilatesAnytime!
Cardio Workout – Swimming
Cardio was the biggest puzzle for me. How can I get my heart rate up without using my legs? Swim! With modifications of course. This week I did a swim workout with my friend Sam and for the most part I was pain-free. And I got my heart rate up!
The 2 modifications for swimming are a lightened kick and no pushing off the wall after a flip turn. I also realized that if I focus my attention on my butt to power the movement, instead of the quads, I have a smoother stroke. Felt like the more efficient way to kick. Another way to avoid over kicking is to use a pull buoy between your thighs. My workout was alternating 100s with and without the buoy for 1200 total yards.
And a big thanks to my friend Sam for working out with me!