Variation to Leg Workout
Many times here, I’ve mentioned my ‘dodgy’ knees. From time to time, when they give me more trouble than usual, I see a sports physio. Last time I had a consultation with him, in 2017, he gave me the news that I was banned forever from doing lunges and squats. I was devastated to hear this. For someone who works out in a home gym, lunges and squats are the perfect exercises for a leg workout, without the cost of expensive equipment. There is also the issue of space. Bulky gym equipment is not needed to workout the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. It’s possible to exercise large muscle groups using your own bodyweight. In fact, this is a very effective form of exercise, for all muscle groups.
Since being given the advice to delete lunges and squats from my exercise routine, I’ve been on the lookout for variations in leg workouts. Initially, I was doing knee lifts with ankle weights, which were great but I needed more. And then I remembered the Jane Fonda style floor workouts we did in the 80s! This memory came to me like a bolt of lightning. Until then, I had totally forgotten those very intensive floor exercises.
When I think of floor exercises, I remember that when I was an aerobics instructor in the 80s, I led a one hour class of floor exercises. We called it TBT – Tummies, Bums and Thighs. Word spread and those classes were soon full, leading to bookings needing to be made, at least one week in advance. It wasn’t long before extra classes were added, due to high demand and I became known as the TBT expert. Those classes really targeted the TBT areas. At the end of the class, participants definitely knew they had done a workout. Up until then, floor classes were only 30 minutes and were quite mild. This class had many many repetitions to work the muscle to almost failure.
Addition to my gym routine
With that memory in mind, I’ve now added thirty minutes of floor leg exercises at the end of my usual strength workout. If these exercises are done correctly, they really are effective. My tip is to do each exercise in a very slow and controlled manner. You need to use the muscles and not momentum to move the leg. The most important thing, is not to allow a swinging motion. You don’t want to use the momentum of your body to move your leg. The aim is to tighten the muscle being used and lift slowly. At the end of this workout you should feel like you have the ‘jelly legs’.
The video below is a good example of the type of exercises, I’ve been doing this week.
Interestingly, these exercises are now classed as Pilates. We didn’t have Pilates in the 80s, and if anyone had asked me, I’d have told them I’ve never done Pilates. But it appears I have. Very much so. I have been thinking about trying Pilates for a while now, so perhaps this could be an entry point.
Are floor exercises a part of your regular routine? If you feel inspired enough to give the above workout a try, let me know what you think. I love hearing what you have to say and promise to reply to all comments.