I really, really do detest them.
But calm down, everyone, calm down. I’m not a dog-hater! It’s the Spotty Dog exercise that I can’t stand.
Oh. My. God.
Not sure if it’s a result of the dodgy right knee but I struggle doing this exercise BIG TIME! My legs just seem to go all weak and wobbly and then I can’t co-ordinate them with my arms. Argh!
Here’s a 20-second video of the offending move courtesy of Kiss Fitness. I won’t embarrass myself by sharing a clip of me doing it, but I’ll Snapchat George when I next see him! (By the way, if you want to follow me on Snapchat, my username is jennyhallsocial, surprise surprise! In addition to snapping about my kids I also post the occasional healthy eating snap. In time, I hope to be brave enough to post video snaps of me working out!)
Anyway, back to Spotty Dogs. George took pity on me and said I could swap the Spotty Dog for Jumping Jacks (what I used to call Star Jumps). Sorted.
Or so I thought.
Can you imagine my horror when I realised that, while Jumping Jacks were kinder to the muscles and joints, my pelvic floor did not respond well?! After just one round, embarrassingly I had to ‘fess up to George that ‘a bit of wee’ might pop out, so could I pretty please revert to the dreaded Spotty Dog? Desperate times.
Thank goodness George is in his forties, has a partner and two sisters. He got it. Took it in his stride. Told me that stress incontinence is normal after a baby – even a nearly five year old one – when you’ve not kept up with your Kegals! He told me to do what felt most comfortable. Key thing was to keep moving in-between the other exercises to keep my heart rate up. So, embarrassing as that was, at least it was out in the open and I could now focus on the job in hand. Phew.
So week two comprised two sessions – on Tuesday and again on the Thursday. Each time we began with a five-minute warm up on the aerobic step. This sounds easy but actually I found it rather hard work! Guess that’s the idea though.
GPFIT London uses this multi-position bench by Reebok because you can use it in 16 different ways. But even at a discounted price of £142.99 from Powerhouse Fitness UK it’s still too expensive for me, especially since it’s early days. Not that I’m planning on quitting!
But a bit of Googling came up with this piece of kit by celebrity trainer Matt Roberts. Available from Argos and currently half price at £49.99 it’s cheaper than the Reebok step and has some incline functionality. Or there’s an even cheaper aerobic exercise step by Mirafit.
It doesn’t convert into a bench but at only £17.95 it’s pretty good value. To increase the maximum height from 20cm to 26cm you’ll need to pay extra for the Mirafit Extra Raiser Blocks (£9.95), but a total price of under £30 isn’t bad. If you’ve bought an aerobic step recently feel free to share brand and price details, plus feedback.
Following the warm up, George put me through my paces with a range of other exercises to build on what we started last week. I was rather impressed with myself because already I noticed an improvement on the week before:
- Squats – both with and without using the TRX suspension trainer. I managed to squat lower than last week, and hold for longer. Hooray!
- Upper body stretches – using a resistance band like these by Wolverson.
- Static lunges & twists.
- Press ups- I do these with my knees on the floor, feet together because I don’t yet have the strength to do them the standard way.
- 4-point Superman (as demonstrated here by Functional 360 NZ – next time I’ll take a video of George doing it!)
This week with my agreement George also introduced some very gentle abdominal exercises. Just a few stomach vacuums and pelvic tilts. It actually felt very good – it’s been too long since I used these muscles! I was also reminded to keep going with the pelvic floor exercises, ideally 15-20 squeezes, four-five times each day.
I don’t do my pelvic floor exercises during the workout (would feel a bit weird with George watching!) but it’s something I can easily do while going about my daily business: eating breakfast; scheduling some tweets for my client; folding the laundry. You get the drift! Your pelvic floor muscles (together with your abdominals) are your body’s natural corset. The more you work them, the more taut your lower stomach will become.
Here’s a pelvic floor exercise overview by NHS Choices. If you scroll down a bit, it tells you how to squeeze properly! I’m sure other sites give you more complicated routines. However, as my Spotty Dog attempts testify, my pelvic floor is a novice so for now I’m following GPFIT London‘s recommendation!
I never thought I’d say this but I’m really looking forward to next week’s workouts! I think it’s because, after only three sessions with George I can already feel something resembling a waist. And my size 16 running leggings are already looking a bit less stretched across the thighs. I don’t think I’m imagining it and a quick jump on the scales or a session with the tape measure would tell me for sure.
But I resist. I don’t want to know quite yet because it is really early days and George will conduct another Bodymetrix assessment when the time is right. But for now, a positive mental attitude can only be a good thing, right?
Last week I promised you a downloadable resource to help you pack more protein into your diet and here it is – 15 protein-rich foods that pack a punch! Since I’m a vegetarian I’ve included lots of lovely plant-based protein ideas in there for you. I hope you find it helpful.
I’ve leave you with my Top Five Feel Good Tips, which I think I’ll make a regular blog feature. Here goes for this week’s:
- On waking each morning, drink a glass of water with a slice of lemon each morning to get things moving! And each day aim for 2 litres. Sounds alot but it’s important to keep hydrated – your body will thank you for it! If you find drinking water boring, check out the fabulous Instagram feed by Detoxwater. Water can be sexy – and so can you!
- Prepare a weekly menu plan for you (and, if relevant, the family). Make sure this includes ideas for protein-rich meals ands snacks so you don’t nibble on rubbish post-workout. Use my 15 ways protein-rich foods to pack a punch! guide for some tips.
- Don’t go overboard on the fruit and nut consumption otherwise you’ll end up eating too much sugar and fat. A decent portion of nuts is about 25-30g and only have about one-two pieces of fruit a day (you really don’t need five pieces in every smoothie you make!)
- Don’t forget to do those daily pelvic exercises, ladies! Set an alarm on your phone to help you remember!
- If you know that, like me, you need someone to spur you on each week, give GPFIT London a call today on 07514 326729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to mention Mumsnet Barnet or Mumsnet Enfield to get 10% off your first block blocking.
Until next week!
PS. To read the previous #121toFitMum blog post click here.