As I See Fit: Time for the Triple Threat
- on February 8, 2012
I've heard that you've been working out a little bit more. I've heard that you've been cleaning up your diet, watching what you eat, and trying to incorporate more exercise into your life.
In short, you are holding yourself accountable for your overall health and wellness. Good for you! Don't you feel great?
I have heard from several readers who have stopped making excuses and are actively increasing the amount of physical activity that they do each day. Their success is fantastic news for all of us, simply because it demonstrates what we all secretly know — that it can be done.
If you really want to get your exercise act together and build a strong body, it's time to get out of your own way and make it happen! We can only use the same excuses so many times before the words become utterly meaningless. It's time to stop talking and think of Elvis Presley: "A little less conversation, a little more action please." How can you go wrong with lyrics like that?
The fact is, that no matter what your reasoning is for not working out, any good trainer will be able to demolish your argument in two minutes flat, while you stand there desperately trying to formulate some sort of response. I know first-hand. I've worked with some of those trainers, and I was really good at coming up with reasons why I couldn't make the time, or why I couldn't do that particular exercise.
And you know what? I lost the argument every single time. I learned a lot by keeping my mouth closed and my body moving. Most importantly, I did make the time, and I was able to perform the movements. Once I stopped talking and started doing, my workouts became something to look forward to and something that I really needed to do, for both my physical and mental health.
When I hear these same excuses from people now, I listen and nod sympathetically. And then we do 10 more reps. Simply because we need to and because we can. That being said, let's get to work!
The leg exercises pictured here are all basic moves that can be easily modified for a range of intensity. The goal is to do 20 reps of each or until failure (when you literally cannot do any more), and then continue on to the next move. Going to failure makes your body respond the fastest. Yes, your legs will be burning, but that is exactly what we want to happen!
Do all of the moves on one leg first, before you switch sides. All of these moves are simple, require no equipment, and they work! It is essential to isolate the motion and resist the urge to do the moves quickly. Form and resistance are key here!
BASIC LEG LIFT
Standing on one leg (you can use a chair or wall for balance if you need to), raise the opposite leg out to the side with foot flexed. Control the motion and resist the leg when you bring it back down. Repeat 20 times and immediately go into the next move.
CLASSIC TURN OUT
Raise your knee to hip level with your foot aligned with the opposite knee. Isolating the hip motion, turn your knee out and bring it back to the front. 20 again, and continue on.
STANDING DONKEY KICK
Raise your knee to hip level again, raise your bent leg out to the side and back down to complete the move.
If you've been working out and are looking for ways to step up your game a little, try some of these shortcuts:
• Alternate 3-5 minutes of cardio with 60 seconds of lunges, squats or push-ups;
• Add 60-second cardio bursts between weight lifting sets;
• Move up to heavier weights and do fewer reps.
• Work multiple muscle groups together - try shoulder presses with squats or bicep curls with lunges.