Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hands-Free Workout A #1 (and hopefully only): Surprisingly effective (Workout 40)

This was a surprisingly effective workout, though I missed getting
any work on my chest. 
As I planned on Monday, I worked out  two hands-free workout for while I'm recovering from my extremely minor (but annoying) hand surgery. I wanted something that would be a more intense workout than even a fast walk on the treadmill but couldn't do anything that involved weights or stretching my palm (so no push-ups or anything like). 

Before I get on to the details of the workout, a note on my hand: I'm definitely improving, even as to dealing with the stitches. I don't know if I'm getting used to not stretching my palm out so I'm not pulling on the stitches so much or if there's some type of healing going on that makes them less sensitive to it. No matter, improvement is Good. 

Back to the workouts, two of them because I like to alternate. Some research in the Women's Health Big Book of Exercises found that there are basically no chest or shoulder exercises that don't use the hands. This actually makes some sense, I mean chest exercises are push-ups and presses and flyes and all of those require the hands. But I can do some good body weight exercises for the hamstrings and glutes (with both legs working together and with one leg working at a time) and for the quads (ditto). I can do some core exercises (hello Plank, which has weight on the forearms not the hands). And I found a sequence of back exercises to do (which totally might make it into the next phase because those were awesome). 

I also did Cardio Intervals and ramped them up a bit and added some extra time on the treadmill because I finished early. (Relatively speaking -- Patrick had to wait less long for me than he often does.) 

Monday's workout was: 
  • Plank - 3 x 40 - I haven't done Plank itself, the pure form, since Workout A #6, which was back in August. I did the Spiderman Planks (where I was moving) in Workout D. But it had been a while. It was good -- I was able to do a whole additional set and all of them for longer time than I did in August (where I maxed out at a set of 36 seconds and a set of 38 seconds). All that other core work I was doing in Phase 3 is clearly paying off. 
  • Bodyweight Squats - 4 x 15 - I'm used to doing squats with some amount of weight in addition to my own body weight, so I ramped these up by a) doing an additional set and b) going as fast as I could. I didn't do jump squats because I knew I wanted to do those during my Intervals of Insanity. At the end of the fourth set I was definitely feeling it. I don't think I could have done a fifth one.
  • "Sprinter" Step Ups - 3 x 15 - I was stepping up onto a treadmill deck (I'm still a little leery of stepping up onto a weight bench) but after I'd stepped up with the working leg, I raised the knee of the non-working leg as high as possible with each rep. I'd been thinking I'd maybe do a fourth set, but after three I really felt that was enough. :D 
  • Standing Y-T-L-W-I Raises - 2 x 10 - You can see a video of someone doing something very similar to what I was doing here, though I was standing and leaning forward at the hips about that much and I wasn't holding any weights. I also did the last ones (the I raises) differently and will have to watch that video again to see if I like that way better. These were really rather awesome -- I did  through each of the five for 10 reps moving from one to the next without stopping. Two sets of that was seriously plenty. I was dripping great big drops of sweat by the end of it. These may make it into Phase 4. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 5 x 30:30 Jumping Jack Intervals of Insanity alternated with 5 x 20:40 Squat Jump Intervals of Insanity. The notation may be opaque. Basically, I did 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks as fast as possible, rested for 30 seconds, did 20 seconds of Squat Jumps as fast as possible, rested for 40 seconds. Repeat 5 times. This solved two problems: 1) Jumping Jack intervals being too easy and 2) without the Jumping Jacks the Squat Jumps tire my quads before they tire my cardiopulmonary system on days when I've done squats. Clunky as it is to write out, it was a great Insanity workout and I loved it. :D 
Before I started, I did 10 minutes on the treadmill and after I was done I did another 8. 

As I said, it was a surprisingly effective workout, though I miss getting any chest or shoulder exercises going in either of these. Still, it was very good to be able to do *something* that felt like hard work despite the stitches in my hand. I have another planned for tonight. If necessary, I can keep alternating until the stitches are out without missing a workout. This makes me happy. 

Next workout is tonight. I've got Hands-Free Workout B ready to go and I'm looking forward to it. Even though it has Side Plank in it. 

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