My current workout routine #1
24th Apr 2017
Today I thought I’d talk about a topic I rarely ever talk about on my blog; fitness.
The last time I wrote a post about fitness was 2014 when I had this wonderful plan to start working out, but then everything kind of fell through when my hip pain became unbearable and even walking around my home became a challenge.
Roll on three years and a lot has changed. I now know working out and building the muscles around my hip is not negotiable. It’s a case of use it or lose it.
After my last steroid injection back in April of last year I decided to create a routine and actually stick to it. I feel my best just after a steroid injection into my hip muscle (not for the first 24 hours when I stagger around the house like a newborn deer) so I knew if I started getting into a habit of working out then, when I could actually really push myself, I knew I’d be more likely to stick with and more likely to reap benefits. And oh boy has it paid off.
Also, particularly in the last year or so, I’ve really started to enjoy exercise. In fact, I crave it. I’ve not still not been to a gym (ever!) but I’ve managed to find the confidence to start swimming again, which is a huge step in the right direction for me. However, for now, home workouts suit me down to the ground. Maybe in the future I’ll finally get myself a gym membership.
I’m going to share with you my current workout routine which, as I say, mostly involves home workouts and swimming. I’m obviously not a fitness instructor, and I’ve never had much support from my physiotherapists, so quite frankly I’m just winging it!
I should probably also mention that I barely know any of the technical names for exercises, so if I don’t know them I make them up. If you happen to know the correct names, please do enlighten me!
I used to swim a lot when I was younger, but when I lived in the city centre I had to walk pretty far to get to the nearest pool. Not ideal when you’re legs don’t work half the time!
I was determined to go swimming again once I moved to the Wirral and got myself a car, but I let anxiety get the better of it. It took me so much effort to go to a pool again, but once I was there I quickly realised how much I’d missed being in the water and how good it made me feel.
I try to go swimming every Tuesday evening. I usually spend half an hour in the pool and I aim to do 40 length which would be 1km. However, it gets quite busy as I have to go at peak times so it can be hard to hit my target. I plan on getting myself a membership to give me the motivation to go more often.
I can confidently swim all the different strokes but I usually only swim breaststroke because I find that this really gets my hip muscles working. Ideally I’d like to invest in a float to stop my arms from doing so much of the work. Also because I want to plow into the people who usually plow into me (just kidding…sort of).
My nan bought an exercise bike a few years back but never used it, so she kindly passed it on to me as so many doctors and physiotherapists had recommended cycling to me.
I’ll try to get on the bike about 3 to 4 times a week. I cycle for 10 minutes on my exercise bike. I’ve been on tension level 4 since I got the bike and on this tension level I can usually do 5km in 10 minutes, but as of this weekend just gone I’ve gone up another level. I’m working up my stamina to be able to do 10km. Yeah, my hip doesn’t stop me; I literally have no stamina!
If you hadn’t figured it out already, when I work out I tend to focus on my legs, and in particular my hips. It’s all about getting those hip muscles (Glutes? Abductors? God knows!) as strong as possible.
I’ll roll out my yoga mat and strap on a 5lb ankle weight to my ankle and then do 10 side leg lifts with my left leg being the one I raise. I don’t do my right leg because I find it too painful to lie on my left hip. I tend to hold it on the lift and count to 10.
Then, while I’m still lying on my side with the weight on my ankle, I’ll do 10 clam lifts, holding these and counting to 10. Sometimes I will do this with one of these thigh toners in between my legs to focus on compression rather than lifting.
Next I’ll roll over on to all fours and do 10 fire hydrant lifts. Yes, with the weights on. Yes, it’s a killer.
Finally I’ll end with some squats. My doctor suggested I do squats with my ankles touching and my feet sticking out, so not really your traditional squats. But as well as hip problems I had knee problems and so these weird squats help to strengthen my knees…apparently. I normally grab my 4.5kg dumbbells so I can work on my arms while working on my legs. I have no desire to get all muscly arms but I have become more toned since incorporating weights into my routine and a little bit stronger too.
I thought I’d end this post with some fitness related goals. My weight is something I couldn’t care less about, even though my doctor says I need to stay as slim as possible to reduce hip related problems in late life. So yeah, my goals are never going to be body weight related.
As I mentioned early, one of my main goals is to build up the stamina to cycle 10km on my bike; maybe in 20 minutes. But I’d also like to achieve some non-leg related goals. I would love to be able to do a sit up because I’ve never done one before. My physio has mentioned that my core is very weak, so I’d like to work on it.
I hope you enjoyed this very different genre of post for me! Let me know if your into fitness and what your routine looks like at the moment. What are your goals?