Sheryl rocks. She shows me exercises that make my legs happy. …Well, actually, they’re not very happy right at this moment, but they will be!
So, I had decided that I needed to exercise more often, especially those muscles that ended up being so sore after the drumcorps camp a couple weeks ago. Yesterday, I worked out with my 10lb dumbbells, to get the upper-body thing going. Upper back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Today, I thought I should work on my lower body—butt and hamstrings, mainly—but my knees always give me shit when I do squats or stairs or things that require bending my knees while having extra weight put on them. (I guess they just had to deal with that extra fifty pounds for way too long.)
As Sheryl is the only Fitness Guru™ I know, I e-mailed her from work today to ask about ways to work my legs without fucking with my knees. We traded e-mails all afternoon, which were all particularly helpful, and ended up agreeing that I would meet her at her gym@work after I got home and after Aaron left for work, so she could show me proper technique. And that’s what I did. Got home, spent my daily half-hour with my husband, waved him goodbye, fed the cat, changed clothes, grabbed a hot dog so I wouldn’t kill anyone from hunger, collected the various travel accoutrements (cell phone, directions, wallet, keys, lomo), and I was off.
I gave Sheryl’s cell a buzz once I got into the parking lot, and she let me into her workplace and took me back to their workout room. Then, after some really, really pitiful attempts on my part to stretch my poor hamstrings, we got to work. Sheryl showed me several exercises to work my hamstrings and butt and calves and, well, pretty much all the major muscles I would think to work. Or close to it. I’m pretty well set now, as far as specific exercises go.
I also learned helpful things like:
- When lifting weights to work your back or legs, keep your thumb on the same side of the bar as your fingers. Otherwise, you tend to use your arm strength to lift the weight.
- Start your workout with the largest muscle group you plan to work, and adjust the weight accordingly as you go. If you work the smallest muscles first—say, your triceps—then move on to your chest, it’ll already be tired by the time you get there, since all the related muscle groups are interconnected.
- When bending forward, lift your head up to keep your back straight.
After Sheryl was done showing me stuff, she still had a few sets to do herself. So, I took that opportunity to go ahead and do some of the exercises she’d shown me. (I was in a gym, after all, so why just sit around?) I ended up doing stiff-legged deadlifts, three sets of ten. My legs felt pretty good after that.
Well, by then it was nearly 7:00, so Sheryl gave me a Zone Perfect bar out of the kindness of her heart (for me to eat tomorrow afternoon at work), and we parted ways.
When I got home, I was psyched to keep working out while I made dinner. So, I put a frozen chicken breast in the microwave, put water on to boil, and did one set of lunges. Without any extra weights. And after that one set, my legs were *done*. I am such a lightweight. 🙂 I don’t think I overdid it, though, which is one thing I’m highly prone to do whenever I get all psyched for fitness.
In case you’re interested, dinner was one microwaved chicken breast, one serving of Dreamfields linguine, and a cayenne red pepper cream sauce (with a dash of paprika, curry, salt and pepper). Yes, it was spicy, and yes, it was good. It was also highly amusing to give the cat a hefty taste of the sauce on my fingertip and watch her lick her chops… and lick… and smack… and wonder why her mouth is on fire… and then want some more.