Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm a tortoise: glute 1/30...

Walking is guest glute exercise numero uno - you think thats a cop out? Mayhaps, but it fits my criteria of an everyday doable exercise.

I love the idea of an exercise you do basically anywhere - throw on your gear and off you go. Running is much the same, but I am a tortoise and runners are hares, I learnt this lesson long ago for Aesop himself and I'm embracing it; so walking it is for me.

Walking can give you as much or as little as you put into it. Do a quick search on google and you'll get loads of recommendations about how to get more bang for you buck when it comes to walking for fitness and toning.

I've mentioned that I walk most days. I have been rather remiss with this recently - Mr C has had some odd working hours and our usual routine would have had us walking in the wee hours, and thats just plain crazy people. We've been back in our usual routine for walking for a couple of days now. The first day coincided with the beginning of this awesome challenge so I paid a little more attention to my technique and how I felt afterwards.

So for technique; I have done research on this before and Jillian had a whole segment on her radio show about it a while ago. We all know Jillian knows how to do every exercise like a rockstar so I take her advice with much seriousness :)

Posture: starting top down, I try to stand straight up or slightly leaning forward, neck neutral and eyes looking about 3-4 meters ahead of me, keep my shoulders back and engage my abs.
Movement: I let my arms swing naturally, I never "pump" them like a speed demon, if I notice my fingers get that swelling feeling I walk with my arms stretched up over my head for a little while (Mr C loves this, because it makes us look like we are completely normal :) ). I try to keep my stride natural but longish, so I move my hips and legs through a good range, and at the moment before I lift my foot before another stride I try to have my corresponding glute engaged and present in the movement. I try to keep my feet facing forward or perhaps a little outward when they strike the ground.
Speed: I don't pay alot of attention to how fast I go, I try to get to that point where I find it difficult to hold a conversation without puffing a little bit between words. Somedays I seem to fly through the usual kilometers and others are a struggle. The time for my standard walk is pretty consistent day-to-day and has gone down steadily over the past couple of months.
Afterwards feeling: I have never discussed this before, but I can always tell if I've done a good workout by these odd little pings I get in my muscles. I notice when I pay more attention to my posture and movement during walking the pings in my glutes, quads and hamstrings are far more noticable. I have no idea what these pings are, but they are like tiny tiny muscle spasms or something, not unpleasant at all, its like a little sign from the muscles that they think they've done good. I might have to look these up and see if I am some kind of muscle pinging freakoid.

Personally I think walking is a great exercise for everything - it may well make a re-emergence as another glute exercise with some alterations.

On a totally different note: A massive shout to Skinny Latte who got married yesterday! Yay for  Mrs and Mr SkinnyLatte, much love and happiness is sent your way!

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