Forgive me, gym. I have forsaken thee.
My efforts to amp up my swimming workouts on off days from running have led me to neglect the strength-training I know I need to do to stay injury-free. The neglect stopped today, when I decided to devote my entire lunch hour to a lifting workout.
When I was nearly done with my workout, fueled by the Mixologist’s awesome playlist, I struck up a conversation with one of the trainers at the recreation center at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, where I work out. The rec center, by the way, is called the Comfort Zone. It is aptly named, as it includes not only a gym and a pool, but a package store.
One thing led to another, and soon, I was picking the trainer’s brain for new ways to work on the muscles that stabilize my hips. I’m not yet sorry I asked, but once the soreness sets in tomorrow, I’m sure I will be.
What happened next: half an hour worth of lunges, squats and other forms of torture using the BOSU balance trainer. The BOSU and I have met before, when it bucked me to the ground like a mechanical bull during a physical therapy session. Today’s meeting wasn’t quite so unfortunate for me, but it did call my attention to some gaps in my current workout plan.
“Your legs are plenty strong,” the trainer said, watching me struggle mightily to stay on the BOSU and off the ground. “What this does is target your instabilities: the ankles and hips, for you.”
HOW DID HE KNOW?
Turns out, lots of exercise physiologists recommend using the BOSU to supplement running. Check out some suggestions for running-specific BOSU use here. No. 6, the lunges, are deliciously hard if you do them slowly and with good form.