Apr 082012
 

What do you do for exercise, if any, away from the pool? Share with us some of your routines. I know some of you are runners and triathletes. How often during the week are you training in the pool? How often in a week do you train out of the pool, and what do you do? If you don’t do anything outside of swimming, are you content with that? Or, do you wish you had something to augment your swimming?

I seem to have varied my away-from-the-pool training a great deal over the last 10-15 years. Yep, there it is again…I get bored easily. 🙂 Up until about 6-months ago, I was very committed to my gym time, doing weights (machine, not free weights) and core training. Two events completely through me off. One is my bad back – two ruptured discs between L2 and L5, nerve impingement at L2, L3, L4, L5, facet damage at two of those vertebrae, a cyst, spinal stenosis – SIGH – the list just keeps getting longer each year. So I really, really have to be ultra cautious in and out of the water. It has been a challenge, but I refuse to give in!

The second event was moving away. You just really take for granted your life routine and your gym routine. Then a rude awakening occurs when you change your hometown or change gyms. I just haven’t yet found my groove in this new gym in my new state. A third variable, the fact that I’ll be spending a significant time on the road, means I need to be less gym dependent.

Well thankfully, there are lots of options for inspiring oneself and finding things that work “outdoors” or on the road. My most favorite tool for this is my TRX Suspension device. I’ve had one for about 2 years, and was gung ho the first six months or so, and then it got dusty in the corner. Well it is back full force now! What a terrific device for training outdoors. Kind of feel like I’ve got my own little boot camp going. Coach Susie came to visit me here in AZ the past few days and brought her TRX with her. We shared a workout and learned new exercises from each other. Susie has an added benefit that her niece, Emily, is a TRX certified trainer. If you are interested in learning more, use the Contact Coach Susie Powell box in the right sidebar.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to try out a TRX or even know what that is, then visit TRX Training to see what this is all about. There are hundreds and hundreds of different TRX exercises to do off one simple piece of equipment that can be used indoors or outdoors. From the absolute exercise neophyte to the hard-core rugged ultra-athlete, this device has something to offer you.

It is light weight (yet incredibly strong) and easy to pack and take with you. And trust me, it will give you some excellent workouts. While you are training your arms, legs or even balance, you are training your core the entire time! Core training is a huge benefit for any athlete, including swimmers. But let me warn you, start small and keep the reps really intensity low. If you don’t, you may not walk very well the next day. Even reaching for that glass of water could be a struggle. Trust me, I’ve been there!

Now those of you who know me, know that I LOVE technology. My iPhone or iPad is always with me. Well, what better way to find some cross training inspiration than that? My two newest electronic additions are two inexpensive apps available from the iTunes Store. One is for TRX (or suspension training devices) and the other is unrelated, its strictly for leg training.

For TRX, I’ve discovered the iOS App iSuspension and it is truly awesome. Here’s what the iSuspension website has to say about the program.

iSuspension is a creative and unique fitness application that changes the way we stay in shape. It combines the importance of the core exercise group – the most important aspect of any program – with individual and multiple additional groups.

Using some of the principles of core training with these other muscle groups provides increase balance, strength, and stamina. This app illustrates and teaches the basic, intermediate, and advanced techniques of resistance training.

The app also provides the capability of the user to add to these exercises enhancing the experience. The app is user friendly and logical with photos, descriptions, level instruction, and videos for each exercise.

The app is a lite version for the client to experience with the ability to upgrade easily to the Pro version. 

When I purchased iSuspension HD for the iPad it was $2.99.

If you don’t have an iPhone or iPad, you can use FitDeck to find TRX workouts. FitDeck is a company that makes laminated playing cards for all types of exercise equipment including TRX. I’ve got FitDeck card sets for TRX, PhysioBalls, Dumbbells, and Stretch Cords. Small and easy to carry with you, and the lamination holds up very well. You can find an entire FitDeck section on Amazon.

The second app I am new to, but also enjoying, is Easy Legs, available at the App Store for $1.99. Here’s a review provided by Appolocious:

Workout app Easy Legs is all about getting in a quick workout whenever you have time. Filled with leg-toning exercises, Easy Legs lets you capitalize on a free five minutes or a more intensive 15-minute workout, divided into easy, intermediate or advanced workouts. Easy Legs includes more than 60 leg exercises, 30 of which are bodyweight exercises that allow you to work out just about anywhere. The app also lets you play your music along with your workout, syncing it to the beat of your exercises, and provides an “interactive personal trainer” to help you along.

I am grateful to have newfound enthusiasm for enjoying exercise outdoors and away from the pool. I hope that I have inspired you to try something new! Get out there, get some exercise, and have some fun. You are welcome to post and tell us what works  (or doesn’t work) for you. We learn from each other!

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