Sat 22 Aug 2009
Written by Jeff
Non-GOTM pictures credited by hover notes – move cursor over image
Disclaimer – I am not an expert in health, fitness or aerobics and I am providing these instructions which work for me as a potential incentive for others. Any use of these are at the risk and discretion of the reader. No recommendations are implied or suggested. What follows is ONLY an explanation of my routine and how you may find it useful if you so desire. Always check with a health professional before beginning any exercise routine.
IMPORTANT – Music is not essential for doing aerobics. It does help to provide timing and rhythm and may make the experience more interesting, but it is not necessary. Exercise is the important ingredient. Don’t let the lack of a music collection stop you from getting involved.
When first starting with only a few songs, they can be played on a PC using iTunes or other software in the shuffle mode. Some MP3 players also have a shuffle mode. This assures that the songs are not played in the same order every day and helps to keep the routines fresh. If a song is longer than the amount of time needed, use the remainder of the song for the next exercise or skip to another song to begin the next exercise. This really depends on your time limits and your exercise preferences. My version of She Works Hard for the Money is more than five minutes long. I use it for three different exercises; either two Extended exercises for two minutes each sandwiching a 1-minute Moderate exercise between it OR two Moderate exercises with one Extended exercise sandwiched between them and then skipping to the next song. If you are using music, pick a rhythm that is comfortable for you for each of the exercises and use that as your guide.
NOTE - I don’t recommend that anyone purchase any specific songs for the purpose of exercising to them. Find songs in your collection that will suit your pace. If you don’t have appropriate tunes, ask a friend if they can lend you a couple of CDs with appropriate songs. A CD with disco songs would probably be a good bet. I also noticed that the faster country songs often prove quite workable. Visit your library and borrow several CDs to try at home and once you have found songs that work for you, they can be purchased on line or at your local store.
I remove songs from the list from time-to-time and add new songs when I find one that is appropriate. Most of these songs have a heavy beat that I am able to follow. I don’t have a very good sense of rhythm, but I manage to get by with the songs listed and other similar selections. You might notice that the songs I highlighted are moderately paced. If I find a song too fast, I adjust the exercise to every-other beat until I work up to the faster speed. If a song is too slow, I exercise to the half-beat. If either of the above doesn’t work, I remove the song and find a suitable replacement. Once you begin, you will find out what is comfortable for you to do.
The important thing to take away from this is that there is not one correct way to do this. There are numerous variations, but to quote Nike, “Just do it!”
Footwear – I have found it easier to do the aerobics moves in athletic socks if they are done in a carpeted area. The feet are able to glide and move naturally.
When doing the exercises on a hard floor such as tile or wood, I found it easier to do them in a slipper-type shoe with rubber soles rather than a sneaker/athletic shoe. The sneakers “grabbed” too much and caused more discomfort to my knees.
Experiment to see what works best for you. Safety and stability are the most important things.
The Aerobic Exercises Explained
It is difficult to explain precisely a physical activity, but I will do my best. If , at any time, the explanations below seem vague or confusing, review the descriptions at this link:
The referenced article has five pages which are all worth reading, but the steps are described on page 4. Read each description along with the description below and you should have a good idea of how to do the moves.
If you still have questions, leave a comment and I will respond via a follow-up comment to any questions about Boom-Aerobics.
The explanations of each of the aerobics exercises I use in my routine are listed below. Where available, I provide a link to an online video of the exercise. Keep in mind that not everyone does exactly the same movements. There may be a slight variation. If you find variations, select the one that you favor.
NOTE - The goal of aerobics is to give your heart and lungs a work out. With each exercise, there are arm movements. Any arm movement will do although they should be vigorous enough to help keep the lungs and heart working. I will describe what I do, but feel free to alter, change-up or modify the arm movements.
REMEMBER – If any exercise causes pain or discomfort, stop immediately. It is perfectly acceptable to remove an exercise from your routine if it bothers your knees, etc.
Straight March – This is sometimes referred to as marching in place. Pick out a moderate rhythm and move your feet up and down while pumping your arms. Pump the arm opposite the leg being lifted. Your foot should only come off the floor by three to six inches.
Video Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoqOHjCMBQg&feature=channel
This video combines the march and the jog. Pay attention only to the march which stops at 1:15. Pump your arms higher than is demonstrated in the video for a better workout. Also…don’t lift your legs as high as is demonstrated on the “high movement option.” That is better left to the knee lift.
HINT - When watching the video a small advertisement may appear on the bottom of the screen. Click the “x” to close the ad. If there is a larger advertisement, I am sorry to say you will have to let it run.
Later in your development, you may want to move to the high impact version. If you are just starting an aerobics routine, stick with the low impact exercises.
Out-out, In-in * – Stand with your feet next to each other about shoulder width apart. Move your right foot out until it is just beyond your right shoulder (6-8 inches). Next, move your left foot out until it is just beyond your left shoulder (6-8 inches). Follow this by returning your right foot to the original position and finally bring your left foot to its starting point. Repeat this routine in time to the music.
Arm Movement – I punch my arms out to the right each time I move my right foot out and to the left each time I move my left foot out. On the “in move,” I bring my arms back to my side or waist. An alternate would be a circular motion with both fists together in front.
HINT – It is sometimes easier for beginners to begin the exercise without any arm movement and then once the feet are moving correctly, initiate arm movements.
Lunges * – Stand straight with both feet together. In time to the music, turn slightly to your right and move your left foot out to the left side and at the same time, move your arms up and over your head to the right. Bring your left foot back next to your right foot. Turn slightly to your left and move your right foot out and move your arms up and out to the left. Repeat this in time to the music.
Alternate arm movement – If using both arms is difficult, start by thrusting just one arm in the appropriate direction. As you move your left foot out, push up and to the right with your left arm. Reverse for the right foot.
Here is a video. You want to pay attention to the low impact version (stop at 1:06). You may graduate to the high impact version later. Modify the arm movements to make it easier if necessary.
Video Example of the Lunge:
Heel Dig – With your feet together and in time to moderately paced music, step forward with your left foot, placing your heel down a comfortable distance in front of you. Quickly bring your left foot back. Next, move your right foot out comfortably in front of you and place your right heel down. Return your right foot so both feet are together again. Repeat these steps for the allotted time to complete the exercise.
Arm Movement – Move the same arm forward as you move your foot forward; left with left and right with right. You can alter this in any fashion that is comfortable for you, but keep your arms moving.
Knee Lift* – Standing with both feet together and keeping your back straight, lift your bent right leg 8-12 inches straight up keeping the knee bent and return the leg to the ground and straighten as it is lowered. Repeat the move with the opposite leg. Remember, don’t lift your leg too high. There should be no pain.
Arm movement: Lift both arms up and to the opposite side of the leg being lifted. If arms get tired, change to an arm pumping movement such as the one described in the straight march. After a while switch back to the arm movement described above and alternate on and off to avoid fatigue.
Extend Life with Boom-Aerobics – Part III will complete the explanations of the moves with more hints. Don’t wait to start exercising though. You may use parts I & II to begin to develop a personal routine that will work for you. Remember to consult your health care professional first.
SPECIAL THANKS to Andrea Austin and Expert Village for the videos on the Internet.
SPECIAL THANKS also to Spirit Fitness for their article about aerobic fitness.
Gardening on the Moon, www.gardeningonthemoon.com, originally published this post