Hello, Legs! Part 2: The Warm-Up

By Megan Cox

As mentioned in my previous post, my personal trainer friend, Katie Howard of You and Improved Fitness in Edmond, Oklahoma, gave me a “wake up your legs” workout that I can start using before my feet hit the pavement.

Because I’m not really in the position to go to the gym yet, what with a newborn and everything, Katie’s recommendation included exercises I can do from the comfort of my home.

Basically, I started with the recommended five minute warm-up—some running in place—that I’ll admit left this tired body feeling a little breathless! But at least it woke all those slumbering leg muscles! Then I proceeded to do one set of each of the following exercises, 10 repetitions for each (Katie’s recommendation was 8 to 12 repetitions, so I split the difference).

  • Knee Extensions. Using a chair, sit up straight with your feet hip distance apart. Raise one foot so that the leg is parallel to the floor. Then lower that foot back to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 times and then repeat on the other side.
  • Squats. The biggest safety issue to remember with squat is to make sure your knees to do not extend over your toes. Squat as if you’re sitting back into a chair.
  • Lunges (both forward and sideways). Like the squat, make sure you knees do not extend over your toes.
  • Heel Raises. Raise up on your toes as high as you can.

After I tried these, I’ll admit that the legs protested after their long vacation, but if anything, using my muscles felt good—a tiny step toward where I’m going. I finished with stretching, as recommended, and waited to see what price I would pay the next day.

The good news is that, on day two, the muscles feel used but not abused, and that’s a good thing when you’re chasing after a two-year-old with a newborn in your arms!

Next up—shoe shopping!

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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