Week five of my Insanity workout was the "recovery week." This week every workout was the same every day, focusing on core cardio and balance.
Strengthening your core - the abdominal muscles and the muscles in your back - helps tremendously with stability and balance. A strong core also helps provide a better running posture, helps with back pain and even can help with pregnancy by again, helping to prevent back pain, have an easier time during labor and recovery can be faster. For those of you who have back problems, you may want to think about doing some deep ab work.
I started off the week with a sore ankle as I mentioned in last week's column, so I wrapped it up before my workouts to give me more support and it seemed to be fine.
On Monday at derby practice, I took a pretty nasty fall, which hurt my shoulder pretty badly. I fell hard on my left armpit with my arm straight up beside my head - sort of bending my shoulder in the wrong direction.
Needless to say, I think, when it came time to do my workout on Tuesday, I seriously was considering taking some time off. But, I made a commitment to do this, and I promised myself I would at least try to see what I could do.
I decided to do only what I could do without further aggravating my injury. Unfortunately, there was an awful lot of shoulder work in this week's workout. Punching, jabs, extended arm shoulder burners. All things that hurt my shoulder a bit, so I did them on one side and not the other.
I couldn't do the push-ups - I tried one-armed push-ups but failed. Not quite there yet I guess. I did as much as I could do - doing planks when I couldn't do the workout moves - and I still got a good workout.
There also were some balance moves that showed me my balance really needed some work. We did some leg work with one leg on the floor and the other lifted doing pulses and then extending the leg in and out while still balancing on the other leg. Not only did this help with balance, but man did it work the legs, hips and glutes. It was so hard to keep my leg up, and I had to rest a couple of times during this one.
The whole time we were doing the workout, Shaun T., the instructor, kept telling us to engage our core. I'm glad he kept saying that, because I needed that reminder.
After a few days of this workout, my abs were feeling a little sore, so I knew I was doing something right - even if I wasn't able to do everything exactly like they were doing it because of my shoulder injury.
The yoga-inspired stretches that Shaun uses in every workout also help with balance. I used to do yoga off and on for a while and I knew some of the poses he uses. If you haven't done yoga before, a lot of people think it's just relaxing stretching, which sometimes can be the case, but the yoga I've done and some of the moves that are used in the Insanity workouts are more intense and just seem to be part of the workout.
As for results, my weight again stayed around the same. My measurements, however, confused me a bit. Some of them went up and some of them stayed the same. I wonder if I have been measuring myself correctly? Or maybe I just keep gaining muscle? I don't know, but it's not going to keep me from pushing on.
I have one more month ahead of me with even more intense workouts to get through. I'm nervous and anxious to see what is in store for me in the next four weeks.
Reppert is the Sun-Gazette Lifestyle and Education editor.