Workout Diary 5: Reparative workouts

I noticed as I worked out more, that I needed strength in different areas.  I had strengths in some areas, and deficits in others:

Following a minor elective surgery, I found it necessary to get some cardio in, as my doctor’s comment that even minor procedures can impact lung function, proved to be accurate for me.  I tried doing the following, including:

Recline leg lifts
Flat leg sit ups
Recline toe touches
And more.

Here are some details on floor exercises if you are feeling weak, breathless, or have an injury/are recovering from surgery:

  1. Lie on floor, and breathe
  2. Place hands face down, under your buttocks, lock knees and ankles, with knees bent slightly
  3. (Incline leg lifts) With head facing feet slightly, lift legs to comfortable height and lower slowly; repeat 5-10 times; be sure to keep back completely supported.  Please do not do this in a way that is painful.  It is important to get the benefit without pain, here.  The only appropriate strain would be a slight burning heat in your abdominals and under the thighs; you are likely to feel a bit of strain in your lower back, but that is the area that you want to be very careful with, to ensure you are doing this exercise correctly, and not injuring yourself.  Do one rep, or 10, but do it right.
  • Use comfortable speed, and remember to keep breathing throughout; remember to allow inhaling and exhaling!
  • Some who have breathing issues or anxiety will have trouble breathing throughout, as I do


With the same principles, try any of the following:

  • (Ab crunch) With whole backside on floor, lift thighs to vertical level, and calves horizontal, in crunch position, and lift upper back (not lower back!) several times, cleanly and without jerking back, 5-25 times

armless crunch

  •  (Pelvic lift) Lie flat on the floor, bend knees to inverted V position, with feet on floor, and gently lift buttocks, until most of back is lifted up, and uppermost back, shoulders and head are still on floor; gently lower from upper back, rolling down to buttocks, until whole torso rests back on floor, with knees still bent in inverted V position; repeat 5-10 times

pelvic lift image

  • (Seated toe touches) Lie flat on back, bring head slightly forward to face your feet, bend knees slightly, lock knees and ankles side by side, place elbows on floor, raise hands to see back of fingers facing feet, and curl very slowly from upper back to reach towards toes with fingertips.  It is important to initiate this from upper body, and when reversing position to lower body, to initiate movement from lower back and roll back to flat-back position (this is true of most any head/toe stretching exercise, whether from standing, or reclining position)


  • (Incline toe lifts) With back on floor, and knees bent, in inverted V position, feet on floor, close to buttocks; place hands cupped beneath buttocks, and lift buttocks, raising feet above chest, lifting feet straight above chest (toward ceiling), with elbows on floor, hands supporting lower back through the entire exercise; and lowering knees to bent position above chest, with feet still pointing upward; repeat toe raises 1-15 times or more.  When lowering back to flat floor posture on back, remember to lower from upper back to lower back, evenly and gently, as in above principle.

Sorry, kind of a yoga posture but helps

  • (Incline toe stretches) Repeat above, but with hands under buttocks, while lying flat on floor, with feet pointing forward horizontally, with knees coming up to chest, and then pressing feet to “wall” in front of you (wall, not ceiling); Please support your back: if your body is shaped in a way that makes this uncomfortable, modify or avoid until your lower back is not strained by this.

Horizontal toe press

Or, make up your own exercises.

  • Remember that speed, strength, & ability to do more reps best result from proper exercise, whereas injury & discouragement often result from not learning somewhat slowly and carefully.
  • Remember to breathe: This will help you to do more reps and reduce stress.
    • Allowing your body to intake and release oxygen when you are exercising presents a unique challenge for most.  I cannot say enough about how effective it is to practice full breathing while exercising.

Continue to do push-ups, bar-dips, and chin-ups if you can do so safely!

Try modified versions to prevent injury, or avoid until you are fully healed.

After you are fully healed and not vulnerable, try some of the following:

  1. Jump rope (very good for cardio, and if you do not have a jump rope handy, the same exercise works great without the equipment)
  2. Mountain Climbers (Push-up position and alternate: one knee to chest area/one extended to push-up position and alternate quickly)
  3. Squats on a flat-topped balance ball (advanced)

If you have rotator cuff, or other issues like I do, modify exercises, or create new ones that allow you to get fit and strong without injuring yourself.

To recap, I think it is important to strengthen weak areas without damaging them, and to push other muscle groups where there is lethargy.

The result should be a healthier, fitter you!



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