I am probably being a bit premature with this review, as I have barely scratched the surface of what’s out there. But without doubt so far, my favourite internet workout sessions are ones billed as low impact, all standing, no equipment cardio.
I am truly amazed at how absolutely knackering these sessions can be. Who knew that lifting your arms above your heart was a great way of getting your heart beating harder and faster? After a 30 minute workout led by the woman I have nicknamed “Sergeant Major”, I am drenched in sweat and feel as if I have had a hard run up some steep hills, all without lifting my feet off the floor.
This feet-on-the-floor feature is particularly appealing to me because five years ago I slipped down the stairs and broke my ankle in two places. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have a condition whereby my bones are a bit too enthusiastic about healing themselves and grow a lot of extra, unnecessary bone around any break. As is quite usual in cases of broken ankles, I had surgery to insert a metal plate to fix the bone, but I have grown a lot of excess bone all around the joint and, quite frankly there are times when it hurts. When I started doing “proper” aerobics, my ankle really didn’t like it and made its displeasure felt quite acutely. It is not exactly thrilled by the low impact stuff either, but I am ignoring the pain and hoping that in the end it will actually do it some good to be stretched and worked a bit.
Back to the Sergeant Major. She is without doubt the toughest and most humourless of all the instructors I’ve watched. She tries to be a bit jolly, but you can see it doesn’t come naturally. And she is an absolute maniac when it comes to exercise. She goes hard and fast and is never out of breath. The only indication that she is exercising at all are the dark patches of sweat that eventually appear on her t-shirt.
I like this. A lot of these clearly super-fit instructors make a big fuss about how out of breath they are and how tired they are. I suppose it is to make you feel better about how terrible you feel – we are all in this together sort of thing. But please, I know those gym bunnies are a gazillion times fitter than I will ever be and it is a bit patronising to pretend otherwise. Even the “fatties” (I use inverted commas because they are seldom actually properly fat) who are hired to demonstrate the lower intensity moves are obviously as fit as can be and can do all the routines pretty easily.
I am not complaining, because I am glad that they are acknowledging and demonstrating that exercise like this is suitable for all shapes and sizes and ages. But I still like the absolute honesty of the Sergeant Major who has the most stunningly perfectly toned body you have ever seen and doesn’t pretend that she is anything but ultra-fit.
Here are some of my favourite sessions so far:
This is Fat Fella’s favourite workout:
Please note: I am not advertising these sites or endorsing them from any sort of professional perspective. I have merely copied and pasted the URLs of videos that I have enjoyed and I make absolutely no claims about them or their efficacy.