It's biased, I tell you. Biased! Aerobic workouts are great for the heart, good for burning calories and help get that ol' blood pumping. But what they are not good for are those millions of people in the world like me who are Coordination Impaired.
Instructors like Denise Austin and Kathy Smith make a 40-minute work-out look like a well-rehearsed stage production of A Chorus Line. Me, I turn it into the Tasmanian Devil hunting Wabbit. Arms and legs flail willy-nilly. Elbows jar at rakish angles. Feet kick in random convulsions. Forest creatures flee in my wake.
And this is only in my basement at home. Just imagine the kind of damage I could do if I actually subjected an aerobics class to me. They'd be Grapevining left, and I'd be off-stage right, trying to figure out how I spun myself into the coat closet.
So that's why I think we need Aerobics for the Hopelessly Uncoordinated. Something tailored specifically to the full-body-heave aerobics crowd. And while I'm not a licensed fitness trainer and would, obviously, need to work with one for any formalized instruction, I thought you all might enjoy seeing the sort of program I'm thinking about:
Warm up-- Get into your exercise clothes.
A great way to burn calories before the official exercising ever even begins is to try to actually get into some spandex exercise clothes.
First, put on the sports bra. Yes-- I'm well-aware a good 60% of Cabbages readers are men. But you don't think this excludes you, do you? Bah! No! You want to be a part of this class, you have to put some effort into it just like the rest of us. No whining!
I'll even give you some instructions on how it works. Think about it like taking a latex glove with all the fingers cut off...
Then try to stretch it over the head and shoulders of... oh... the Statue of Liberty.
Now that you're halfway through getting your sports bra over your head, note how you can't see, and you can't seem to find the right arm holes because somehow there are now 137 of them... This is a good time to do a few stretching moves.
It is also the ideal time to contemplate your greater place in the cosmos and how you will be spending the rest of your days on this planet trapped in the dark, half naked, with spandex on your head...
How your family or friends will find your lifeless corpse on the floor of the workout area, dried up and tangled in something black and clingy, and they won't be able to scrub that image from their minds for the eulogy...
Ah! There! That gave you the motivation to wrench the rest of the way into the sports bra, didn't it?
What, your muscles are strained from pulling this silicone inner tube over your head? And you say you can't breathe?
Perfect! Congratulations! Now do the same thing with your spandex shorts and you be well on your way to part two of the Aerobics for the Hopelessly Uncoordinated-- the Workout.
The Workout-- Freestyle Flailing.
Where so many aerobics workouts go wrong is by assuming you need to do all these different, specific moves to work various muscle groups. But anyone who is uncoordinated knows: simply by trying to follow the instructor, We the Few, the Proud, the Dangerously Clumsy are working more muscles at a time than all those graceful people who actually know where their feet and arms should go.
In trying to keep up... in trying to figure out why we'd ever want to put this foot behind that foot and do a shuffle-hop-step-clap-step-clap-step... we have managed to do two extra squats, wrapped our foot behind our left ear, elbowed our retina, and dislodged our colon.
And that's all in the first five minutes of the program! Just think of the kind of things we can get done if we can maintain that pace for the full 40.
And that's why I've developed Freestyle Flailing. See, when the instructions get too confusing, and you already have two black eyes and a bruised glutius maximus, you can choose to substitute the official move for any of these fun and exciting alternate moves which also will look ridiculous:
- Modified Pee-Wee Herman Dance
- Ride Thumbing with Feeling
- Man Trapped in Box Mime Routine
- Jumping Jacks
- The Bull-dance
- The Wave (not as visually stunning with just one person, but good for the thighs)
- Stanley Cup Playoff High-Fiving
- The Hokey Pokey
- The Hand Jive
Now that we've done some flailing Our Way, let's move on to the last step in the program-- the Cool Down.
The Cool Down: Shouting Out Dried Blood Stains.
Ahhh... the relaxing cool down. This is the part of the program where we can take the time to wipe up those pools of blood from our head injuries, before they leave a permanent stain on the floor and walls. Take your time... now stretch for that blood spatter... hold it! There. Doesn't that feel good? Now start scrubbing the blood, sweat and tears from that sports bra.
Next-- pack ice on that wrenched knee... Gauze it... tape it... keep taping it. Ah! Yes, note how it now looks like a cancerous knot on a 100-year-old elm tree and you can't walk without the other knee bumping into it? Perfect!
Sure, it'll make getting those spandex shorts off difficult... but that's the final part of our stretching exercises.
I hope you've enjoyed these Aerobics for the Hopelessly Uncoordinated. We at Of Cabbages and Kings believe in promoting better health.
Now... can someone help me out of this spandex? Call the Emergency Rescue, we might need the Jaws of Life.