“Buns of Steel” and those ladies on “The Firm” were actually on to something back in the 80’s, and I don’t mean just that leg warmers seem to be making a comeback. What I’m referring to are some of the movements included in so many 80’s and 90’s workout routines that may have earned derision from the functional fitness world because they were presented as “toning the tush” or what have you… and yet they’re the exact same movements that were given to me for my back and SI-joint issues, to ensure strong stabilizer muscles before adding heavy loads. Basically, according to the physical therapist “tushie toners” were what was missing from my life, say whatever you will about squat butt. As I lay there on the therapist’s table one December afternoon, doing clamshells and leglifts in ankle weights, I couldn’t help but realize that the “cheesy” workout videos I started out with so long ago, and before them the even cheesier ones my mom used in the 80’s and 90’s included almost every.single.movement I was given for therapy. Awkward pelvic tilts? Check. Awkward hip thrusts? Check. Leglifts upon leglifts? ANKLE WEIGHTS? HIP CIRCLES? Check, checkity check check.
I even have my very own ankle weights at home now… and they just so happen to be vaguely neon. Maybe I should invest in some leg warmers? Perhaps. But I am still drawing the line at leotards.
Anyhow, my point is twofold. First, it may not hurt to think back to what “silly” isolation moves you used to do (if you’re old enough!) “back in the day,” and consider making friends with them again, and 2) we shouldn’t knock those Firm ladies and their colleagues so hard. Was aerobics goofy? Sure. So is virtual shoveling. So are burpees, if you’ve EVER watched anyone do them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable, and looking back I wonder if the folks programming those workouts weren’t well aware that those moves would preserve and improve joint stability and integrity wether they directly did a thing to your backside or not.
*I promise to never say “tushie” on this blog again. Probably