Today’s workout with Trainer Ana was all about the legs. And it had two KILLER moves in it that look really simple, but hurt so very very bad.

We started with some skipping, which I actually enjoy. I’m not supposed to call it skipping though, because apparently that’s too girly. You’re supposed to call it “jumping”. Whatever, I say. It’s hard, but when you get your groove on it feels really awesome. And I’m definitely getting better at it. The trick is not to look at your feet, and to breathe through your mouth. I think.

Anyway, post-skipping, we went right to the weighted step ups. I’m still having a little problem with my right knee, so we only used four steps today and Ana upped the weights to 12 pounds per hand. If she dropped it one more stair, I could go up to 20 pounds, I think. Step ups are another exercise that look simple (I mean, how hard could it possibly be to step up and off something, right?) but yeah… it’s killer cardio and hurts like fire by about rep 7.

After the step ups, we used this small piece of joy. Right, I scoffed. How hard can THAT be? Uh… people, I’m here to tell you that if your trainer has this bad boy set up on the floor when you walk into the gym, prepare to sweat. A lot. So, here’s the deal – the rocker under this board is only two dimensional – so you can rock back and forth, then you get off and turn 90 degrees so that you’re rocking side to side.

Now, I’m pretty good with the back and forth, because it uses a lot of the same stability muscles I would have had to develop to overcome foot surgery. It’s harder when you’re doing squats while trying to keep the thing balanced, without letting the board rock all the way from one side to the other.

It’s the side to side balance that makes me want to die. Holy mother of pain, you should see how much my muscles were shaking. Every single balance muscle in my body from about my clavicle down was engaged in trying to keep that board stable. While doing squats. Deep squats. Sweat was pouring off me, and my stabilizer muscles were shaking that board even more than my natural wobbliness. Every single squat and shake made Ana grin just a little bit harder.

It was almost a relief to move to the “jumping out of the airplane” maneuver, which requires you to lie face down on the mat and lift up your hands and knees like you’d just jumped out of an airplane and the wind was forcing you into that feet and arms up slightly beyond horizontal position. Uh… hard. Especially holding it for 5 seconds at a time. My butt was on fire, people. Fire.

Repeat three times. Simple exercises, brutally painful. Wonderfully effective.