At Buffalo Barre, we use the term “the standing leg.” The standing leg is usually burning, shaking and doing its best to support the moving leg. The question I get all the time is…”why is my standing leg killing me if I’m working the other leg?”
It’s such a great question! You’re working so hard to do all the movements correctly with the leg that’s moving that you get frustrated when the standing leg wants to give out and give up!
When you’re weight bearing through one leg, you’re firing every muscle in that leg including your intrinsic foot muscles, your gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis anterior, peroneals, hip adductors, abductors, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, your core which includes your glutes…I’m sure I’m missing something but do you see how many muscles fire when you stand on one leg? Most of those terms describe groups of muscles. This is why it burns!
Embrace the shaking and burning because you’re working the largest muscle groups in your body to the point of fatigue which means you’re burning fat, building strength and endurance. If you’ve stepped away from the barre then you’re also training your proprioceptors in your joints which aid with balance. In addition to strengthening your muscles and improving your balance, you’re weight bearing which means you’re preventing bone loss…something most women need to be conscious of.
If you’re struggling to finish the set, make sure you have a slight bend in the standing knee and try shifting your weight to the instep of your foot. Many of you try to compensate by turning the opposite hip out/up. This is not recommended as it puts your lumbar spine in a compromising position. You should try your best to keep your pelvis parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed and your abdominals pulled in towards your spine.
Now that you read this, when you feel your standing leg shaking and burning…stay strong mentally and know that you’re burning fat, building strength, endurance, balance and bone density!
If you haven’t been to our studio yet, we encourage you to take a leap of faith and try something new. The instructors here at Buffalo Barre are patient, kind and willing to assist you with your fitness goals for Barre, Pilates and Power Yoga!
Wishing you peace, health and happiness in 2014!
Buffalo Barre Owner
“Setting the Barre and Defining a New You”
Physical Therapist, Certified Barre Instructor, NSCA Personal Trainer, Sports Nutrition Specialist