By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
OK, we're all about self-confidence, but recently we got to talking about the workout moves that make us blush at the gym (everyone's got to draw the line somewhere!). Between SELF staffers and our fitness-minded pals, there were a lot of consistencies -- mainly moves that involve leg-spreading, hip thrusting, and an abundance of coordination (i.e. we might fall flat on our face in front of a hottie trainer).
Here are four moves we'll only do in the privacy of our own home -- and some effective sub-in ideas for the gym:
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The abductor/adductor machine. Or, what several women described as a medieval birthing device. You sit down on a seat with weighted pads outside of your thighs, then open and close your legs. A great inner-thigh workout but, alas, a tad bit on the suggestive side.
SELFy SWAP: Try this Jane Fonda-inspired inner-thigh lift (sweat band optional). With legs crossed, you'll be slightly less worried about a TMI moment.
Walking lunges: Everybody out of my way. Coming through, Coming through. Yeah, this doesn't necessarily go over very well during rush-hour at the gym. The benefit of this version of the lunge is that it requires more coordination than the static up-and-down lunge, and works the quads, hamstrings and glutes a bit harder because you're essentially putting all of your weight on that front leg as you move in a forward direction (instead of placing some emphasis on the back leg, as you would if you were static).
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SELFy SWAP: Single-legged squat. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips. Raise your left leg so you're balancing on your right. Squat down until your right thigh is parallel to the floor or as close as possible. Push back up to starting position. That's one rep. Do two sets of eight to 10 reps per leg. If it's too easy, hold 5- to 10- pound dumbbells at your sides.
Hip Thrusts: The main benefit of this move is that is helps you isolate and really work your glutes. The obvious strike against it: Feels a bit 80s workout video meets Vivid Entertainment.
SELFy SWAP: Try the tush roll-up instead. It's ridiculously effective and looks hard-core (hard-core fitness, that is!).
Jumping rope. This one topped the embarrassing moves list because you're worried about A) the public face-plant, and B) The bouncing boobie factor.
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SELFy SWAP: In this case, it's not about chucking the rope -- it's way too great of a fitness tool -- and more about using it in different, less trip-provoking ways. First, rather than making it your full workout, use it in short bouts, during your strength workout rest periods (lots more great jump rope workout advice here). Second, choose a rope that fits your height (When standing on the center of the jump rope, each end should just reach your arm pits. Choke up on the rope if you need to). And, lastly, don't launch yourself into the air (which will certainly cause major bounce-age). An inch or two of height does the trick, and land with knees soft to keep the motion fluid.
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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio