So I freely admit, I enjoy working out. It wasn't always so, but it is today. I enjoy both cardio and strength training. I like pushing my limits on both, whether it means getting my heart rate up doing interval training for cardio, or adding more weight on the bar for squats, deadlifts, presses etc.....I even (though not as enthusiastically) like combining the two, lifting mid-level weights for lots of reps in a short amount of time.
But there is a part of my fitness life where I have to admit to being a total slacker.
Yes, I'm not afraid to admit that I slack...it's the truth and there's no use hiding it....I'm a slacker.
I don't like stretching.
Actually, I kind of do like stretching....more like I enjoy the feeling after stretching.
You see, while working out, I enjoy the exertion, whether it's breathing hard as I peak during interval training, or pushing with all my might against the force of gravity with a heavy weight on my back....I'm OK with that.
But sitting on the floor, reaching for my ankles, trying to pull my back & hamstrings into extension is....not fun.
Maybe it's just that beginner's mentality thing....everything is hard when first starting out. And I've gone through bouts where I stretch regularly for a few days....then slack right back off.
I've even got all sorts of gadgets to make it easier and more fun. I do admit to liking this nifty little roller from Trigger Point;
It's an evil little device (as are most foam rollers) but I have to admit, when I'm done rolling it over my back, hams, quads, you name it, I feel like I've had a high end sports massage.
I also like it's evil side-kick, the Trigger Point Massage Ball. This little thing beats the pants off of tennis balls for finding those little spots in between the muscles; it forces them to separate and release. He hurts like a 'mo, but I can't deny his effectiveness.
I've found these little bad boys to be quite less painful, but they took a lot of getting used to....mainly because they weren't so painful (Why do I always go back to thinking that stretching has to be painful?)
They're kind of cool (SWMBO likes them too)...they just don't work fast. You basically relax into them as you place one or both on your lower back and gently press and relax into it. As you do so, you're supposed to breathe into it and let your lower back stretch, while keeping your abs somewhat tight. Not bad....I just have to get my Type A personality to accept them.
The last tool I have is a Stretch-Out Strap;
It looks dangerous, but it actually works pretty well for a not-so-loose guy like me, allowing me to hook hands & feet at various tension levels and just relax into them.
A few years ago, SWMBO and I went to a couples yoga class....while it was a pretty good date night event, it was an unmitigated disaster for me....it was worse than being the kid who couldn't climb the rope.....I was the kid that couldn't hold the downward facing dog pose
Needless to say, what started this blog entry today was coming back home from an hour of cardio and 30 minutes of farmer's carries (see my blog www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
) and noticing I felt a little tight.
So after feasting on our Easter Ham (I make one hell of a good ham!), I got out a few of these torture devices and proceeded to stop, drop, and roll many of the various kinks out.
And, of course, I liked it....when I was done.
I make no promises....but maybe....just maybe....I'll find a way to work in this third leg of the fitness triad; cardio, strength,.....and flexibility!
Have a great night Spark friends!