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Flexibility's the key!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Alright, so I didn't make my planned gym time today.....I got sucked into the vortex at work and didn't get home till almost 8:00 PM. As I get ready to change jobs and we get ready to move to Virginia, this could become more frequent.

But I have a back-up plan....flexibility!

One thing I don't do enough of is stretching. I do pretty good for a week or 2, then let it slide.

This past weekend, my shoulders ached something fierce from a good ST session Friday night. I did my standard cardio Saturday thinking this would shake it off. I was still sore into Sunday.

Finally, before going to bed, I got out many of my various stretching assistance tools and took about 20-30 minutes of moving my spine & shoulders to work out the kinks.

I slept like a baby that night!

My current favorites are the so-called "Miracle Balls"

I laid down with one centered on my spine, right between the shoulder blades, and pushed my shoulders down to the ground. Then I rotated my arms above my head in slow circles and just felt every tendon and muscle in the shoulder joint just loosen up and lengthen.

Did I mention I slept like a baby that night!

So, if I can't get in any cardio or, God forbid, can't make an ST session, I'll use my time to stretch and lengthen everything out. That's the plan for tonight as soon as I post this blog.

On another front, I am becoming increasingly intrigued (SWMBO says it's more like I'm becoming obsessed) with kettlebells. I got into a big debate with my East German, ex-Stasi agent trainer last night on how I like the idea developing power (as opposed to just strength) by moving heavy weights fast. I asked him to get me up to speed on doing some power cleans.

He must have had some traumatic experience as a young Communist Party apparatchik. He kept telling me to steer clear of doing cleans, snatches, and jerks. "Deese vill only hurch you (These will only hurt you)". I told him how I enjoyed doing kettlebell swings and he gave a grudging acknowledgement that they might be OK....probably because they're a Soviet invention and he likely had to kowtow to the local Russian Commissar back in his village east of the Rhine.

So as I lay out my plans for a home gym in our new house, I find myself researching how to do all sorts of cool new exercises, from kettlebell swings to Turkish get-ups....hopefully without damaging the floors or walls in our new place!

Have a great night spark friends....I'm off to stretch!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Stretching does a body good! :-)

    1834 days ago
    Wow! I'd forgotten about Miracle balls. I used to have some... have no idea where they've run off to. As I recall, they really worked!
    Thanks for the reminder.
    1836 days ago
    nice to read you are doing well and enjoying discovering new things!
    Find time for your health and stay strong this month!
    1837 days ago
    Thanks for sharing!
    1839 days ago
    Flexibility is not my strength! And I have lost flexibility since I started cycling. My hamstrings are tighter. Going to yoga tonight.
    1839 days ago
    I've talked with other guys about developing power. Their caution is always to find a qualified trainer. Too easy to get hurt while working with someone who is "winging it."
    1839 days ago
  • BILL60
    One of these days I'm going to try the "Kettles".
    1839 days ago
    Power is something I lack - I don't move fast. But I'll get there sooner.

    When I see people doing crossfit, I wonder: why the hell are they doing deadlifts so fast? If they can move that quickly, there isn't enough weight on the bar! ;)
    1839 days ago
    Stretching is always hard - I have little patience for it and I keep flashing back to how my leg seemed more flexible than normal during the warm-ups/stretches at the beginning of the class the day my ACL snapped like a dried out rubber band - but I have made it a daily goal recently and have been sticking to it for a few weeks now. Although my retro 90s running book warns against becoming "too flexible" because that is not good for runners.

    Of course the book also says muscle weighs more than fat and we should wear sunglasses for the sole reason of preventing wrinkles so I suspect I won't be following its advice.

    Kettlebellsdo sound intriguing. Although I would probably start by dropping it first on my foot and then chucking it through a wall. As long as squats or lunges or jumping are not involved I may give this a look.

    How did Stasi guy take the news that you are defecting? Tougher work outs than normal in revenge ?
    1840 days ago
    My flexibility is pretty limited, and I'm having some strange back, hip, leg pain that comes and goes. Have not figured out what makes it better or worse, but I've been prescribed some stretching routines that might help. Will have to give them a try. Thanks for the suggestion.
    1840 days ago
    ohh.. I LOVE Turkish Get-ups. Trainer #8 turned me on to them. Haven't done them for awhile, either. Guessing I will need to get back into them. Would be fun :)

    Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kettle bells. I'm currently working on the *big* one - 24kg (about 52#). I can do the two armed swing with it, but not quite the one arm - YET!

    I do, however, do goblet squats with the 24kg kettle bell. I also do one-arm power presses with the 16kg one.. I like the shape of kettle bells - they are easier for me to handle.

    Keep up the good work!

    1840 days ago
    Thanks for the insights. Stretching is something I definitely need to do more of. Good luck with the new job and move.
    1840 days ago
    I loooooove kettlebells.. here's my suggestion.. when you get settled in Virginia ... look up an RKC instructor in your area ( that's what I did.. there was one about an hour and a half from my house... I told him I wanted to be able to safely do kettlebells in my home... I ended up doing one lesson and then went back about a month later for a "check up".. it was totally worth it!!

    As for the olympic lifting... so far so good.. and I adore it!

    Nice backup for your flexibility plan!
    1840 days ago
    The flexibility will help in all the other areas as well. Good filler activity!
    1840 days ago
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