Showing posts with label Flexiblity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flexiblity. Show all posts

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ki Hara Resistance Stretching

I was reading some literature and they referenced Ki Hara Resistance Stretching (Dara Torres is an advocate) and thought I would give some of the stretches a try.  Although there is a DVD you can buy, I watched some of the videos on YouTube and was able to put together a short routine.  Because this is new, I decided to incorporate one or two stretches to my normal stretching and then as I got accustomed to them at some others.  What I found difficult was how they managed to hold their legs (I started with hamstrings) in such a way to provide both resistance and stretching.  I have decided to work on that aspect until I feel confident I am doing it correctly.  I find it helpful to not only view a number of YouTube videos around certain techniques but to also check out some of the professional literature on each of them.  Regardless, you still have to try all the moves and make adjustments as necessary for your comfort level.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Post Run Yoga Routine From Runner's World

Although I don't do an official "run", I find these yoga poses helpful after doing a walk or a workout.  This one only has 6 poses and doesn't last longer than 10 minutes so it is easier to get through quickly.  Check out the video in the sidebar!

  • Triangle
  • Pyramid
  • Quad Stretch
  • Pigeon
  • Head to Knee
  • Happy Baby

Friday, November 5, 2010

Extra Glute and Hamstring Exercises

I mentioned that I am working on addressing the forward tilt of my pelvis; I added the following to the end of the circuit training for the week:
  • Hip Raises
  • Reverse Hip Raises
  • Back Extensions
  • Hip Adduction/Abduction
I plan to do more research on exercises and yoga poses that will help with the forward tilt.  Next up:  Metabolic Kettlebell training tomorrow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recovery Rule #4 Pay attention to your body

Don't ignore pain during exercise, ignoring muscle soreness or tightness is setting you up for injury. If you have to stop your workout to stretch, do it; if the pain persists stop your workout completely. Attempt to figure out what the problem is and address it appropriately. Come back to working out gradually and focus on preparing the weakened area (if you are able) or work around the around it until you are healthy again. Make sure to research how to prevent the problem from reoccurring and integrate the solution into your future workouts.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

All Clear to Resume Workout

On Tuesday I had a medical scare; my blood pressure was 180/100, heart rate = 80.  The only reason I asked to have my blood pressure done while bringing someone for a B12 shot was I had some discomfort in my chest.  My physician was able to see me immediately and prescribed a beta blocker to bring down my blood pressure and heart rate, a medication for GERD, and blood work for my thyroid (I am hypothyroid).  She also suggested baby aspirin and a return in a few days.  Well, the blood pressure/heart rate got quite low and my blood work indicated I was “hyperthyroid” so she cut back my thyroid medication, decreased the beta blocker and said I could return to my workout and monitor the medication over the next 2-3 weeks and then return for a visit.  It will be too early to see if the decrease in thyroid has taken effect but we will be able to rule out some things in the meantime.  So, I did start the next part of phase one (2x12), same exercises, more weight.  I am making sure I take the full 60 second rest and keep track of my heart rate throughout the workout; HIIT will go back to 6 rounds at a lower pace until I see how my heart rate and blood pressure react to the medication.  All in all, despite the scare I am moving forward with just a week delay.  We will see how it all plays out.  Tomorrow—day off—I will be doing an easy 6-mile hike with a local hiking club.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Push/Big Pull

This is the final phase of my workout and it will combine component of both strength and endurance. I will alternate between repetition ranges: Monday: Endurance 2 sets 12 repetitions, Wednesday: Strength 4 sets 6 repetitions, Friday: Combo 3 sets 8 repetitions. All workouts have a quad dominant lower body exercise; a hip dominant lower body exercise; a horizontal press and horizontal pull; a vertical press and vertical pull. Over the next four weeks I will rotate exercises each week and use the three different workouts (endurance, strength, combo).

This week's exercises:

Chest Press/Bent Row
Shoulder Press/Lat Pulls

I will finish each session with a Yoga routine composed of a set of warm-up/breathing and then 5-6 poses, ending with a breathing/meditation. These are based on my Yoga Deck.

Monday--warm-up/Om followed by Chair(I allow Life's energy to stream through me), Fish(I inhale Life's positive energy and exhale negativity), Spider(I acknowledge my ability to regenerate), Sitting Forward Bend(I let go . . into the Eternal Now), Bent Knee Sitting Forward (I surrender into the flow of Life), Bound Angle (I receive goodness. I radiate happiness)--Sounding Breath (I am at peace. All is well in my world)/Resting Meditation (I am that I am)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Interesting Yoga Routine

I found an interesting Yoga routine in the December 2009 issue of Fitness. It is a Yoga circuit (2x) and the first move of each pair is done at a fast tempo to rev calories burn, the second is an allover sculptor. There is a pause in the starting pose of each sculptor. I plan to do this in the "in-between" sessions along with my Pilates inspired core workout. I will give my evaluation of both in two weeks. See you then!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stretching Tip #10 Be Careful With Injuries

If for some reason you do sustain an injury, be careful to monitor the area during your stretching. You may find that the injury may prohibit you from realizing a full stretch--this is not unusual and you should not attempt to return to your normal stretching routine until the injury has fully mended. You may also find that your physical therapist or doctor may want you to refrain from certain stretches. Additionally, you may be given some unfamiliar stretches to help in rehabilitating as you recover from your injury. Regardless of your situation, if you feel any pain consult a health professional as soon as possible.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stretching Tip #9 Take A Class

After stretching on my own for many months, I will typically take a class or get a DVD from the library that will help me review my form. It is easy to forget what each stretch is suppose to do and for which muscle. And, for most folks the stretching part of the workout is an afterthought. So, periodically it is a good idea to review your stretches and the specific technique with a fitness professional to make sure you are getting the most out of your stretches whether they be short or long.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stretching Tip #8 Keep Breathing

As mentioned in a previous post, breathing throughout your stretching sessions is absolutely necessary! The tendency is to hold your breath as you try and extend your stretch. In reality, exhaling helps you deepen the stretch or focus the stretch in the tightest area. I recently started doing Viniyoga and the breath is extremely important--the inhale helps to expand the chest, pull your ribs away from your belly and lengthen the spine which produces better posture. On the exhale, you tighten the belly while keeping the length in your spine--which helps you stabilize your core throughout the stretch. Whether you use this technique or some other breathing method, make sure you do it while you stretch.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Campground Calisthenics

Camping is great fun but it isn't a gym, so getting a variety of exercise is challenging. Even if it is just an overnight stay, I try to find a campground with some hiking trails so that when there I know I have an option close by for walking. Sometimes I am lucky and there may be a playground or other structures available to do step ups and/or pull-ups. You can be very creative out in the wilderness. Additionally, you can always do calisthenics (push-ups, jumping jacks, burpees, etc.) if you feel inclined--just be prepared for some folks looking at you strangely. I don't get too obsessed about this as having a break from my normal workout is a good way to rework my routines when I return from my trip and gives me an opportunity to work other areas of my body.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stretching Tip #7 Always Warm Up

Whether your are doing static stretching or dynamic stretching, a warm-up is still important to bring blood/oxygen to your muscles. With dynamic stretching, the actual stretching itself is movement enough to help warm-up (move from least difficult to most difficult). With static stretching there is no movement to help prepare the muscles so you must include some level of activity prior to stretching to help facilitate the moves. This may only require a walk around the block or a set of jumping jacks but make sure you body temperature has increased prior to starting a static stretching sessions. I tend to do dynamic stretches before my workout and then static stretches at the end; how you use or combine your stretching routine is based on your goals and level of fitness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stretching Tip #6 Make It A Habit

Like any of the healthy lifestyle changes I've talked about, stretching needs to become a habit. It isn't something you do just because you are sore or because you have time left in your workout. It needs to be thoughtful and consistent - like brushing your teeth. The ultimate goal is to maintain your range of motion and flexibility as you age so you can continue to do the activities you like to do. Otherwise, the aging process will slowly limit your capacity to function adequately. Although you may not like to think about it, many of the things we do throughout our day is purely maintenance -- putting gas in the car, doing the wash, mowing the lawn. Some of these tasks you can pay to take care of but your health is something only you can maintain.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stretching Tip #5 Hold It!

If you want to make your stretching session as effective as possible you need to learn to hold the stretch for an adequate period of time - up to 30 seconds for each stretch. Remember, even if you are holding the stretch, don't hold your breath. In fact, use your breath to deepen the stretch. As you inhale start your stretch and then as you exhale move in to deepen the stretch. You can also use your breath as a way of measuring the time you stretch. If you inhale and exhale fully for 5 breaths you are probably close to you 30 seconds. Remember, you will eventually reach your limit and your stretching may be more about relaxing than anything else.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stretching Tip #4 Easy Does It

When you first start stretching, you need to be careful of trying to extend yourself too far. Your muscles need to be warm and you need to have a good idea of your limitations. Stretching too far can injure your muscles and or strain ligaments/tendons that do not have elasticity. We all are limited by own individual structure so don't think that because your wife can do a certain stretch you should be able to do the same (women have wider hips than men, smaller shoulder girdles, etc.) because each of you is built differently. Don't expect continual improvement either; some days you will be able to stretch easily, other days you won't. Just keep track of long-term improvement. At some point, you will reach your physical limit. Then your goal is to maintain this as you age.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Stretching Tip #3 Know Yourself

When stretching, always consider your own baseline--ignore what others are doing. Think back when you were a child--could you do the splits? Could you touch your toes easily? If you weren't flexible then, you aren't going to develop too much more flexibility. Consider what you are capable of and work from there--you goal isn't to be gumby but to increase the range of motion available to you and to extend your muscles to where they can go -- not some standard set by the fitness industry or your yoga instructor. When you feel a slight tension, stop and keep the stretch there. There should not be pain--as you feel comfortable go further and don't feel disappointed if you can't. Work from where you are and you will incrementally improve.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stretching Tip #2 Longer Is Better

Many individuals fail to stretch at all, so any amount of time seems to long. Research is still out on this but the general consensus is that your muscles do not exhibit the relaxation associated with stretching unless you do it for a minimum of 30 seconds. So, it is preferable to do fewer stretches for a longer period of time instead of more stretches for shorter periods of time. If you don't have the time, focus on the muscles that are typically tight for you and do the stretches for those groups and stick with the longer is better principle.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Working on "Flexibility"

Maybe not following a rigid program will lead to better gains.

Weekly Review July 5.mp3

Monday, June 22, 2009

Always Warm Up

Not warming up for my interval session leads to a pulled calf muscle--

Weekly Review June 21.mp3

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Fitness Trend--Laying Bricks!

If you listened to my audiocast, I laid bricks all weekend and it should be the new fitness trend for 2010. Every year professional fitness organizations forecast new fitness trends for the year (Swiss Ball, Bosu Ball, Kettlebells, etc.). Well, why not bricks? They do a sandbag workout, so bricks would qualify. What I found out was laying bricks works every part of your body--especially grip, wrist, and forearms. You need good technique, otherwise you will strain your elbows. You also have to bend and pick up the bricks (2 at a time) and then get down on your hands and knees to place them. Since we have become such an industrial/technical society, no one does this work themselves anymore. But I can tell you one thing--you should!