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   Like over a 100,000,000 other people in the US, I watched the SuperBowl last night. Really great game. Both offenses were awesome. But the game was really won in the trenches. Both quarterbacks had a tremendous amount of time to retreat, focus downfield, move left or right, feel the pressure coming, and make a decision right at the last minute to dump off a pass because the downfield receivers were covered. Yet, over and over the quarterbacks had 4,5,6 seconds of protection from those fast, massively strong linemen. Pushing, pulling, twisting, and battling for advantages over and over during those repeated 5-6 seconds of protecting/attacking the quarterback.

  Well, I can promise you that after this game, these guys were sore. Their muscles ached liked nothing they have ever felt before. All they wanted to do was go to the locker room and take a long hot sauna, or get a massage, or repeat their pre-game stretching routine. Yea, right! For the Saints it was a time to celebrate and join in spirit fans and supporters from New Orleans who have braved so much in the past 5 years.

  OK, enough football to draw you in. Now it's time for WHEE. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME STRETCHING!

First, some housekeeping:

WHEE (Weight, Health, Eating and Exercise) is a community support diary for Kossacks who are currently or planning to start losing, gaining or maintaining their weight through diet and exercise or fitness. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are working on your weight or fitness, please -- join us! You can also click the WHEE tag to view all diary posts.

As you can see, we have some spaces to fill. Lots of potential topics that need some light shone on them. Who is going to step up?

Schedule for WHEE this week.

Feb. 8  
  Mon PM - ???

Feb. 9
  Tues AM - ???
  Tues PM - Clio2 (Kessler, Ch. 48) (if weather permits)

Feb. 10
  Weds AM - ???
  Weds PM - Edward Spurlock (weekly diary)

Feb. 11
  Thurs AM - ???
  Thurs PM - ???

Feb. 12
  Fri AM - ???
  Fri PM - Wee Mama (weekly diary)

Feb. 13
  Sat AM - ???
  Sat PM - Edward Spurlock (weekly diary)

Feb 14-Valentine's Issues
  Sun AM - ???
  Sun PM - ???

Feb 15
  Mon AM - NC Dem
  Mon PM - ???

Stressing Muscles Causes Sore Muscles

   The past two weeks, I decided to ramp up my exercise routine. I hadn't been walking or jogging recently because of the poor weather and some NC snow. I decided to use my daughter's treadmill that she still hasn't picked up and I did more rope workouts to really challenge my cardio work. With lifting, I had been using weights where I could perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps each. I decided to raise the weights and go for 3-5 sets of 3-6 reps. If I could lift it more than 6 times, I stepped up 5-10 lbs. I did mainly full body complex routines like pushups, bench presses, lunges, squats, deadlifts, and very heavy rows.

  At age 61, my body didn't react too well. Sore doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. Like most men when I first started lifting, I spent some time on my biceps. I thought my upper arms were in good shape for my age. Well, even my biceps were sore so you know other parts were hurting.

  My son and I talked last weekend after I had three sessions with heavier weights. He recommended that I spend less time on cardio to warmup before lifting and spend 10-12 minutes of stretching. Then after the workout, spend as much as 20-30 minutes with more intensive stretching. That's alot of time. Hell, I can do 6 body workouts with 3 sets each in about 45 minutes with ample rest in between each set. He promised me it would not be a waste of time. He was right. It worked.

  My muscles were still tight and compressed but the ache was different. It was more of a dull sensation that almost said..."Give me more". It was like they were awakening from a long sleep. Normally, I had been lifting every third day. On the day two after a heavy session, I felt rested and eager to go back to my weight room. Last week, I lifted on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and then again yesterday. Four times in 8 days.

  My plan now is to do some more research on stretching and find additional movements that can be done to relieve soreness in muscles. I also want to look more closely at stretching before and after a workout to see if both are required. I have read both options but most confirm that you must stretch after a hard workout.

  So part of my research will come from you and this diary. Below I have a series of questions that I want you to consider. I know the exercise routines for a few of you. Edward and A DC Wonk like to bike. anotherdem also bikes but does Tri's (awesome). Kismet likes to dance to stay active.

  OK, so here's my list of questions:

Do you do stretching as a part of your workout?

Do you stretch before, after, or both?

Do you do stretches only for the muscles you exerted?

Does stretching help relieve soreness the next day?

In relationship to the time spent exercising, how long do you stretch?

Do you see stretching and warmup as two separate activities?

What muscle group is the one you most often need to stretch and why?

Are there exercises you do that stress and stretch the muscles at the same time? Please describe the exercise.

When you are stretching, the tension you feel at the trigger point...is it always muscle or could it be ligments/fascia that is stretching?

What is your favorite stretch and why?

Are the stretches you do very common or have you discovered a stretch that works for you that you have never seen in a book or video?

OK, enough questions for one day!

  As normal, I like to link to a couple of videos that I have found that provide some additional food for thought. Here is the first. All the stretches can be done without props. No wall, no floor, or no equipment. Just you and your body. Enjoy!

  One of my tightest muscles groups is around my butt. My ITB on the outside of thighs and the inside adductor muscles on my legs like this video shows. In other words, my hip flexors are so tight it interferes with heavy squats or lunges where greater flexibility is needed. Since I can't do a wide stretch like this girl from expertvillage, I'll often sit on the floor in front of and facing a raised fireplace hearth. I'll gradually stretch my legs open by inching my feet against the hearth and applying pressure. After a minute, I'll slip my butt just a few inches closer to the hearth and force a deeper stretch in the inner thigh area. I'm still working on the shifting your upper body foward so that the intensity is even greater. I'll get there before long.

  For those that enjoy yoga this type of stretch is basic to most yoga moves. I envy those that can perform yoga even at a beginner level. I often watch  Steve Ross on Oxygen station. My goal is to be even 1/3rd as flexible as even the beginner on his program. I started viewing it mainly because I want to give more flexibility to my hip area but I have found the best benefit for me thus far is that it forces me to open up my chest area. Kismet made a comment in my pecs diary of a little over a month ago that was very impressive and one of the reasons I enjoy WHEE so much.

From Kismet:

Another reason the collapsed chest "look" should concern you (although it's more the "sit in front of the computer" kind that is concerning, not the "right now I'm only ripped from the front" kind) is that it can be an indicator of propensity for heart attack.  The theory, at least, is that when your chest is sunken and not open and flexible there is bad circulation juju going on in there.  

This is not a western medicine approach to diagnosis and you can take it with the requisite IANAMD grain of salt.  I was taught about this when I worked as a classroom assistant for a yoga therapist; she'd get referrals for men in heart attack recovery, and what we worked on with them was to get the shoulders back and down, collarbone wide, sternum lifting up, so as to keep them from caving their chest in on their own heart and lungs.  Some of them were literally so caged into that sunken-chest "syndrome" that they could not lift their sternum up.  Keeping a lifted posture requires perceptible effort from a healthy person, for these guys it was torture.  So don't do anything when you're young and healthy that will lead to less flexibility across the front of the chest when you're old.

I hope this post made everyone who's sitting at a computer sit up straight and lift his/her sternum.

And a final video to give us all hope!

  This video explores some of the more complex moves that Steve Ross sometimes does on his program. It is performed by a Dr Satkirin. Very powerful. I also love the music which is one of the things on Steve Ross that draws me to it. Enjoy. To get the full effect, I would suggest you look at this on full screen if you can at work or wait until you are home and can enjoy the full screen. She has awesome strength as well as full body control.

Have a great week! Oh, and don't forget to answer a few of my questions in your comments.

Originally posted to NC Dem on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 07:05 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As normal, time is moving too quickly. (18+ / 0-)

      I'll go ahead and post the diary and begin to search for spelling errors or broken links after the diary is up.

     Thanks for reading.

    "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

    by NC Dem on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 06:52:15 AM PST

  •  Good-bye, dear WHEE (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, Wee Mama, Fabian, cdkipp

    There is a front page post making fun of mentally retarded people, also known as the developmentally disabled. The majority of people on this site find nothing wrong in this and see it as humorous.

    I'm done here. That's it. I'm writing this because I've enjoyed this little group.

    The thought police here around religion and alternative medicine are bad enough, but this takes the cake.

    I wish you all much success in your quest for better health. Mine necessitate a break from this site for a while.

  •  Stretching is so very important (8+ / 0-)

    in any exercise program.  I used to do ashtanga yoga on a regular basis.  I stopped for awhile and noticed I was starting to have problems with lower back pain and stiffness.  I'm now getting back into it again (and I'm already feeling better).

    •  You should read this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Anna M, NC Dem, cdkipp

      The future is just a concept we use to avoid living today

      by MetalMD on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 08:23:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am really puzzled by the stretching research. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anna M, NC Dem, jeffrey789

        It is just all over the place and it gets confusing as to what constitutes stretching and when active stretching becomes defined as exercise. Are they going to maintain yoga does not increase health and flexibility?

        A number of the studies seem to miss the point. They are focusing on whether stretching prevents injury, not, on whether stretching increases, flexibility, quality of life, balance, performance and injury recovery. Also,I think the benefits probably drastically change depending on the age and condition of the person.

        I don't think we can trust newspaper articles at all on these issues. This is a subject for peer reviewed scientific journals.

        •  cdkipp, I agree...see my comment below. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdkipp

            One of the people mentioned in the article was Meller who has a book that includes some information on stretching but it was pointing more to people who stretch too intensively and injure themselves just by applying too much tension on the ligaments and muscles before they warmup.

            Most all experts will warn people to do 5-10 minutes of cardio to warm the body slightly and activate the tendons with additional H2O lubrication.

            Oddly enough, I did find a study by Julie Gilchrist MD from CDC that studied only ACL injuries in female soccer players and found that stretching of the ligments in the knee area greatly reduced ACL injuries. This study was done in 2008 and after the other mentioned one in the article which I have thus far not found.

          "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

          by NC Dem on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 07:48:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the link... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cdkipp

           I was never able to actually find the study (at least I don't think so). One of the leads on the study was Julie Gilchrist MD. I may try to contact her office today to see if they can provide a link to the study.

           All the ones I saw were very broad and covered work related injuries as well as exercise related injuries. The interviews were also were done over the phone and only on injuries within the last 30 days.

          Since Dr Gilchrist has training in Sports Medicine at Rice, she may be the better one to contact. The others mentioned in the article were more devoted to other things like selling a book.

          I had seen other questions on "before" versus "after" for stretching and that was the reason for the comment in the diary. Hopefull, I will be able to find more conclusive information before doing a part 2 on stretching.

        For those who want to stretch, it should be done after a warm-up or at the end of an exercise routine because warm muscles are more pliable.

        "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

        by NC Dem on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 07:40:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I tend to be loose by physique but I bet some (6+ / 0-)

    attention to stretching would make my weight work more enjoyable/productive. Thanks for the great diary.

  •  Just discovered this series recently (7+ / 0-)

    I hadn't had time to figure out what the WHEE acronym was so I missed out on a lot and need to go back and look at the older ones sometime.  Today's post really helped me out though.  I had some hip trouble in the past, went for therapy and was given some exercises.  I had forgotten the one that seemed to help the most and voila there it was in the first video here.  It is important because after all these years my hip is acting up again so Thanks!!!

  •  ok (6+ / 0-)

    i'm taking the dive...i ended last year by losing some weight without even trying...early january i joined a gym and i quickly remembered why i enjoy working out and now w/this snow storm and car problems i'm finding that well i've turned into a gym junkie cause i haven't worked out since friday and i'm going NUTS...NUTS I tell ya

    so other than shoveling the damn stuff....any suggestions for this stir crazy person?

    Support the BWIU and Shop the BWIUBS Store today!

    by Spedwybabs on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 08:28:41 AM PST

    •  For me it is easy.... (6+ / 0-)

        Put on some great music that you enjoy, set the level to your mood and type of workout, start slow with the music and pace but build quickly to more pace and intensity.

        I had never seen any of the youtube videos of Dr
      Satkirin (actually Satkirin Khalsa) until this morning. I have now watched at least 6-7 of them. I like the music and her pace is not frenetic so I can carefully watch and imitate the easier moves and begin to feel the pain.

        Slow methodical pain and stress is OK. It is the sharp quick pain that let's you know you did something wrong.

      "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

      by NC Dem on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 08:36:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have started doing yoga (6+ / 0-)

    and I recommend the Iyengar yoga which utilizes props to help you get into position. If you can't touch your toes, much less wrap both hands round the sole while extending the leg, you can use a strap, there are blocks, etc.

    I went to the doctor today for a three month checkup. I'm very encouraged by what she found. Remember, two days ago I took bust and hip measurements and found I was down eight and ten inches respectively on those. I am down from 296 to 281 weightwise, which means that I am replacing the fat with muscle to a degree, not just losing total poundage. This is a very good thing and much desired.

    •  It might be interesting to have a diary... (5+ / 0-)

         on different ways to improvise different exercises. In watching one of the videos from Dr Satkirin, she would stand on one foot and then lift the opposite leg behind while her upper body was extended forward. That I can do.

        The difficulty is then turning at the hip and extending one arm straight up. Without lots of strength and balance, you can't do it. I then decided to stand next to a wall with my down foot within 3-4 inches of the wall. That way when I started to turn my hips and extend my arm straight up I had the wall to support me. More at first and then I began to push slightly off the wall and still maintain "some" balance for a few seconds.

        There are always means to support an exercise whether it is exercise bands, a machine or even a wall.

        Continued good luck on the lost inches and maintaining your muscle mass.

      "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

      by NC Dem on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 09:08:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm much better about stretching (5+ / 0-)

        than I used to be, and it really does make a difference.

        Lunges are stretches, at least for me. When I started I couldn't do them without reaching out to grab something to steady myself. Now, months later, I have something approaching good form (but with room for improvement).

        But then, I had to do shoulder stretches just to be able to get my hands far enough back to do squats.

        As far as opening your chest, I can share a stretch my voice teacher showed me: Start with your hands out in front of your chest, knuckles together, with your forearms parallel to the ground and at nipple height. Slowly move your hands away from each other, using your back only. Once they're as far back as they'll go without straining, roll your shoulders in a slow circle. Then relax.

        Government is not instituted for the good of the governor, but of the governed; and power is not an advantage, but a burden.

        by James Robinson on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 09:49:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tight shoulders is one problem I have as well... (5+ / 0-)

            even though I'm spending much more time on back exercises.

            I was always told that to tell if you have tight (little backward mobility) in the shoulder is to stand next to a wall with your heels about 1-2 inches from the baseboard. Lay you back flat against the wall including the lower back. Raise your arms out to your sides with 90 degree angle and forearms pointing upward (like get your hands in the air). If you have good mobility in the shoulders you should be able to place your entire forearm against the wall. If you have excellent flexibility, you can slowly raise both arms to straight up and keep the forearms in contact with the wall the entire time.

            Normally I can touch the wall after a few minutes of stretching but I can never raise my arms upward and keep constant contact.

          "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

          by NC Dem on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 10:06:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's one of the stretches I used (4+ / 0-)

            I got to the point where I have good mobility.

            My first trainer, a former gymnast, would also grab my elbows from behind, put his knee against my back, and pull hard. That worked too, but it's kind of hard to do without help. :-)

            Government is not instituted for the good of the governor, but of the governed; and power is not an advantage, but a burden. -Algernon Sidney

            by James Robinson on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 11:21:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I have never stretched before exercise. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, NC Dem, anotherdemocrat, cdkipp

    Not as a kid, teenager or adult.

    Of course, this probably means that all of my exercise is not pushing my capabilities.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 09:58:35 AM PST

  •  I definitely stretch before exercise (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Wee Mama, cdkipp

    should probably stretch after, as well.

    I'm trying to figure out why I'm so wheezy lately. Yes, I'm exercising more but that is inside, so neither allergens nor cold should be bothering me.

    I'm supposed to start a 10K class tomorrow, but it just poured down rain, and it is supposed to get rainier & colder as the week goes on. I have a rain jacket & hat, so I'll show up unless they e-mail us not to, but I'm wondering if they'll scratch this meeting.

    Sore from using the tradmill & the eliptical machine yesterday, but it's all good.

  •  Stretching Anatomy Book (4+ / 0-)

    American Heart Association: Diet Soda can cause type 2 Diabetes.

    by jeffrey789 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 10:44:20 AM PST

  •  "Stretching" by Bob Anderson (4+ / 0-)

    Excellent book that I have owned for a long time.
    http://www.scribd.com/...

    American Heart Association: Diet Soda can cause type 2 Diabetes.

    by jeffrey789 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 12:22:24 PM PST

    •  Thanks for both of these (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Wee Mama, cdkipp, jeffrey789

        I may read them and pull information for a follow-up diary on stretching in about two weeks from today. They both look like great books.

      "Training is simply a stimulus being applied to the body with the purpose of getting a specific adaptation." Craig Ballantyne

      by NC Dem on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 12:43:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another Excellent Book, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NC Dem, cdkipp

        "Getting In Shape" By Bob Anderson, Bill Pearl
        It combines two books in one,"Stretching" by Bob Anderson, and "Getting Stronger" by Bill Pearl.
        32 workout programs combining stretching and exercise.  Can't find it on the web but most libraries seem to have it around here.

        American Heart Association: Diet Soda can cause type 2 Diabetes.

        by jeffrey789 on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 07:36:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I looooooooove stretching (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Wee Mama, NC Dem, jeffrey789

    only it takes so much time. I used to do a lot of sort-of yoga. These days, not very often. And yet I really need it because of the strain caused by being on the computer so much for my work.

    One thing I started to do recently -- please don't tell me it's wrong because it feels righteous. Will seem silly to people who can do pullups and all that, but I never was in that category.  

    There is a set of monkey bars for the kids in the local park, where I end my usual walk, and part of it is just the right height off the ground.

    Take hold of a bar overhead, almost too high to reach, and with feet still on the ground, release knees just enough to transfer some fraction of body weight to the arms straight overhead. Makes a very pleasant stretch on the arms, shoulders, back and even stomach muscles. I stand up straighter afterwards.

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