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.
Mon PM - ???
Tues AM - ???
Tues PM - Clio2 (Kessler, Ch. 48) (if weather permits)
Weds AM - ???
Weds PM - Edward Spurlock (weekly diary)
Thurs AM - ???
Thurs PM - ???
Fri AM - ???
Fri PM - Wee Mama (weekly diary)
Sat AM - ???
Sat PM - Edward Spurlock (weekly diary)
Feb 14-Valentine's Issues
Sun AM - ???
Sun PM - ???
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.
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.