>> Monday, March 24, 2014
A few people have recently been asking about my strength / P.T. exercises, so I figured it'd make a good post to share what I've been doing. Since my sacrum / hip / leg injury back in August and September of last year, I've been doing a LOT of exercises to work my way back. I've done (and am still doing) a TON of simple leg exercises (like leg lifters, clam shells, etc, etc), but here are the 5 that I think have helped me the most.
• SLOW ECCENTRIC QUAD EXTENSIONS:
I'll sit on a quad extension machine for 10 minutes straight. I'll go UP for 2 seconds with both legs, and then I'll drop my left leg and slowly go DOWN for 8 seconds (for a total of 10 seconds a rep). I'll do 15 reps for 1 leg (2 mins 30 secs), and then do the other leg. And then I'll do them both all over again. That's a brutal 10 minutes on that machine. More recently, a PT I was seeing told me he liked the exercise, but wanted me to load it down even more so that I wasn't tired after 15 reps, but after just 5-8. Sometimes I do that; sometimes I do slightly lighter weight to do 12-15 reps.
(Folske also had me to eccentric adductor exercise: it's the machine where the pad is between your knees. I'd pull my knees together, and then slowly lower the weight back down as my legs open.)
• TWO VERSION OF SQUATS WITH A BAND:
Here are 2 pics with my PT notes:
The second one picture above starts similarly to the first one: I get into a squat with the band around my knees. Then I pull my knees a bit apart (with the band resisting against me), and simply hold that for 60 seconds. Then I repeat that a few times with 30 seconds breaks.
• 1-LEGGED BALANCE BALL SQUATS:
These get my "weak butt" firing. These take a lot of balance, but that's the point. I'll throw my back foot up on a balance ball, and then roll it down as I squat with the other leg. I do it SLOWER and with a BIGGER RANGE OF MOTION than what's shown in this GIF:
Me on the front porch yesterday.
• LOTS OF GOOD CORE WORK:
Planks, side planks, supermans, and anything else for my core and lower back. I was given a new move a few months back, and I've NEVER done this one in public - I look a little like a flopping fish out of water.
(Again, it's a slower motion than how it's conveyed in this GIF)
You'll usually find me doing all these moves a few times a week. My running is currently up to 39 minutes straight: I'm almost hitting 6 miles of running now! (I should hit that on Wednesday or Friday when I jump up to 42 minutes.) My hip is achy at times, but it's always like 12 hours after a run - when I FINISH a run and stretch/foam roll, I feel GREAT, but it starts to ache a little later. Sometimes it's a little annoying, and sometimes it doesn't hurt at all. But I know a lot of these exercises have helped get me back at it!
p.s. When I do a normal "weight" routine at the gym, I like to play games to mix it up. Sometimes I'll go for high reps and lighter weight. Sometimes I'll do higher weight and lower reps. Sometimes I'll do everything in the reverse order than I'm used to. Sometimes I do 100% free weights. Etc, etc. On Friday, my "game" was to see how much I could lift during my workout, so I did exercises where I would be moving the most weight. If I bench pressed 135 lbs for 10 reps, then that'd be 1,350 lbs. Anything over 50,000 lbs is usually a really good workout. Well, on Friday, I lifted over 80,000 lbs. (80,240 to be exact.) This is not an exact science and it's a bit arbitrary, but it's just one of the ways I keep things interesting (and hopefully effective) at the gym. I try to keep my muscles from falling into too much of a routine!
p.p.s. Check out Thursday post that has some interesting points on weight training and bike training. A few people have tweeted me about this since I posted them. Click that link or just scroll down past some good "Friday Funnies" from last week. Have a good week!