Saturday, February 24, 2007

Oh my lazy, lazy ass!

Today I am pain free! My back is feeling gooooood. The reason for this is that I've developed an almost religious devotion to putting myself through a sadistic set of exercises every day designed to activate my apparently slothful glutes and stretch out my many tight bits. My rehab guy, Duncan, has taken me through a set of dynamic movement tests and pronounced my glutes slack and lazy and not doing their job to support my lower back (as with many things in life, cuteness does not excuse lack of effort.. ;) That was then, this is now - a week later and my butt does not know what has hit it!

The main exercises that I have been doing are a bit hard to describe but I'll give it a go:

* A basic quadruped (hands and knees) stance, balancing on contralateral hand and knee. The idea is to mobilise the hip in a 'kicking the ceiling' movement WITHOUT getting the lower back involved (not as easy as it sounds if your quads are short and tight and temperamental)

* A 'bridge' stance with a tight, stretchy band around just above my knees. Weight through heels and squeeze knees outward. Hold till you cry.

* A one legged bridge but holding a tennis ball to the groin with the 'free' leg (making sense?). Again, just until you scream will do.

* Bodyweight squats, paying attention to glute activation and neutral spine position.

* Reverse lunges but with the back foot sliding along the ground. I did this at the clinic using a slide board (it could be a very fun device but I restrained my urge to just let loose and slide all over the place like a demeted ice-skater). Seeing as I don't have one of those at home I improvised with one of the Sana bags - they are shiny silver. It slides on the carpet like the real thing. The thing that makes this exercise work for me is to keep the TVA (deeper abs) activated and pull through the glute to straighten up.

* A single leg abduction which targets gluteus medius. It requires a different angle, about 15 degrees to the rear. I also do a version where my legs are bent and feet stay touching. It's a 'clam' movement, very ladylike ;)

Then there is the self massage, which amounts to sitting on a tennis ball and positioning myself where it most hurts.... I use a tennis ball, but it's supposed to be done with a plastic ball that looks like a mace - covered in spikes! Must get me one of those.

Through becoming acquainted with my funky movement patterns I seem to be developing a hyper-aware sense of what is going on in my body when I train. Today I did a full body circuit and had to drop my weights right down and focus on how my movements were effecting my body as a whole. It was quite meditative to be driven to really, really focus in that way. I became aware that during the reverse flyes my back was aching because the support muscles weren't taking the strain. I dropped my weight (unheard of!) back to... it's almost embarrassing to say it... 1.5kg and suddenly, no backpain AND I was feeling it in the rhomboids, where it should hit. Same situation with bicep curls, I had to drop the weight to prevent myself 'swinging' and voila, I'm feeling it more in my biceps than with the heavier weight. How about that?

After all that deep thought I'd better finish with a picture of food. My dinner tonight - roasted lamb, mango salsa, veges, thin kumara slices, grated parmesan. Such pretty colours.....


  1. Right, I'm trying ALL those exercises! I love clams, byt the way. How demented is that?

    Dinner looks good - do you deliver?

  2. Was the mace-like ball thing called a 'ball-stik'? From Denmark? Danes are crazy wild about physio, massage, posture, pelvic floor and all those really good things. There are actually group classes in Denmark, where you can go and learn more and more positions and exercises on your Ball-stik.
    They are absolutely sensational, I wouldn't be without one. Once you become accustomed to the pain of rolling your body weight over the spikes, it is the best sensation ever!!

  3. That's the thing, only smaller and I don't know where to get them in NZ.. any ideas? Still pain-free today, it's like a freaking miracle or something!

    Kek, mmm slightly demented but not as painful as low-carb dieting for sure!

  4. I saw those spiky balls at the Melb fitness expo... some place that sold dura discs, foam rollers, swiss balls and the like. Can't find the supplier on the net though, darn it!

    I can check out Filex for you, but that's a couple of months away yet.

  5. Found it!!

    And you get a choice of colours. Maybe they ship to NZ?

  6. I'll also ask the lady who is the Australian distributor of Ball-stik.
    The one Kek has posted is a lot cheaper though. Mind you, I have had my mini Ball-stik since I moved back from Denmark, which was 13 years ago, and it's still going strong!
    It's funny, until I posted yesterday, I hadn't really thought about how much Denmark sits in with your philosophy about getting older and fitter at the same time.
    It's just "the done thing" over there. It's not at all uncommon for men and women of all ages to trundle off to their gymnastics lessons each week. Although, when I was there, we were also allowed to smoke in the school canteen! :-)

  7. Sereyna, I didn't realise you were from Denmark. My mother has a lot of Danish friends. She worked for a Danish aid agency but was based in Zambia. I love that idea of adults still doing those fun, active things that kids do. That's why I go to dance class. Too many adults just STOP playing and moving.

    Thanks you girls! I will get me a spiky ball one way or the other. If I have to buy it from Aussie, then that's what I'll do!

  8. Oh, I'm not Danish! I did the usual exchange thing as a teen, and fell in love with the place so much that I went back to stay for a while. They are a very cool race of people, I must find the details of one of my Danish heroes.. An 80+ year old lady that travels around Denmark teaching people how to look after their core! :-)
    I still have my Danish social security card on me, just in case! You never know when it will come in handy!
    Man, sounds like your Mum had a fascinating past... I'm intrigued!


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