Monday, December 24, 2012
I like to say the next step off a peak is always down, one can step back or fall off. Great advice if one really knows where the peak is. You usually find out after you take the step and find out that it's down.
Then you realize you should have backed off earlier but how to know? Especially when things "hit" later, like the next day, and , while you're taking said step which turns out to be a fall, it feels fine. even perfect.
Like my bodyweight pullups on Saturday. All things told me it was a perfectly reasonable progression to take and things would be fine. The warmups were easy and the mini band felt like it was doing nothing.
And the pullups were easy. Very easy. Some of the best I've done, actually. And everything felt great until I woke up in the middle of the night and my back seemed too tight to be good. And it was too tight. And it got worse.
Having gone through numerous injuries including many back issues I know that even when I'm feeling great I am always just one stupid human trick away from some serious pain and even terror.
The one thing I need to avoid to keep my back healthy is too much flexion. Having scoliosis and having lived in flexion for many years with gymnastics, running and cycling and bodybuilding when my body gets TOO tight or gets loaded too much I get locked up. and one side gets tighter than the other and pulls my spine in a not good way.
Luckily I know how to unkink this mess now but it's a pain in the ass and, having not had to deal with it no many many months now, I had forgotten how much energy it takes to focus on no freaking out, managing the pain and figuring out the best thing to do or not do. It's a huge time sink as well as it's hard to think about anything else as you feel the back on every single movement you make and you're never quite sure if it's the right one or not.
The key for me is to unlock the rectus, diaphragm and lats. This tweak was caused when I unconciously pulled harder with my right arm/lat during the pullups as I was trying to keep my left shoulder protected. I know that now. I did not feel it in the least then. Or even hours afterward.
The too tight lat pulled hard on my hip and it locked in the "up" position, causing the QL,psoas, internal oblique, etc. to spasm tight and pull me over center mass badly.
This is one reason I have avoided pushing myself for years as when I turn it on, as I have trained to do my entire life, I just get it done. But many times you don't realize you've exceeded structural limitations until it's too late.
So I got into work early and started to get things unlocked. used the thumper on the abs and diphragm, rolled on the lats and erectors, tried to do some up dogs and generally kept moving as much as possible ( walking is one of the best things) and by 12 noon it was passable.
Problem was, I had Glenn and Nick coming over to train on the new schedule( go figure I tweak things and I have a day LESS to recover >:))
Most times after a tweak I try to move as normally as possible as early as possible, modifying the load as necessary. I feel this kinda of presses "reboot" in safe mode on the body. taking me back to a time when I wasn't tweaked by doing these movements as cleanly( and with no pain) as possible.
So it was high pulls and I started light. Luckily the thing that hurt the most was putting my arms over my head and hinging actually felt good.
High Pulls( supersetted with lat hangs from bar)
12 kg x 5/5 x2
16 kg x 5/5
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5
x 10/10 x 4 sets
not bad at all considering last night I could barely stand up straight and sleeping last night was not that much fun. The back felt better and movement was more normal after each set. The lats released well on the hangs each successive set as well.
36 kg x 20 x 4 sets
this really helped decompress the hips and I was feeling very stable and strong at the end. tired yes but moving almost completely normal again
Pushups onto P bars
4 sets of 8!
had the bars set up like a barbell with feet on floor. this worked perfectly with NO clunking or instability at all.Stay here for awhile.