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Everything posted by Mick

  1. Today I did my regular limbering of hip flexors, hamstrings, piriformis, adductors, calves after the following: - 1 x 10 SL RDL on left side - 3 x 15 Kettlebell swings - Static Goblet squat position while holding kettlebell Later on I tried the following back bend variation with a wooden chest and heavy wooden table in our living room (even though it is perfect and was literally right in front of me, I didn't think of using the wooden chest until after I had walked around the entire house looking for possible stools/devices I might be able to use, which could be a possible metaphor for the lingering foreboding sensation on the outskirts of my mind that everything I need in life is right in front of me if only I might slow down enough to actually notice!):
  2. Mick

    Nathan's Nook

    Thanks for sharing, much appeciated! After watching a video snippet of you doing Jefforson curls a while back with what seemed like full range of motion in your hamstrings, I had assumed you would be able to do a front split already. Is it because of restrictions in hip flexors? Or could you do front splits in the past and just didn't maintain it? These are simply curiosity questions. On a more practical note, I have been waiting for a friend of mine to make a baby whale (he just finished my Sheena board!). But it might be a couple of months before he's done (or gets started!) so after reading your recent posts I just found a video recorded by Olivia - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrdKPJPrIlg - and tried it now. Definitely one I'll start doing regularly from now on so, thanks again!
  3. Mick

    Nathan's Nook

    Could you give a bit of detail regarding the difference between stretching 'in the meantime' and starting to push ROM more aggressively? I don't mean general principles. I mean specifically for you & your situation at this moment.
  4. Below is the C-R session I did on Friday (time-marks underneath). It was a shorter session in the midst of a few days of bayram family gatherings here in Turkey. On one day, we hosted 25 people for a big Turkish breakfast on our not-so-big verandah. Catering and/or operating a restaurant would be tiring, unending work. But for that one time it was a pleasure to see the family together, especially after so many months with everyone isolated. My left hamstring is not pulling up unoperably tender after the last few C-R sessions. Feels like it still needs more strengthening and release in the hip/TFL though before I will notice any massive increases in ROM. For the moment, what is catching my attention is how good I/my body feels in general after a C-R session. SL RDL 0:00 Left 0:29 Right 1:10 Left Assisted Squat 1:46 Kettlebell Swing (3x15) 1:56 Lunge Hamstring – Floating Piriformis – Bolster Piriformis – Lunge Hamstring 2:52 Left H 4:29 Left FP 4:47 Left BP 6:10 Left H (7:01 Rest) 7:24 Right H 8:45 Right FP 8:54 Right BP 10:18 Right H (10:59 Rest) Dog Loving 11:36 Lunge Hamstring 12:36 Left Frog Pose 14:10 Assisted Squat (knees together) 12:55 Floor Folded Leg Calf (soleus) 15:59 Left 17:03 Right Elephant Walk 18:12 Wall Quad/Hip-Flexor 18:37 Right 21:00 Left
  5. Below is the C-R session I did on Saturday (time-marks underneath). The tenderness in the hamstring following these sessions isn't as pronounced. Nor is the tightness/cramping in the left hip-flexor. However, I'm still quite conservative with the hamstring contractions I'm doing in the sessions. Whereas for hip-flexor, adductors, piriformis, for example, I feel I can (and for my body, should) do 100% contractions. Warm-up / Prep 0:00 Downward dog 1:04 Upper & middle back 2:17 Backward bend from floor 3:38 Child’s pose 4:16 Downward dog 4:35 Hindu pushup x 5, last one static hold 5:09 Assisted squat with knees apart 5:48 Elephant walk SL RDL 6:11 Left x 10 6:46 Right x 10 7:22 Left x 10 Lunge Hamstring 7:52 Left 9:12 Right (10:37) Left floating piriformis into Lunge hamstring Wall Quad/Hip-flexor 12:38 Left 14:40 Right SL RDL Left 17:16 Lunge Hamstring Left 19:01 Static Goblet Squat w/ Kettlebell 20:10 Advanced Piriformis sequence 20:40 Left 22:33 Left Lunge Hamstring 23:21 Floor folded calf (left) 24:29 Left hip-flexor 25:18 Right 27:09 Right Lunge Hamstring 27:45 Floor folded calf (right) 28:19 Right hip-flexor Tailor Pose 29:09 Hip-flexor Loosening 30:42 Right 30:51 Left Hanging Side Bend 30:59 Right 32:00 Left
  6. I've been following the same sequence the last few days but in addition to the normal set of SL RDL I've started doing a set on the right leg then another on the left. Yesterday I did a C-R session. Editing today and uploading hopefully by tomorrow. I fell into a natural sequence after doing advanced piriformis stretch on the left leg. I raised my body into a left lunge hamstring position then into a left floor folded leg calf stretch then switched up into a left hip-flexor stretch. With the right leg forward I then grabbed the support cushions and placed them so I could rest down into a right advanced piriformis stretch. Then followed the same sequence after that. It was very satisfying! It's still morning here but after I took the dog for a stroll in the park I used the kettlebell to sink into a goblet squat position and stayed there. With that feeling I mentioned a few days ago of the tightness in the left calf fueling the tightness in the left hip (particularly the left hip-flexor) while in a squat, I was able to play around with shifting my weight from left to right and, on the left foot, shifting my weight more forward. I mean I'm feeling a bit more freedom in the left calf where I can actually shift my weight. I will persist with this, using the kettle bell. It seems like it compliments the SL RDL quite nicely.
  7. The following is the C-R session I did on 18th July (time-marks underneath): 0:00 Upper & middle back 0:38 Backward bend from floor 0:55 Child’s pose HF loosener into Lunge Hamstring 1:06 Right HF 1:48 Left H 2:24 Left HF 3:05 Right H 3:22 Right HF 3:35 Left H (4:53 Knees together assisted squat) 5:05 Right H 6:17 Left H 7:56 Knees part squat on toes into downward dog 8:30 4 Hindu squats with my brand-spanking new Sheena Board! (Last one I held in backward bend static position) 8:51 1 x 10 SL RDL Advanced Piriformis 9:51 Left 10:55 Right (12:30 Right lunge hamstring) 12:37 Left (14:14 Left lunge hamstring) 15:09 Floor folded leg left calf (soleus) 16:29 Left HF loosener Wall Quad/HF 16:54 Right 19:14 Left Hanging Side Bend 21:37 Right 23:16 Left 24:55 Frog Pose 26:37 Reverse wrist 27:31 Knees together assisted squat Lying Rotation 28:04 Left 29:12 Right 30:15 Piriformis looseners
  8. The following is the C-R session I did on 13th July (time-marks underneath): 0:00 Upper & middle back 0:27 Backward bend from floor 0:48 Child’s pose 1:10 Reverse wrist 1:23 Knees together assisted squat 1:44 Elephant Walk 2:14 1 x 10 SL RDL 2:54 Left HF into right floating piriformis 3:47 Left lunge hamstring 4:44 Right HF into left floating piriformis 5:23 Right lunge hamstring 6:09 1 x 10 SL RDL 6:53 Right HF 7:09 Left lunge hamstring 8:38 Left floor folded leg calf (soleus) 8:48 Knees together assisted squat Advanced Piriformis 9:12 Left 11:25 Right 14:01 1 x 10 SL RDL 14:41 Left 16:42 Loosening 17:15 Tailor’s Pose Wall Quad/HF 18:54 Left 21:52 Right 24:39 1 x 10 SL RDL 24:49 Right HF into left floating piriformis 25:09 Left lunge hamstring 26:22 Left floating piriformis Hanging Side Bend 22:46 Right 28:10 Left 29:39 Lying/resting 40:44 Child’s pose
  9. For the most part, I’ve been continuing roughly with the same sequence each day: - 1 set of 10 SL RDL - Hip flexor position for right leg - Sinking my torso as much as possible onto the front left thigh - Light exploration of the left upper hamstring - Moving into a floating piriformis, playing around with the position, including going back to a standard bent-leg hamstring stretch by extending the front knee …as well as some others, eg. hanging side bend, upper & middle back, backward bend from floor, standing calf stretch. I’ve noticed slightly more ROM in my left calf. I can actually feel the stretch when I want to now! I’m also noticing the tightness there is largely what has fueled the tightening up of my left hip-flexor area when trying to squat. The other day I also tried a pancake position and I have much more freedom with the left ankle compared to the original photo in the first post of this log. I’m feeling a little more control/sturdiness while doing the SL RDL on the left side too. On Monday I did a couple of hours of hoeing up and shoveling dirt. The DOMs I felt in the last 2 days has been quite satisfying in that it feels like the rigorous exercise helped to open up imbalances in my body (as opposed to making them worse, as would have been the case in the past). Yesterday I did a couple of sets of quick tricep dips on the park bench. Didn’t count, just pumped them out. Tomorrow I will probably do another C-R session. In the meantime I am uploading/editing the other C-R sessions I have done.
  10. The following is the C-R session I did on 5th July (time-marks underneath): Hip-flexor loosening 0:00 Right 0:32 Left 1:15 Right 2:00 Straight-to-bent-leg left hamstring 2:47 1 set of 10 SL RDL Bent-leg Hamstring 4:27 Left 6:06 Child’s Pose 6:34 Frog Pose 7:24 Double-calf squat Hip-Flexor to Straight-leg Hamstring 8:02 Left HP 9:36 Right H 10:48 Right HP 12:51 Left H 14:29 Middle and Upper back 15:37 Backward bend from floor 16:25 Child’s pose 17:21 Reverse wrist (18:00 1 set of 10 SL RDL) Advanced Piriformis 18:47 Left 20:40 Right (22:44 1 set of 10 SL RDL) 23:21 Left 25:20 Loosening Scalene 25:58 Left 26:56 Right 27:56 Left Bent-leg Hamstring 28:51 Left 30:43 Frog Pose Floor folded leg calf (soleus) 31:38 Left (33:06 Left hip-flexor/TFL) 33:35 Right 34:21 Floating piriformis – left Neck 35:29 Back 36:21 Front
  11. The next hanful of posts will be a kind of catch-up of video documentation for my previous 3 or 4 C-R sessions. The first is from 24th June with time-marks underneath: Daily 5 0:00 Upper Back 0:26 Half cobra 0:55 Child’s Pose 1:22 Lying rotation, left 2:39 Lying rotation, right 3:51 Side-bends 4:28 Seated hip, left 5:22 Seated hip, right 6:21 Seated hip, left Hip flexor with band 6:48 Right 8:46 Left Wall quad/hip-flexor 10:56 Right 14:03 Left 17:20 Right Advanced Piriformis 20:09 Left 22:35 Right 24:35 Hip-looseners Lunge Hamstring 25:15 Left 26:35 Right 28:05 SL RDL – Left 28:45 Child’s Pose 29:05 Lunge Hamstring Left #2 Scalene 30:25 Left 31:20 Right (32:11 Front Neck) 32:26 Left 33:21 SL RDL – Left #2 34:03 Lunge Hamstring Left #3 Hanging Side Bend 35:38 Right 36:55 Left 38:39 Frog Pose 39:58 Baby’s Pose 41:02 No idea what that was! But I was releasing the TFL 41:33 Modified child’s pose
  12. I did another C-R session yesterday. Since the previous C-R session I was following pretty much the same sequence as mentioned in my previous post. Again, I was restricted with how much I could do the SL RDL. However, it feels like the lingering tenderness/vulnerability in my left achilles has almost completely passed.
  13. Since the previous C-R session (9 days ago) I have been doing a just little bit each day, focusing on the same things: - 1 set of 10 SL RDL - Hip flexor position for right leg - Sinking my torso as much as possible onto the front left thigh - Light exploration of the left upper hamstring - Moving into a floating piriformis, playing around with the position, including going back to a standard bent-leg hamstring stretch by extending the front knee I have found exploring with this simple sequence to be quite beneficial, often doing it multiple times throughout the day (although sometimes just once). I haven't been doing much else, for example I dropped the Daily 5. After helping my mother-in-law move house my energy has been low. Rather than fighting it I have tried to accept it as my body wanting more rest. Ah also, Tuesday last week my brother-in-law visited and when he was leaving my step-daughter grabbed my hand to run along side his car as he left. We sprinted along the path for about 45 seconds. The next day my left achilles was a bit tender! It has since restricted how much I have been able to do the SL RDL. I can feel, however, the running aside, that the tightness in my left achilles/calf is directly related to the left hamstring/piriformis challenge I am facing. So it's just giving me additional feedback, I feel. Anyway, after about a dozen or so intense C-R sessions (roughly 3 months) I figure this moderate rest week was kind of the end of the initial phase of this stretching adventure. Yesterday I did another C-R session. Without planning anything, it ended up being similar to the sequence I just described above but using intense contractions, multiple times over a couple of hours. There was noticably more space for me to explore sensations while in the advanced piriformis stretch. And this seems to be slowly, slowly disengaging the left hip flexor which is allowing me to explore the stretching of the left hamstring more. The wall quad/hip-flexor stretch is proving to be a gem. Today I can feel my hip-flexors having been stretched well. I recorded the session but haven't sorted out the editing/uploading issues. I hope to get yesterday's and the previous 2 sessions edited and uploaded this week.
  14. Friday, spent the day hauling furniture and whatnot. It was quite a work out. Saturday, rested. 1 set of 10 SL RDL. Today, a moderate C-R session. Unfortunately the laptop which I use to edit videos is getting repaired so this session and last session won't be uploaded for a while.
  15. My mother-in-law is moving house tomorrow. We have been helping her pack up everything all week from morning to night. So I've been able to do only minimal stretching. Actually I think the light load may have been beneficial. Doesn't really matter, I didn't have a choice! Since last Thursday... Friday was a complete rest day. Saturday too, except a set of SL RDL on the left standing leg. Sunday: - Daily 5 - Hip flexor into lunge hamstring (starting) position - Frog Pose - Diamond Pose - SL RDL set of 10 - Floor folded leg calf stretch, left side - Hip flexor again - Child's pose Later in the afternoon: - 2nd set of 10 SL RDL - Right hip flexor - Floor folded leg calf stretch, left side Later in the evening: - Balcony calf stretch - Thoracic spine stretch with hands against wall - Assisted squat (holding balcony fence) - Tfl stretch... this is one I have to find out the name for... especially now that my left hip flexor is not obstructing the stretch like before - Seated hip Just before bed: - 3rd set of SL RDL - Half cobra Monday: - Hip flexor - Daily 5 - Diamond pose - Front neck - Set of 10 SL RDL - Left seated hip Tuesday: - Set of 10 SL RDL - Left seated hip - Hip flexor Wednesday. This was a very satisfying morning stretch/limber. On my way to the park while walking the dog I could feel very specifically my right trapezius, neck & hip flexor together with my left hip/glutes. Two areas of tension from my squash days. I could feel my body wanted these areas to be stretched. So I indulged! - Hanging side bend; left, right, left - Right hip flexor, with extended arm upward - Left hip flexor, shifting weight from side to side - Left floating piriformis - Set of 10 SL RDL - Left seated hip Thursday: - Set of 10 SL RDL - Right hip flexor - Left floating piriformis My mother-in-law's moving day is tomorrow. I hope to do my next C-R session on Saturday or (most likely) Sunday.
  16. Thanks for the thoughts, Kit. The sudden change seems fascinating! What you described reminds me of something I read/heard a few years back regarding dissipative structures and the continual cycle of order coming out of a state of chaos... if the right pressure is sustained for long enough. Then a higher level of chaos emerging with the cycle starting over until it re-organizes itself again.. And that reminds me of what you mentioned in the range of strength podcast you recently uploaded - how a practitioner will find themselves deeper into a stretch but it feels the same. I guess I'm in the midst of figuring out, via trial error, the balance of pressing the right buttons for my body. For example, yesterday during the C-R session I exaggerated taking the lunge hamstring stretch right back to zero by resting my chest on my thigh with front knee at a right angle. I stayed there with no real intention of going into a deeper stretch. I felt my lower abdomen sink onto the thigh a little bit more than usual. So then I did extend my knee ever so slightly over a few minutes because my body felt like it. From the outside it probably looked like nothing, or very little. What was encouraging, though, was the activation of the upper hamstring more than usual, or at all. Also, I'm still experimenting with the amount & frequency of SL RDL. Anyway, thanks again. ---------- Yesterday: - A moderate C-R session. The tenderness in the hamstrings had passed and I felt ready for another stronger session. As well as what I just mentioned above, I discovered that during the wall quad stretch, if I apply pressure to the outside of the front knee inward with my same side hand it seems to help the hip sink back (which slightly squares the hips more). And this increases the stretch in the quad & HF quite noticeably. Again, I didn't really notice/realize that I stayed in that particular stretch for 9-10 minutes on each side. Uploading the video tonight. Hopefully I can post a link tomorrow. - 1.5-hour lying meditation Light limbering today: - Daily 5, with cat-camel after half-cobra - Hip flexor to lunge hamstring - 1 set of 10 SL RDL - Right hip flexor - Impromptu 5 squats (last one held for a bit longer) with my 9-year old step-daughter hanging on my back amidst both of us dancing - Hanging side bend stretch, left & right
  17. Last night, 1.5 hour lying meditation. Today: - Hip flexor - Daily 5 - Hip flexor to straight leg hamstring - Child's pose - Cat-camel, standard then side-to-side - Tailor Pose This evening: - 3 x 10 SL RDL; in between each set, right HF stretch - Left floor folded leg calf stretch - Advanced piriformis - 10 minutes cross-legged meditation I spent about half the day just lying down. Not meditating as such. Just listening to some podcasts and letting my body soften. It is learning to appeciate the cycle of genuine rest after intense C-R sessions. Hamstrings are feeling much clearer today which is encouraging. Generally, I'm noticing a little more freedom in my range of movement. Hip flexors, piriformis, adductors, thoracic spine. Even 'simple' stretches like child's pose and cat-camel. Nothing major, just a tiny bit more space to explore with. Everything except hamstrings. However, something is happening there. If nothing else, they are moving closer to feeling more balanced relative to one another, like they are preparing themselves to increase their range of motion. All I can do is persist.
  18. Yesterday I did very light limbering movements: - Hip flexor - Seated piriformis - Frog pose - Straight leg hamstring, very lightly just feeling by flexing/pointing toes - Hanging side bend - 1-hour lying meditation Today just limbering again but a little deeper/longer: - Hip flexor with resitance bands - Daily 5 with frog pose after half cobra - Advanced piriformis position, just exploring - Hip flexor with resistance bands - Child's pose - Tailor pose with light contractions - Cat-camel ---- at which time the cat wandered over to sleep next to me - Child's pose - Wrist stretch from all-fours - Fist pushup position; my fingers felt like they wanted to scrunch up after the wrist stretch - Side neck, left/right - Back of neck - Hip flexor into straight leg hamstring My hamstrings were feeling less tender today. I'll keep monitoring tomorrow.
  19. Below is the video (3x speed) of last Friday's C-R session (time-marks underneath). In addition to the wall quad stretch, the EW was unplanned but while doing it, during the un-extending phase I had more conscious control to activate the upper hamstring to drive the movement. Having said that, over the last 3 days my hamstrings have been tender like they used to whenever I tried any C-R stretching. I was debating whether to do any C-R stretching for them in the past session - I could have just done nothing for them with the idea to build up some momentum with the SL RDL. But then I'm doing nothing for them. I didn't push the hamstring stretches at all. I moved slowly. Still not sure about this... After the hanging side bend & left scalene I went into a child's pose of sorts and the right trap (or the big muscle between the shoulder blade & spine) which has a lot of chronic tension from overuse playing squash was stretching in a very targeted way. It felt promising. Anyway, here's the video: Daily 5 0:00 Upper back 0:28 Half cobra 1:03 Lying rotation, left 2:06 Lying rotation, right 3:12 Side bend 3:59 Seated hip, left 4:47 Seated hip, right 5:25 Modified child's pose Frog Pose 5:55 Elephant Walk 7:37 Hip flexor with resistance band 8:33 Right 9:50 Left 11:09 Wall Quad Stretch 11:18 Right #1 14:31 Left 18:01 Right #2 Advanced Piriformis 21:26 Left 23:57 Rest 24:44 Right 27:04 Rest 28:04 Left 30:08 Loosening Tailor Pose 30:37 Hip flexor limbering 32:43 Left 32:52 Right 33:10 Left SL RDL 33:22 Set #1 34:33 Set #2 Straight-Leg Hamstring on wall 35:01 Left 36:25 Right 37:46 Rest Lunge Hamstring 38:20 Left 40:05 Right SL RDL Set #3 41:23 Lunge Hamstring 42:07 Left 2 Hanging Side Bend 43:36 Right 45:25 Left Scalene 47:12 Left Limbering in child's pose 48:18 Wrist stretch 49:37
  20. Yes, I will go a little gentler next session. I did get excited and my personality generally skews toward extremes. Hopefully, it won't be too nerve-wracking!
  21. Last night I did a 2-hour lying meditation. Still uploading the video from yesterday's C-R session. @Kit_L, two thumbs up for the wall quad stretch. It let my body stay in the position without feeling a build-up of so much pressure on the upper hamstring on the front leg. I didn't realise it but I was in the stretch on both sides for 10 minutes each. It also allowed me to play around with the various contractions with relative freedom, particularly on the right quad during the last contraction phase while pressing down on the chair. Then I let my weight sink slightly to the stretching leg side and felt a connection with the quad, psoas & groin. After the session while sitting down and during lying meditation the right rectus femoris, right in the middle, was lightly twitching. It continued today. This is where I would commonly cramp if performing a left front kick in tae kwon do. Feels like deep changes. Either way, I will continue with the wall quad stretch. Today my body was quite sore/tired from yesterday's session in a satisfying way. I was resting for most of the day. Then in the evening: - Daily 5 - Frog Pose - Hip Flexor - Straight leg hamstring, left/right/left - Floating piriformis - Diamond pose
  22. Yesterday: - Daily 5 - Hip flexor limbering, both sides - Downward dog - Standing calf stretch In the afternoon I got a splitting headache. I reckon it was because it was the 3rd day since I stopped chugging down Coke Zero. So I just rested in the afternoon & evening. Today: I did a 3-hour contract-relax session. I wasn't planning to but pretty much as soon as I woke up I could feel my body wanted it. Same as last Friday except last Friday I just did a handful of limbering stretches and chose to wait till the next day. Then I missed it cause we went out for the day and I ended up doing the longer session on the Sunday. This week I made time - had a good breakfast, some fruit in the early arvo then a couple of cups of coffee. The fact that it's the first day of my 7-week summer holiday helped too! I'm looking forward to structuring the break around stretching & whatnot. I'll upload the C-R session video when it's ready. Tonight I'm gonna watch a movie then lie down for meditation.
  23. Last night, 1 hour lying meditation. Today (spread out throughout the day): - Daily five - Diamond pose - Sitting cross-legged meditation, 10 minutes - Downward dog; legs together, then one at a time - Hip flexor with resistance band - Calf stretch on balcony - SL RDL; 2 sets of 10 - Suitcase carries; left, right, left - Front neck stretch - Static hindu pushup end positions My body woke up feeling great today. I think I had a good balanced sequence of stretches yesterday and pretty sure the hanging side bend stretch was the primary reason for feeling so open today. It seems like a valuable one for my body at the moment.
  24. @Kit_L, thanks for having a look over my blog! I hope I didn't rattle on too much in my post above. I figured if anyone asks me about it in the future I can just refer them to here rather than having to repeat myself. When did you spend time in New Mexico on retreat? I'm curious at what stage it was in your stretching adventure. I assume quite a time after your first revelation in Japan, right? *Edit: Immediately after posting, I realised you may have talked about this already! If so, could you refer me to the thread/post please? I will try the lunge stretches with padding for the back knee and report back.
  25. Yesterday: - Straight leg hamstring strap stretch from lying position, both sides - Hip flexor stretch then bending back leg, both sides - Diamond pose - Floating piriformis, both sides - Downward dog - Backward wrist bend from dog pose - 1-hour lying meditation Today: - Daily 5 - Hip flexor - Floating piriformis - Downward dog, legs together then single leg on both sides - Frog pose - Diamond pose - 20 minutes of cross-legged meditation... *this is the first time I felt so much comfort in this position where I could relax the stomach and had conscious control over the relaxation of hips on both sides, which meant I was feeling no pressure in my spine Later in the day: - Calf stretch on balcony fence - Hanging side bend - Left scalene... *this is one my body wants to avoid! About to lie down for meditation.
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