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Nathan

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19 minutes ago, CraigR said:

I typically get people to reach their hand all the way over their head so that it's resting against their upper arm. This tends to feel a little safer than just having the hand on the head with the neck unsupported. You can then use your upper arm to push your head back into the neutral position too.

Yeah, I like doing that too. For the leaning stretch, my other hand is on the ground to keep myself stable while controlling the amount of lean, so I'll shrug that opposite shoulder up against my neck to add a sense of support. It definitely can't replace the lying version, but I think it could be used as a supplement for those who have spent enough time with the lying version to have a reduced apprehension response in that position. By the way, I think it was a picture of you doing the stretch in one of your FB posts that spurred me to start playing more with the pure lateral flexion :D

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34 minutes ago, Nathan said:

For the leaning stretch, my other hand is on the ground to keep myself stable while controlling the amount of lean, so I'll shrug that opposite shoulder up against my neck to add a sense of support.

Interesting, I'll experiment with this next time I'm doing that stretch. ?  I assume you're seated cross-legged on the floor?

If I'm on a chair I'll always hook my hand underneath the chair and lean away to help depress the shoulder first, whereas if I'm kneeling I can hook my hand under the shin. But seated in free space has never felt as stable if I'm just sitting on my hand.

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47 minutes ago, CraigR said:

Interesting, I'll experiment with this next time I'm doing that stretch. ?  I assume you're seated cross-legged on the floor?

If I'm on a chair I'll always hook my hand underneath the chair and lean away to help depress the shoulder first, whereas if I'm kneeling I can hook my hand under the shin. But seated in free space has never felt as stable if I'm just sitting on my hand.

I'm sitting in seiza when I do this. I hook one hand under the shin, and place the other on the floor to the side. I can see how it wouldn't work very well sitting cross-legged. Being comfortable sitting in seiza would be a prerequisite too, I guess!

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10 minutes ago, Nathan said:

I hook one hand under the shin, and place the other on the floor to the side.

Haha.. that makes more sense to me now. So this really is an upright supported version of the neck stretch, especially with that shoulder shrugged up.

Not sure how what the experience will be like for the smaller neck muscles, but I do remember my obliques/QL took some time getting used to the long held unsupported side bends from the Deeper Into the Stretch workshop. When I do the standard neck stretches I don't typically hold them for long so I'm going to play with this version of yours and try to spend a little more time in the stretch and see what happens.

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, CraigR said:

I'm going to play with this version of yours and try to spend a little more time in the stretch and see what happens.

Yeah, give it a shot and see how it works for you. I enjoy it because I can actually hold a really long stretch more comfortably in this configuration. My arm will get tired of gripping my ankle while lying down, but when my hand is wedged between my shin and the floor, I can completely ignore it and just relax as much as possible. I also like being able to lean my torso/head forward and backward to change the line being stretched. It's a trade-off between those factors and support, but I think it makes it an interesting option to play with.

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Just finished lower body.

Warmup plus dislocates and German hang. Actually got enough sleep last night and dislocates felt much better. Did 5 reps at the closest width and they felt fairly comfortable. Well, relatively comfortable :lol: Still need to spend some time at this width before narrowing or weighting anything.

Upped reps on one-legged deadlift and tried them with the back leg folded instead of extended, as Kit mentioned he did in a different thread. I did seem to feel it more in the "correct" areas. Will continue with the leg folded as I liked the way it felt.

Same weight/reps on sumo deadlift. Still felt it in the grip today, although not as bad as last time. Will increase reps next session.

Followed with fire hydrant ISOs, SS ISOs, pancake yoga block crushing, and pancake reaches with a 1.25kg weight. Did a little bit of rolling the left hip around the piri and IT band before, and this seemed to help get rid of the blockage sensation I usually feel on that side, particularly when doing the fire hydrants.

Kept the SS ISOs unsupported on sliders at 60s. I didn't feel like I would be able to maintain the quality of work if I jumped to 75s. I think I will stay at 60s and focus on progressing width. Already felt less strain on the adductors at a similar width today, so that's a good sign.

Block crushing feels stronger each time, although that's just my impression. I don't really notice much difference with the reaches because I have no idea how far I'm reaching :lol: I need to record those. In the meantime, I'm just assuming that there is progress B)

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Upper body today. Got back from my trip late last night, super sleep deprived and having eating way too much :lol: Slept a good bit last night, which got me off to a really late start. Going to take a while to make up for the sleep debt, but I figured a mediocre session would be better than no session.

Dislocates a bit tight again. Only one rep at the closest width, just to stretch things out a bit.

RTO support felt super solid at 20s. Tempted to take them up, but will stay here for a while to make sure all of the tissues are caught up.

Manna wall slides remain at 6 reps. Felt weak on the first set, but normal on the final two.

Went up to 8s for OAC negatives. Felt solid throughout. Going to bump up to 10s next session.

Ring dips still steadily increasing, although today was tougher than last time.

Inverted ring rows didn't quite go as expected. Started with 10 reps, then dropped back to 7. Due to getting a late start today, it was past 7pm at this point and all I had eaten for the day was my pre-workout shake :rolleyes:

Prone lying Cuban rotations skipped because I just needed to eat at this point and didn't have the energy left. German hang 60s as usual.

Other than pooping out near the end, not a terrible session considering the circumstances. Still in a tight spot, work-wise, but should be able to slowly catch back up on rest over the next few days, hopefully. Did a bit of stretching while on the road, but not as much as I'd hoped to do, so looking forward to getting some of that done later tonight.

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Busy day Wednesday, so I did my longer stretching session today (Thursday) instead. Again, the usual daily routine and some more work from S&F. Even the most stubborn parts of the calves are starting to give in and relax a bit finally during rolling. Still a bit painful in one or two spots, but continues to improve. HF feel like they're still loosening up, although it's getting a bit harder to judge. Have been doing all of my HF stretches with a bent leg, so I probably need to mix that up more often to take quads out of the equation every now and then.

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Lower body today.

Warmup plus dislocates and German hang. Dislocates felt tight at the beginning, but loosened up quickly. Did 5 reps at the closest width pretty comfortably.

Kept the back leg folded and upped reps again on one-legged deadlift. Felt solid at 10 reps, so will probably add 10kg next time. Relatively big jump, but still using very light weights.

Went up to 5 reps on sumo deadlift. Bit of grip fatigue on last set. Felt the lift in my neck/traps more than I would have liked. Not sure if that means I still need to try to sit back even more. Weight still isn't bad, so going to up it 5kg and drop reps next session.

Followed with fire hydrant ISOs, SS ISOs, pancake yoga block crushing, and pancake reaches with a 1.25kg weight. Rolled the left hip again before. Kept SS ISOs at 60s, but width was definitely wider. I started comfortably around the same width I ended on last session, which is a good sign. Will continue at 60s until width stops increasing. Recorded the pancake reaches today, and depth is not bad. Doesn't look like much of an improvement, but I'm guessing that's because active flexibility is catching up with passive flexibility. Will take time, I'm sure!

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1 hour ago, Nathan said:

Doesn't look like much of an improvement, but I'm guessing that's because active flexibility is catching up with passive flexibility. Will take time, I'm sure!

Perhaps not as long as you think, and I am sure your intuition is on the money here.

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Upper body. Only three hours of sleep, but not a bad session overall.

Dislocates tight. Only one rep at the closest width.

Keeping RTO support at 20s holds until I have very little or no shaking.

Manna wall slides at 6 reps. Felt solid today.

Went up to 10s and dropped to 4 sets for OAC negatives. Felt pretty solid. Will either add a set or reduce time between sets a bit next time. Movement pattern is getting much smoother on the right arm.

Ring dips still at 7 reps. Seem to have stalled.

Successfully completed all sets of 10 for inverted ring rows with feet elevated. Pretty solid, but might repeat next time just for good measure.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I added headstand push ups back in as a second push since dips seem to be stalling. I could have just upped the sets of dips, but reading Kit's comments about HSPU in another thread made me miss doing them :lol: Started with 3x4 for now.

Prone lying Cuban rotations at 3x10. Really focusing on avoiding compensation from other areas. German hang 60s with a focus on keeping the elbow pits back.

Again, pretty good session overall. Fueled by cold brew coffee since it's getting hot here now :D

In other news, I'll definitely be going to the ST teacher intensive at the beginning of October. (And DitS if it gets confirmed.) I bought my plane tickets yesterday. Super excited! B)

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Wednesday was my son's 10-month "birthday" and he also had a checkup scheduled, so we spent most of the day out and I didn't get my long stretching session in. Was going to try for Thursday, but work is a bit hectic at the moment so I just stuck with the basics. Will get back to it next week.

Really sleep deprived, but I got lower body done today anyways.

Warmup plus dislocates and German hang. Did all 5 reps at the closest width on dislocates again. I go really slow on the first rep to really let everything stretch, and I've found that I need to rest a bit before the following reps or it will feel like too much effort. If I rest first, the remaining reps are fairly comfortable.

Added 10kg and dropped the reps on one-legged deadlift. At 30kg now, and it's the first time the weight has felt substantial at all. It's finally enough to really get some solid feedback from the movement, which is nice. Will keep moving reps up.

Bumped sumo deadlift up to 100kg and dropped the reps down. Nice to finally be back at 100+ and it felt really solid too. Not so much strain in the neck area today. I used chalk from the first set, so that might have had something to do with it. Was expecting less due to the lack of sleep and late start, but was pleasantly surprised.

Decided to start adding the nordic hamstring curls back in after deadlifts, mostly because I'd just really love to be able to do full reps :lol: I know it'd also be great for my hams too, though. These were cramp city after not doing them for so long, though :lol: Only managed 2 reps each set before I had to stop because of ridiculous cramping. Definitely going to keep these in, though. Seeing a full-ROM unassisted nordic curl impresses me so much more than anything like a pistol squat or dragon squat!

Followed with fire hydrant ISOs, SS ISOs, pancake yoga block crushing, and pancake reaches with a 1.25kg weight. Rolled the left hip before. SS ISOs at 60s, but width is still progressing and feeling really comfortable. Not feeling nearly as much strain on the adductors, despite being wider. Decided to increase pancake reaches up to 5 sets, but 30s felt like too much for now so I dropped the sets to 20s each. I feel like that keeps the quality higher. Also playing with a slightly wider straddle, but not sure if it's making much of a difference yet.

Overall great session, everything considered!

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On 7/13/2018 at 10:10 PM, Nathan said:

Decided to start adding the nordic hamstring curls back in after deadlifts, mostly because I'd just really love to be able to do full reps :lol: I know it'd also be great for my hams too, though. These were cramp city after not doing them for so long, though :lol: Only managed 2 reps each set before I had to stop because of ridiculous cramping. Definitely going to keep these in, though. Seeing a full-ROM unassisted nordic curl impresses me so much more than anything like a pistol squat or dragon squat!

With you, every step of the way, Nathan.

I've never got further than "somewhat slowing the accelerating descent".  But if/when I ever get back to prioritising strength training, would love to have these in the bag.

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On 7/13/2018 at 1:10 PM, Nathan said:

 

Decided to start adding the nordic hamstring curls back in after deadlifts, mostly because I'd just really love to be able to do full reps :lol: I know it'd also be great for my hams too, though. These were cramp city after not doing them for so long, though :lol: Only managed 2 reps each set before I had to stop because of ridiculous cramping. Definitely going to keep these in, though. Seeing a full-ROM unassisted nordic curl impresses me so much more than anything like a pistol squat or dragon squat!

 

I've never tried nordic hamstring curls, might be something that I need to try out rather than just pistol and shrimp squats. 

 

 

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Personally I felt I managed to break through a long plateau in hamstrings strength in Nordic hamstrings curls after getting more strength and mobility in a front split "slide out" exercise.

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12 hours ago, Phil5011993 said:

I've never tried nordic hamstring curls, might be something that I need to try out rather than just pistol and shrimp squats. 

For sure! Try them out! It's a completely different beast. Pistols and shrimp squats are primarily quads, while the nordic curls hit the posterior. They would compliment pistols/shrimp squats well. And anecdotally speaking, pistols and shrimp squats are both quite simple for me (I've done pistols with pretty respectable weights), but I still can't do a nordic curl concentric! So be sure to take it slow :D

7 hours ago, Jonas W said:

Personally I felt I managed to break through a long plateau in hamstrings strength in Nordic hamstrings curls after getting more strength and mobility in a front split "slide out" exercise.

Interesting observation! I'm focusing on side splits/pancake at the moment, but I definitely plan to play with those slide outs when I move on to front splits. Probably going to be a while before I master ss/pancake, though! :lol:

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Pulled an all-nighter Sunday night, so I held off on upper body until earlier today (Tuesday).

Dislocates felt okay. 5 reps at the closest width. Might start weighting the medium width soon.

RTO support still at 20s and felt less stable today. Will probably stay at 20s for a while.

Manna wall slides at 6 reps. Solid.

Stayed at 10s and bumped sets up to 5 for OAC negatives. Long breaks, but felt fairly solid throughout.

Ring dips still at 7 reps.

Moved on from inverted ring rows to tuck front lever ring rows. Wasn't sure how that would go, so started with 3x3. Was solid, so will gradually work up from here.

Bumped headstand push ups up to 3x5. Still pretty solid, so will go up to 6 reps next session. Will work to 8 or 10 reps and then move on to handstand push ups on the parallettes.

Prone lying Cuban rotations at 3x10. German hang 60s.

Overall pretty satisfactory session. The sleep deprivation continues, unfortunately. Another all-nighter tonight :rolleyes:

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Busy with work and not sleeping for the past few days, so just finally got around to doing Friday's session this morning (Sunday). Was an early-morning session, and while I did get an okay amount of sleep last night, it followed several days of mostly all-nighters. Took a while to really get the body going, but things went pretty well after that happened.

Warmup plus dislocates and German hang. Only 1 rep at the closest width on dislocates today. Muscles were still asleep and it felt really tight.

30kg again on one-legged deadlift. Bumped reps up to 8, will go 10 next time. Really felt this in the posterior today.

Kept sumo deadlift at 100kg and planned on bumping reps up for 3x4, but started off feeling much heavier than it should have. Switched to 4x3, and it was feeling pretty comfortable by the end.

Was rushing this session so I skipped nordic hamstring curls today. Planned to tack them on to the end if I had time, but I didn't.

Followed with fire hydrant ISOs, SS ISOs, pancake yoga block crushing, and pancake reaches with a 1.25kg weight. SS ISOs were getting much wider today. Still working at 60s sets. Was rushing, so I did these (and all of the stretching stuff) with minimal rest between sets. Intensity didn't actually feel that much different. More of a mental thing - just not wanting to start the next set yet :lol: But pushed through and got it all done!

Overall not bad. Might delay tomorrow's session until Tuesday just to give the CNS and grip a day to rest.

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Well, Monday night was another all-nighter :rolleyes: so I put upper body off until today, Wednesday. Good news is that the job I was so far behind on is finally finished, so it's time to catch back up on sleep!

Dislocates felt good. Added 1.25kg at the medium width. Pretty much imperceptible, so I'll probably bump that to 2.5kg. 5 comfortable reps at closest width.

RTO support at 20s. Felt pretty good. Bit of shaking on the last set.

Manna wall slides at 6 reps. Solid.

Decided to start pairing negatives with no rest for OAC negatives. First set was 10s+5s, second set was 10s+3s, and I just went with the single 10s negative for the final set. The 5s negatives were really tough, but controlled. The 3s were basically a controlled drop. Will keep working on progressing this to 10s+10s and then take it to triples.

Ring dips at 7 reps. Finally felt pretty solid. Might move on to 8 reps next time.

Kept tuck front lever ring rows at 3 reps and added a set. Will go 3x4 next time.

Up to 6 reps for headstand push ups and they're starting to get tough on the final set. Start to get fatigued by this point in the workout. Will probably stay at 6 reps another session.

Prone lying Cuban rotations at 3x10. German hang 60s.

Satisfactory session. Will continue with the usual session on Friday, so it will be interesting to see if having less time in between will make a difference. Guessing it won't!

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I think I was right. Reducing the usual gap between Mon and Fri sessions to one day of rest didn't seem to make a big difference. I had a feeling there was some grip fatigue, but it wasn't enough to interfere with deadlifting, as far as I could tell.

Warmup plus dislocates and German hang. Weighted the medium-width dislocates with 2.5kg this time, which felt substantial. Close-width set of five felt fairly comfortable after.

30kg on one-legged deadlift at 10 reps. This is starting to feel like an effort. Will move on to 3x6@40kg next session.

Kept sumo deadlift at 100kg and went back to 3x4. These felt fairly comfortable today. Will probably go 4x4 next session and then 3x5 the following.

No excuse to skip nordic hamstring curls today :lol: Managed 3x3 this time, but some major cramping in calves on the last rep of the first two sets.

Followed with fire hydrant ISOs, SS ISOs, pancake yoga block crushing, and pancake reaches with a 1.25kg weight. SS ISOs at 60s sets continue to grow wider. Had to drop out at 50s on the last set because I let the intensity get too high, though :lol:

Overall good session!

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Back on schedule with my Monday session.

Dislocates felt good again today. 2.5kg at medium width and then 5 comfortable (unweighted) reps at closest width. Comfortable doesn't mean easy, though. Will continue for a few more sessions and then consider decreasing width.

RTO support at 20s. Felt really stable today. Went to 25s on last hold. Will up these to 22s next session.

Manna wall slides at 6 reps. Solid.

Continuing to pair negatives with no rest for OAC negatives. First set was 10s+8s, second set was 10s+5s, and final set was 10s+3s. That's a 2-3s increase on the second negative across the board. Hard to imagine that kind of increase continuing, but might be able to hit at least one 10+10 next time.

Ring dips up to 8 reps/set. I think I'll give RTO dips a go next time.

3x4 for tuck front lever ring rows. Going to stay here for a session or two.

Stayed at 6 reps for headstand push ups. Final set still tough. At this point it's 2pm and all I've had is a morning protein shake. Then again, I've done my workouts fasted in the past, but obviously it's going to have an effect on long workouts.

Prone lying Cuban rotations - skipped these today because I wanted to eat lunch before it was time to cook dinner :lol: German hang 60s.

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Warmup plus dislocates and German hang. Medium-width dislocates with 2.5kg. Feeling easier with the weight. Close-width feeling fairly comfortable consistently.

Went up to 40kg on one-legged deadlift. Starting to feel more like strength work than skill/activation. 3x6 was okay. Will go to 3x7 next time.

Kept sumo deadlift at 100kg. Planned on 4x4 but didn't feel like doing the fourth set, so called it at three. Effort was manageable. 4x4 next session.

Planned 3x4 for nordic hamstring curls but cramps stopped me at the 2nd rep on the 2nd set. After that, I decided to try something different. I put my yoga bolster out in front and did eccentrics only with no bend at the hips. Dropped like a sack of rocks :lol: I felt this more throughout the hams, so I'm going to stick with it a few sessions and see how it improves.

Followed with fire hydrant ISOs, SS ISOs, pancake yoga block crushing, and pancake reaches with a 1.25kg weight. SS ISOs at 60s sets continue to grow wider and/or feel more solid.

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Upper body today.

Dislocates going well. Bumped the widest set to 10 reps, 2.5kgx5 at medium width, and then decided to weight the closest width @ 1.25kgx5.

RTO support bumped to 3x22s. Will probably stay here for a couple sessions.

Manna wall slides at 6 reps as usual.

Continuing to pair negatives with no rest for OAC negatives. Got 10s+10s on the first two sets and 10s+8s on the final set. Should be able to hit 10+10 on all three next time and then move on to triples. Concentric might be closer than I thought!

Started RTO dips this session. Started with 3x3.

Stayed at 3x4 for tuck front lever ring rows. Will probably move up to 3x5 next time.

Planned to stay at 6 reps for headstand push ups but I went ahead and did 3x7. I know from past experience that pushing much past this is mostly strength endurance/a mental thing. I'm more interested in the strength aspect, so I'll probably move on to handstand push ups on the parallettes next time.

Prone lying Cuban rotations 3x10 with the 10kg bar and German hang at 60s.

Overall good sessions. Making slow but steady progress pretty much across the board even with one session per week, but I'm starting to feel like the sessions are too long now. Will consider splitting into multiple sessions per week going forward.

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Coming up on one of the biggest go-visit-family holidays here in Japan and will be hitting the road early tomorrow morning, so I did my lower body session today instead.

Warmup plus dislocates and German hang.

40kg@3x7 on one-legged deadlift. Will go 8 reps next session.

Did the 4x4@100kg planned for sumo deadlift. Felt really solid today. 3x5 next session and then will probably up the weight.

Planned 3x3 dropping eccentrics for nordic hamstring curls but played with an arm assist for the second and third sets and I think that's better. Dropping a bit would be okay, but at this point the eccentric is pretty useless. Using a minimal arm assist down and then some momentum to return. Smoked the hams.

Followed with fire hydrant ISOs, SS ISOs, pancake yoga block crushing, and pancake reaches with a 1.25kg weight. SS ISOs at 60s sets still slowly getting wider. Had to stop the last set at 55s because intensity got a bit high. Really hard to feel progress in the pancake reaches, but I'm starting to feel like something is opening up a bit. Need to shoot some video soon to check.

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Spent a long weekend visiting family, which included yummy food and a lot more sleep than usual. While the food was yummy, it wasn't necessarily healthy, though ;) I think all of the extra sleep must have made up for that, because today's session was pretty good overall.

Upper body today.

Warmup and dislocates. Dislocates feeling pretty comfortable at the closest width with 1.25kg. Not quite comfortable enough to progress the weight or width, though, so will continue as-is for now.

RTO support at 3x22s felt really solid. Will try 3x25s next session.

Manna wall slides at 6 reps as usual.

Paired OAC negatives. Got 10s+10s on all three sets today and even had a bit left in the tank. Will move on to triplets next session.

Stayed at 3x3 for RTO dips. Tough but much better quality today. Thinking I'll keep the reps and add a fourth set next session.

Moved up to 3x5 for tuck front lever ring rows. Pretty solid. Will do 3x6 next time.

Progressed to handstand push ups on the parallettes today. Was thinking I would start with 3x4, but sets of 3 felt like a pretty intense effort, so did 3x3. Will add a set next time.

Prone lying Cuban rotations 3x10 with the 10kg bar and German hang at 60s.

Finally getting back to some of the movements I was using before taking a long break. Progress feels slow, but I'm only doing one UB session per week and sleep/nutrition have been pretty subpar. Considering that, I think I'm actually doing pretty good!

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