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Shaping the body; adjusting the mind


jaja

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  • Ankle mobility
    • Something seems to be improving here!
  • Wall HF stretch
  • Wall quad stretch
  • Tailor pose stretch
  • Passive back bend on baby whale
  • Scalenes stretch
  • Bolster piriformis stretch

I feel my hips quite free tonight. Nice!

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  • One ring chin-ups: 1x10 + 1x9 + 2x7
    • Wow, today they were oddly hard
  • Knee raises: 3x8
  • Bulgarian ring dips: 2x6 + 1x5
  • Ring rows: 3x15
  • Calf raises: 3x8x20kg
  • Ring push-ups: 3x7

Right after training I did a fairly long (45 minutes) yoga nidra session. Maybe not the best idea. It took a while to enter a decent state of relaxation, but tension quickly creeped in and I ended the session in a state of frustration. Bummer.

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  • Hindu squat: 3x60
  • KB squats: 3x12x20kg
  • One arm overhead press: 3x8x16kg
    • Those felt…easy! Well not really, fatigue built up fast during the second set, but still I was surprised!
  • One arm row: 3x15x20kg
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A couple of days ago I had my shoulders checked by a friend of mine, who's a physiotherapist.

He quickly diagnosed I have a bilateral instability due to excessive laxity of my ligaments. According to hime there's not much I can do. I can (and should) train my muscles to hold the joints together, so that I can avoid injuries when under load. However, if I'm in a relaxed state, my ligaments will never keep my humerus firmly in place. The instability also occurs in all planes of movement and is present at the same degree in both sides. If I feel my left one being worse off, it's because it's overall weaker in abduction. Also he mobilized my left clavicle and that improved a bit my perception of said shoulder. Probably that lack of movement was causing my scapula not to move freely, exacerbating the stability issue in that side.

He gave me few exercises to thinker with and advise to avoid, if possible, movements that put the articulation under excessive stress. Military press? Better to do a push-press, using leg drive to pass the weight above my eyes. Pull-ups? Too taxing, if done at full ROM. Partials are better suited. This one is particularly a bummer and I'm not sure if I'll follow the suggestions, although I might not using a weighted belt in the future. This issue could also be the reason why I seem unable to significantly increase my pull-up numbers. He also watched me perform a set of push-ups and said I need to brace my core much more. Rather than aiming at endurance, I should reset my position at the beginning of every rep — this will also help shoulder stability. Climbing is not ill-advised, but then agin, I should keep the elbows bent when I pull myself up.

Few words were spent — of course — on the psoas. In his opinion the way my hips are built (forward-leaning) causes the muscle to be in a shortened position, thus it'll be impossible for me to correct my APT (and possibly dissolve my tension patterns). I observed it could be a chicken-egg conundrum. To that he said it could be so in the case of a child, where bones are malleable. But when it comes to adult, bones are mostly fixed and muscles have nothing to say in their positioning. So he said, but I'm stubborn and I'll die trying.

I'd like to hear some thoughts from experienced folks, especially @Kit_L and @Frederik, on both the topics.

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On 12/7/2020 at 2:14 PM, jaja said:

A couple of days ago I had my shoulders checked by a friend of mine, who's a physiotherapist.

He quickly diagnosed I have a bilateral instability due to excessive laxity of my ligaments. According to hime there's not much I can do. I can (and should) train my muscles to hold the joints together, so that I can avoid injuries when under load. However, if I'm in a relaxed state, my ligaments will never keep my humerus firmly in place. The instability also occurs in all planes of movement and is present at the same degree in both sides. If I feel my left one being worse off, it's because it's overall weaker in abduction. Also he mobilized my left clavicle and that improved a bit my perception of said shoulder. Probably that lack of movement was causing my scapula not to move freely, exacerbating the stability issue in that side.

He gave me few exercises to thinker with and advise to avoid, if possible, movements that put the articulation under excessive stress. Military press? Better to do a push-press, using leg drive to pass the weight above my eyes. Pull-ups? Too taxing, if done at full ROM. Partials are better suited. This one is particularly a bummer and I'm not sure if I'll follow the suggestions, although I might not using a weighted belt in the future. This issue could also be the reason why I seem unable to significantly increase my pull-up numbers. He also watched me perform a set of push-ups and said I need to brace my core much more. Rather than aiming at endurance, I should reset my position at the beginning of every rep — this will also help shoulder stability. Climbing is not ill-advised, but then agin, I should keep the elbows bent when I pull myself up.

Few words were spent — of course — on the psoas. In his opinion the way my hips are built (forward-leaning) causes the muscle to be in a shortened position, thus it'll be impossible for me to correct my APT (and possibly dissolve my tension patterns). I observed it could be a chicken-egg conundrum. To that he said it could be so in the case of a child, where bones are malleable. But when it comes to adult, bones are mostly fixed and muscles have nothing to say in their positioning. So he said, but I'm stubborn and I'll die trying.

I'd like to hear some thoughts from experienced folks, especially @Kit_L and @Frederik, on both the topics.

Hi Jaja

I would say given instability in every direction that any kind of passive stretching of the shoulders should be reconsidered strongly. If you did not have a problem of dislocation I might have said something different. But in this instance it is pretty straightforward. There is lots of other things to work on anyhow.

You can still hang with the shoulders actively engaged, and it is that connection that you will need to master to do pull ups safely. Which definitely is a worthwhile undertaking. (more below)

You can still get stretching of lats and upper back in other ways, and I suggest this instead.

Grip can be trained a myriad of other ways than passive hanging.

Does this reach into other aspects of life? I am talking mostly about training, but I would suggest not eating a low calorie vegan diet if you are after adding more mass around your shoulder. There may or may not be a small effect of getting more collagen in the diet, but that is very speculative. It wont hurt you though. Get to making some stew.

I know that you have been doing bench pressing, squatting, overhead pressing etc that is to say classic strength work. Have you done any shoulder specific prehab/rehab work?

My suggestion would go along the lines of doing a program that :

a) does not cause discomfort or risk of dislocation - but I am not talking about a restrictive approach either. Maybe a heavy dose of rows, benching, tricep extensions, etc. Basically anything that puts muscle in the major muscle groups around the joints in question

b) identify what triggers the funky sensations.

c) You may or may not want to play with how much you push, the main thing here though is to learn how to use the muscles to provide protection. I think that some isometrics may help here. Definitely be careful with this.
d) similar to the major exercises, experiment with rehab exercises for the shoulder, it would make sense for me to do rotator cuff drills particularly for the external rotators (anterior dislocation is countered by the movement of these muscles if I am not mistaken) - it will be very apparent from trying out these drills whether they pull in the correct direction. Think seated external rotations with a dumbbell, Kit has a external rotation band drill too. Face Pulls and other rear shoulder activating drills may also be useful.

In all, I would stick to such a program for at least 3 months. Do some tests before the three months. Take pictures. Videos. Then work this approach for three months and see what happens. That will tell you more about what you can do than any physio or doctor will be able to say. It is a shame to push yourself out of physical work from excessive caution. Better to learn for yourself.

hope this helps.

 

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On 12/8/2020 at 4:14 AM, jaja said:

Few words were spent — of course — on the psoas. In his opinion the way my hips are built (forward-leaning) causes the muscle to be in a shortened position, thus it'll be impossible for me to correct my APT (and possibly dissolve my tension patterns). I observed it could be a chicken-egg conundrum. To that he said it could be so in the case of a child, where bones are malleable. But when it comes to adult, bones are mostly fixed and muscles have nothing to say in their positioning. So he said, but I'm stubborn and I'll die trying.

This physio is not up with current perspectives, @jaja, and is only repeating what he has been taught. His lack of understanding how the living body works is stunning. Only muscular tension shapes the spine, and you have heard me talk about this many times. Remember the 'body under anaesthetic' stories—these are real and told to me by surgeons. His talk of:

3 hours ago, Frederik said:

To that he said it could be so in the case of a child, where bones are malleable. But when it comes to adult, bones are mostly fixed and muscles have nothing to say in their positioning.

is simply completely wrong. Excessive APT can be changed, and changed radically. I have seen this; you have seen the beginnings of this on workshops that last only a few days—why listen to this person? Have a bit of faith in yourself and your own experience. You have changed significantly in the few years I have known you. If you keep going and 'stay the course' you will change a great deal more. The End.

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One more suggestion:

3 hours ago, Frederik said:

Rather than aiming at endurance, I should reset my position at the beginning of every rep — this will also help shoulder stability.

Of course—this is how a pushup are supposed to be done, by someone with perfect shoulders! Follow a physio who walks the walk as well as talks the talk: Daniel Vadnel from Fitness FAQs on YouTube. More important than setting the shoulder position at the top of a rep (though that is important) is resetting in the bottom position, before you even think of pushing back.

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@Frederik and @Kit_L, thank you both for your time. I'll treasure your perspectives, as I always try to do.

7 hours ago, Frederik said:

Have you done any shoulder specific prehab/rehab work?

I have, but too inconsistently and probably not in the right way: I'm wondering if isometrics exercises could be more beneficial than just building reps. I have few resistance bands, as well as a 2kg dumbbell that can be used for that purpose.

3 hours ago, Kit_L said:

You have changed significantly in the few years I have known you. If you keep going and 'stay the course' you will change a great deal more. The End.

I will.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After weeks of inconsistent training due to work and personal issues, I reached a conclusion. I've come a long way relying on myself, but limitate experience coupled with some biases of mine makes it difficult to pass some plateaus. Moreover, I'm exhausted. Not physically, but mentally. My emotional energy is drained by said issues and I need not to worry about my training, trying to figure out what's best. I just need to be given a program, do it and trust the process. That's why I decided to hire a trainer. In this day and age is easy to find one, but there's so much noise it's hard to find a quality one at first try. Using my network of trusted people is probably the right path, so my choice went to @Frederik.

This is my first workout.

  • Chin-ups 10 minutes: 27 reps
  • Ring dips: 3x6 + 1x5
  • Diamond push-ups: 2x8 + 1x7
  • Ring rows: 3x6
  • Standing single leg lifts: 3x10s
  • Jefferson curls: 3x10x16kg
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On 12/23/2020 at 5:46 AM, jaja said:

I've come a long way relying on myself, but limitate experience coupled with some biases of mine makes it difficult to pass some plateaus. Moreover, I'm exhausted. Not physically, but mentally. My emotional energy is drained by said issues and I need not to worry about my training, trying to figure out what's best. I just need to be given a program, do it and trust the process. That's why I decided to hire a trainer.

I love everything about this, @jaja.

It really can be a liberating experience.  I have to admit that I was filled with trepidation when I first engaged a trail/ultra running coach.  I was so used to heading out and having fun, that I feared the loss of spontaneity would ruin it all for me.  The truth was quite the opposite.  Freeing my mind from the burden of weighing load, progression, fatigue, recovery etc, allowed me the space to give much more of myself to each session.  I still had to figure out how and where to implement each session, so I felt some ownership.  But overall, what I thought would be restrictive, was freeing.

It really is also, for the most part, so much easier for someone else to see what you need (from the outside), than for you to see it (from within the confines of your hopes, dreams and fears).

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Tuesday

  • Step ups: 4x8
  • Goblet squats: 3x20x16kg
  • Kettlebell swings: 2x15x16kg

Thursday

  • Chin-ups 10 minutes: 29 reps
  • Ring dips: 1x9 + 1x8 + 1x5 +1x7
  • Diamond push-ups: 2x12 + 1x10
  • Ring rows: 3x9
  • Standing single leg lifts: 3x10s
  • Jefferson curls: 3x10x16kg

Overall, worse totals than last week. I felt fatigue, probably because of bad sleep and being in a constant rush (I rested for less time than usual between sets because I was in a hurry).

Yesterday

  • Banded ankle distractions
  • Ankle stretching
  • Active squat
  • Active tailor pose

Today

  • Step ups: 4x8
  • Goblet squats: 3x15x20kg
  • Kettlebell swings: 2x15x16kg
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