Move It Monday – Pipes Challenge

Happy Mondaaaay! Today’s Move It Monday is extra special. Instead of me talking at you, I want to motivate you to get moving with me!

It’s all inspired by my friend Morgan and her new 6 Week Pipes Challenge.

It’s all about whipping those girly arms of ours into shape. You know what I’m talking about. Those of us who do a few tricep dips after a run and call it a day. Upper body strength is SO much more important than that!

Alright, and let’s face it, it won’t hurt for looking good come tank-top season ;)

Now this challenge can take on many forms and I encourage you to pick a goal that suits you. Morgan will be following the 100 push up plan. Some other great ideas are doing your first arm balance pose in yoga…

Or how about doing a full tricep dip?

Now, you may be wondering why a girl who just spent a month in a full arm-cast is yammering about getting ripped pipes.

Clearly, I am not going to spend the six weeks doing bicep curls (OUCH). But I have set a unique goal for myself.

By the end of the challenge I want to be able to almost fully flex and extend my left arm. As most of you know, I shattered my elbow a month ago in a skating accident. I just got my cast off and started physiotherapy tonight!!

I took “before” pictures so you get an idea of what I’m working with.


My bad arm, flexed toward my body as far as it will go. Mind the chipping nail polish and pyjamas – I’m currently unemployed.


My bad arm extended as far as it currently goes. I also can’t hold it up on it’s own.

For comparison’s sake, here’s the same movements with my good arm!


Flexion. What’s up.


Extension. Hiya!

My doc says those two movements should come back quickly, so it’s a very reasonable goal for me right now. Although, chances are I’ll fall an inch or so short of where I used to be able to move it. Nothing too noticeable.

The more difficult, and more long-term goal, will be to get rotation back in my wrist.


This is it pronated, which is actually pretty good. Because of the location of my injury, this direction is easier than it should be.


On the flipside, that means supination is more difficult than it should be. Normal arms can rotate the palm to face the ceiling. Mine just stops dead right there.

IMG_6151 IMG_6153

Or on my good arm, I can do it 360 degrees when straightened ;)

Meeting with a physiotherapist tonight was very interesting. She was able to work my arm into moving much more than this. Although, I am still hindered a lot by pain. She instructed me to take my percocet before our next session so we can work it a little better.

What I didn’t realize is just how tense the left side of my upper body is. My left bicep is essentially in constant contraction to keep in the 90 degree position and elbow protected. Hard as a rock. My left shoulder is also super tense and really hard to loosen up.

I’ve been instructed on how to start moving my elbow and wrist properly several times a day, as well as massaging out my left bicep and loosening up that shoulder. Despite the pain, I plan to work diligently at it to get my elbow moving back and forth with relative ease when the challenge is over!

The challenge officially starts next Monday. You can find posts at Life After Bagels every week for support over the six weeks (and maybe some guest posts from me!). We’ll also be chatting about it on her Facebook page and on Twitter under the hashtag #6weekpipes.

If your looking for more info on building up those pipes, check out these old posts of mine!

The Perfect Push Up
The Perfect Tricep Dip
Ripped Arms: A How To Guide 

So now my question to you is – will you be participating? What’s your goal to get those pipes in shape?

Posted on March 14, 2011, in Challenges, Injury, Move It Monday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. LOVE your goal for this challenge! I’ll be doing the Jackie Warner 15 minute upper body segment of her Personal Circuit Training DVD three times at week. My goal is that by the end of the six weeks I will have moved up in a weight size for my dumb bells!

    Did you end up at the physiotherapist I mentioned or another one?

  2. Love your goal and think it’s an awesome one! I really take for granted the things I can do with my arm. Reading about being able to rotate your palm toward the ceiling made me think.
    I look forward to reading about your progress. When I went to physical therapy for my knee, I was really happy for any sign of progress and proud of myself. It’s a good feeling.

    I need in on this pipes challenge. I need to work on my arms. I’ve been too focused on cardio and healing my knee. This would be good to integrate in!

  3. you’ll get there, healing is a killer process!

  4. weird, reading that part and the photos about flexion gave me a CRAZY intense flashback and i almost barfed. not even joking. that was so weird. you will get there! loveyou!

    • Flexion is definitely the most painful movement for me. I remember yelling “It feels like my elbow is trying to bust through the skin!!!” during physio :P

  5. What a great idea for you to do the challenge. Good luck!

    I think I may venture into it with a certain yoga pose in mind… :D


  6. I broke my elbow last spring and it seemed like cruelty to me that I didn’t wear a cast and my doctor told me I had to fully extend my arm a couple times a day in order to gain full flexibility back into my arm. But, I guess he knew what he was talking about because it worked and my elbow is back to normal (I’m actually in week 5 of the 100 push-up plan myself). He said that if I had been a little bit older, it almost certainly wouldn’t have healed as well, so hang in there! You’ve got age on your side!

    • Thank you Amy!! Having the cast on was definitely the easy part of recovery. Moving it around (or trying to) sucks! So painful. But if it wasn’t for my age and health, I’d most certainly have a prosthetic elbow right now. So I guess that counts for something ;)

  7. greensandjeans

    Since I can’t really do anything that deals with impact, I’m all working my guns!

  8. The cast is off!! Woo hoo!! :)
    That second pic of you looks like you’re just a floating upper body – your pants/legs look like curtains or the background! ha

  1. Pingback: Move It Monday – Upper-Body Workouts | The Great Balancing Act

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