Category Archives: Move It Monday
Welcome to Week #2 of the Pipes Challenge! During the six weeks of the challenge, I’m hoping to rehab my broken elbow into flexion/extension again and working on my wrist rotation. In case you’re catching up, I shattered my elbow six weeks ago in a skating accident and had reconstructive surgery on it.
I have progress pictures!! It’s been two weeks since getting my cast off and four physiotherapy sessions. I’ve also been sitting down and working on moving it at least twice a day.
Here’s what the flexion looked like two weeks ago:
Here’s what it looks like today:
Not that much progress, just a few degrees. The photos are taken “cold,” meaning I didn’t work on my arm beforehand. I can get it to go a little further in a physiotherapy session.
Extension two weeks ago:
I feel like I’ve made more progress with this movement. Extension is far less painful than flexion. My biggest problem right now is that my bicep is “on.” Meaning it’s almost always contracted. You can see it a little in the above photos. It’s why a lot of my movement is limited and why moving is so painful. Hoping it eases off soon!!
Wrist rotating to supinated (palm up) two weeks ago:
For the record, this is what supination looks like on a normal arm:
I’ve made a little bit of progress with this too. My physio worked hard at it, which meant a sore forearm for days. But I can get my hand into “neutral” now with just a little coaxing, which is having your palm face your stomach.
So overall, not an amazing amount of progress over the last two weeks. But at the same time there has been some progress, which is way better than nothing. I will say that being able to straighten my arm with the palm facing the ceiling feels like a million years away. Right now the inability to rotate my wrist is what frustrates me the most. I still can’t hold a book with two hands. Or read a newspaper comfortably. Or drive a car!!
As mentioned above, one of the biggest things holding me back is that the muscles in my left arm have completely seized up. Because they’re contracted, tight, and stiff, it makes moving my arm hard and painful. One of the things I’m most focused on now is learning to relax. Always checking in with myself and making sure I’m not tensed up along my arm. I’ve also started taking muscle relaxers before I move my arm and I find it helps noticeably.
As a way to help us relax those upper body muscles we’re working so hard during this pipes challenge, here’s a list of some of my favourite stretches!
Every person I know does this stretch wrong. It’s supposed to stretch out the back of your shoulder, but only works if your shoulder is DOWN. Try locking your scapula down, then bringing your arm out front. Don’t let your shoulder raise an inch when going into the stretch.
KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN!!
If your flexibility isn’t quite there yet, you can always do this one:
Just put your hand up on a wall, then rotate your body in the opposite direction. Your shoulders need to be down for this one too (noticing a trend here?)
The best way to ease into this is start by bringing your arm back to reach between your shoulder blades. Then grab on to the elbow with the other hand and push it in & down towards your head.
A lot like the above chest stretch, but you don’t need to be so vigilant to keep your shoulder down. I find I always have to play around and readjust this one to find that sweet spot where I start to feel it in my bicep.
I finish every workout with this stretch. It hits the hamstrings, back, loosens the shoulders and neck. This is also one I’ve been doing a lot of with my bad arm to loosen up and stretch out my stiff left shoulder. Really have to relax and learn to haaaaang. Take deep breaths and enjoy being upside down for a while.
Well, that’s all she wrote! I’m meeting with my new physiotherapist tomorrow and going to see my family doctor for a referral with an orthopaedic surgeon. I still need bi-weekly x-rays and check ups, and will need more surgery to get a screw removed in six months.
Even more exciting news, is that I’m getting a gym membership this week!! Recumbent bike here I come…
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 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.
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.
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!
So now my question to you is – will you be participating? What’s your goal to get those pipes in shape?
Hello friends and welcome to the first edition of my new Move It Monday series! Aka Fitness Friday, just on a new day. I like the idea of starting the week off with a little workout motivation.
Now that I am back in Toronto, I have access to my personal training notebook of workouts.
I have designed a ridiculous number of individual-specific workouts during my time as a trainer. It’s high time I get better about sharing these moves with all of you!
The following are two workouts that I tweaked to be suitable for most people. If you need any ideas for modifications, leave a comment and I’ll let you know what to do instead. Enjoy!
30 Minute Novice Strength Training
1. Squat to dumbell shoulder press.
3 sets x 15 reps
2. Single arm cable pull with rear lunge.
3 sets x 12 reps each side
Start standing with your right arm outstretched gripping the cable. Lunge back with your right leg while pulling the cable towards your body using your back muscles. Return to the starting position. Complete one set on one side, then switch to the other.
3. Single arm chest press with rotation.
3 sets x 12 reps each side
With a dumbbell in one hand, lie your back on a stability ball with your hips in the air to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Bring the dumbbell next to your chest and press it diagonally toward the ceiling so it is above the center of your body. Lift your shoulders off the ball into a crunch, then bring your arm and shoulders back down. Repeat to complete set then switch arms.
4. Hamstring curl on ball.
3 sets x 15-20 reps
Lying with your heels on top of a stability ball, lift your hips off the ground toward the ceiling, and roll the ball in towards your butt. Keep hips off the ground throughout the entire set.
5. Stability ball roll out.
3 sets x 15
Start on knees with hands together in fists near front of stability ball. Place bodyweight into hands, contract abs, and roll forward onto forearms. Keep a straight line in your body, hold briefly like you would a plank, then roll back to the start. That’s one rep.
Advanced Full Body Interval Workout
|1a. Surrender||3||12 each side|
|1b. Medicine ball push-ups||3||10-20|
|5 min cardio sprints*|
|2a. Barbell split squat||3||12 each side|
|2b. Barbell bent-over row||3||12|
|5 min cardio sprints*|
|3a. Mountain climber on medicine ball||3||60 sec|
|3b. Ab roll up holding medicine ball||3||20|
|5 min cardio sprints*|
*5 min cardio sprints (on treadmill, elliptical, stairmill, etc):
0:00 – 0:30 = easy (3 RPE)
0:30 – 1:00 = moderate (6 RPE)
1:00 – 1:30 = hard (9 RPE)
1:30 – 2:00 = easy (3 RPE)
2:00 – 2:30 = moderate (6 RPE)
2:30 – 3:00 = hard (9 RPE)
3:00 – 3:30 = easy (3 RPE)
3:30 – 4:00 = moderate (6 RPE)
4:00 – 4:30 = hard (9 RPE)
4:30 – 5:00 = easy (3 RPE)
Don’t forget to warm-up 5-10 minutes before each workout and to cool-down and stretch after. Have fun!!