Tag Archives: setting goals

Correcting some movement impairments


I've been having a bunch of uncomfortable muscle pain recently: a tight spot mid-spine; some numbness still in my arms; and occasionally my hip flexors are SO over worked that standing up causes serious muscle spasms in my butt. Or my hip flexor along the front of my pelvis hurts so badly I don't want to sit or lie down with my legs bent.

I look a little bit like Frankenstein.

Remarkably, I took the course to learn all about this several years: NASM's Corrective Exercise Training course. Haven't used what I learned in a while, so I pulled out the book to put myself through the assessment.

It's not very complicated: photograph your regular standing posture, looking to see if everything is line. Then video overhead squats from the front, side and back to see how my body moves. I linked to a movement assessment I did a few years ago as an example. (pre-hip replacement).

The theory here is that because of likely injury or overuse, I developed poor (compensating) movement habits:

-spend a lot of time on computers, knitting, walking dogs… anything that requires the arms to be forward of the body will make the pecs tight and the latts lazy.

Stop doing the rehab exercises on the replacement hip and weaknesses set back in.

My Assessment:

STATIC POSTURE: My left shoulder and right hip are slightly high giving me a slightly wonky appearance. My back arches slightly and arms are falling slightly forward.

DYNAMIC POSTURE: My right leg moves out -my left leg does too only less. And my arms fall forward during the movement. My hips don't break when they should so my arms fall forward. From the back, there is a slight shift of my weight to the right.

WHAT THIS MEANS: The arms falling forward indicate tight pecs and underactive latts. The slight shift to the right means the muscles on the right side are compensating for weakness on the left.

Likely overactive muscles: The piriformis (left side), TFL/Glute Min on the left side, pecs. These muscles need slow steady foam rolling and probably some lacrosse ball work every day for about a month.

Underactive Muscles: Adductors, Hamstring, Glute Max, Anterior Tibialis, Erector Spinae, Lattimus Dorsi. These muscles need to be stretched and strengthened with a planned program about 5 times a week for the same month. Then the movement assessment repeated and compared to the assessment from today.

So I know what I'll be doing work-out wise for the next few weeks.



Push-ups, Pull-ups and Then What?

Reading through the fitness blogs, especially those written by women, there is a lot of goal setting aimed at push-ups and pull-ups.

I’ll admit I’ve bought into the goal-setting, even if I’m not participating in the 100 pushups training challenge.  I like the idea of being able to do a number of push ups and the website says it quite well:

Push ups are one of the basic and most common exercises for the human body. Push ups are not only great for your chest, but do a tremendous job of defining your abs, triceps, shoulders and torso.

My PPG (personal pushup goal) is to equal my age in pushups 3 days a week or more.  I can take the entire day to accomplish the task if I wish, and I often do.

I’ve also stolen a tip from one of the female trainers at the gym: all the time I spend on my laptop mean my wrists often sufferi the most during the pushup because of the bend and pressure.  To relieve that stress, I now use a set of 8# handweights with hex shaped heads as my base.  Grasping the weights, my wrists remain in a neutral position throughout the exercise.  If you have any wrist concerns, try this technique for yourself.

I also freely admit I’m working toward doing an unassissted pull-up.  Last week, I managed one pull-down at my weight, but a couple days later could not come close to replicating it as pull-up with the lightest weight on the graviton.  I’m kind of close, but still in training.  The end is not necessarily in sight.


These challenges, tests and goals I realized all focus on upper-body strength.  Now I have always had more upper-body strength than lower (and god forbid anyone look to me for an example of a strong core!), which is probably why I am embracing these goals.  For me, these are challenging but not inconceivable.  They just take time.

What will the next challenges be that people are buzzing about in the blogosphere?  Is there a possibility that it will be something that takes the normal woman’s physiology into consideration and uses that as the bench-mark for the challenge? Or at least has us trying on a level playing field?

Maybe we need 100 yard walking lunge challenge. Balance, legs, back and hips.  Like this, without the barbell.  It would torture me, but it would be so good for me.  For me, for you, for men and women alike.   I do walking lunges now, coming upright between each step and balancing on what was the lead leg.  They kill me in a good way.

Imagine us descending on football fields around the US (soccer fans.. I understand this may be a harder challenge for you.  Are soccer fields longer than 30 m?).  Start by walking lunges from one end-zone to the 10 yard line.  Progressing slowly until we hit the middle of the field.  By then, we’d have the form down, our muscles would be toned, our cores strong and flexible.  I bet the second part of the training wouldn’t take as long.  Eventually, we’d “score our personal touchdown”  with a friend, or 20, standing by yelling: She Could Go All The Way! (Alternately,  I’d love the equivilant of a soccer announcer’s loud and long SSSCCCCCCCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRREEE!!)

Would this be has challenging as I imagine?  Maybe not.  Still the cheering would so make it worthwhile!

What other challenges might we look for in the future?  These must be demanding but achievable, provide the participant with some kind of “bragging rights” and demonstrate a certain level of fitness.

I throw it out to you…