First, let me announce our winner for the lip balm gift pack. Jennifer R. won with a tweet about our giveaway. We want to thank everyone for participating. We had a lot of entries and most were from people we did not know! It is exciting to know our readers do not consist only of our friends and family (though we appreciate you just as much!). Jennifer has been contacted via email. We hope you enjoy our lip balms, Jennifer! We have received nothing but compliments so far!
A little over a week ago, my chiro casually said I could start using my bad arm again in the gym. It was so casual that I almost missed it. WHAT?!?!?! It was very anticlimactic. I was excepting something more of a celebration. Balloons, streamers, flowers, whatever- I am not picky. I mean, it has been well over six months of recovery for this stupid tear in my elbow. I have been practically a perfect patient following all of his rules with only one, maybe two slip ups. I confessed to those slip ups, too! It has been a very long and frustrating road of recovery. I have gone through all of the emotions of anger, frustration, acceptance and boredom more than once. I have been jealous of my friends and strangers being able to lift when I can’t. The vain side of me is tired of being “soft.” I want my hard earned muscles back. That statement may sound off to some but I am just being completely honest. Losing my muscle and gaining some body fat has been a tough adjustment for me. It is not a drastic change but it is enough to frustrate me. I know how hard it is to gain lean muscle but I look forward to being able to gain it back again.
You would think I would be running straight to the bar to do some heavy cleans, presses and deadlifts now that I can use my arm. Nope. Not much has really changed for me. I still can’t lift olympic weights with the exception of back squats. For now I can use the rower machine (oh joy!), lighter kettle bells (nothing over 18 lbs for now) and plyo push ups. I have been doing some push ups on a ball but now he wants me to do plyo push ups. Those are the push ups with the clap as you raise back up into the start position. Um, okaaaaaayyy. I have been barely working out for the past half year and now you want to me to advanced push ups?!?! If it gets me back under the bar, I will do whatever he tells me to do!
My chiro has been stretching my tolerance for exercises I do not enjoy. He has also been having me do stuff that just looks plain ridiculous. I used to do my chiro exercises in a quiet corner of the gym but now I do them all in the middle of the busy floor. I absolutely do not care what people think of me in the gym. I am there to impress no one. I am there to get my work done and get on with my day. One of the exercises my chiro has me do that I absolutely do not enjoy are planks. Planks are a great exercise, by the way. I encourage you to do them to strengthen your core and back. They can also help improve your balance and posture. I thought I was decent at planks until I did them for my chiro, the super strict form man. Ok, I realize the value in good form. I really do. But dang, he is crazy strict. I honestly sometimes feel anxiety when I have to do the exercises for him during my appointments! I was doing my planks all wrong and once I did them correctly, I figured out that planks are not very fun. If you need tips on how to improve your plank, this link is decent. A lot of people do them incorrectly and as I tried to find a good link for you, I found a lot of bad “correct form” pictures. Here are the basics: shoulders should be down and back, elbows should be directly under your shoulders at 90 degrees, forearms are on the ground, toes are on the ground and feet are close together, chin is slightly tucked, abs are held tightly in, glutes are held in and back is like a table top. Got it all? See what I mean? It is a lot to remember. My downfall has been my hips and lower back dropping. It also took me a while to figure out how to get my shoulders in the right position. I had a tendency to let them shrug and raise- that is a no no. Once I finally mastered the form on the ground, he had me doing side planks and then planks with a ball. Doing planks on the ball adds the fun of less stability. I had Stacy take a couple pictures of me doing my planks the other day. I sent them to my chiro and he said my glutes and lower back were perfect! WHAT?!?!?! ME????? I never thought I would hear those words come from his mouth when talking about my planks. Now I just need to get my knees where he wants them when I squat and I will be a happy camper.
PS- he lets me have my feet slightly apart on the plank when I use the ball to get a bit more stability. If I were on the ground with my feel like that, I would hear about it for sure.
Have any of you had to do injury recovery exercises that you do not enjoy? Misery loves company! Caring is sharing!