Archive for the ‘Targeted Exercise’ Category

pushup-mistakes-body-alignment-fix

As I’m sure you’d agree, push-ups are a great way to increase your fitness level.  Problem is, it’s way too easy to cheat by flaring out your elbows or not maintaining a straight alignment during the motion.  Cheating is hardly the worst part of it as improper elbow alignment can (and usually does) cause some pretty painful damage to your shoulders.  I know this because I used to card carrying member of the Bad Posture Push-Up Cheaters Club for Men.  It wrenched my shoulders pretty bad and took several weeks to get back to normal (much of it involving lacrosse ball therapy on the sore muscles).   (more…)

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Feet_on_scaleWeight plays a huge role in Krav Maga (no pun intended). Who am I to say, you ask? Well, let’s just say that I speak from experience. As you may know, I started Krav Maga training about two and a half years ago pretty darn obese, maybe even ‘morbidly’ obese. I was carrying all that extra weight with me every class, for every push-up, every burpee, every lunge, every squat. And man was it exhausting!

To date, I have lost 82 of those pounds and am shooting for about 18 more before I can consider myself ‘done’ (incidentally, you can see below for an up-to-the-minute view of my progress). As the weight has come off, the change was noticeable. Now I’m not talking about appearance-noticeable, though that certainly was there, I mean noticeable from a physical performance standpoint. The push-ups and squats were getting progressively easier because I was lifting that much less weight with each rep. The running and sprints, I found the same thing. I even stopped wearing my knee brace since I was no longer pounding my knees into submission and getting frequent jumper’s knee. I found it extraordinary how much easier it was not to have to lug all that fat around with me. I was less winded and was amazed at the feeling I got exercising in this new body. (more…)

Well, here we are three weeks into class training.  I am really enjoying the experience. Although it hasn’t really been that long at all I am starting to feel some positive results of these intense training sessions.   A little tightening here, a little more definition there…. Still such a long way to go, to be sure, but I see enough progress in this short time to give me some satisfaction and pride in my efforts.

I knew what I was in for when I signed up and I am ecstatic with the training I am involved in.  One thing I am coming to realize however, and to be honest this was something that occurred to me after the first few classes, when you take martial arts pain is your friend.  Or, if not friend, your near constant companion at least.  I’m not talking debilitating pain that you can’t keep your mind off of like a recent major surgery but the kind of pain that flares up when you get out of a chair, walk a flight of stairs, pick up your child, or reach for the Advil on the high shelf of the bathroom medicine cabinet.

Traditionally I have always liked post-workout pain as long as it’s within reason. I like waking up the day after a heavy lifting workout — squats, say — and feeling the reassuring ache deep in my thigh muscles that tells me I pushed my limits and justified my trip to the gym.

With all these new aches and pains in my life, I realized that going forward I’d like to post some exercise routines I’m performing in my off-days from Krav Maga in the hopes that some of it might be of use to you.  My exercise philosophy for these routines will be to target areas and specific muscles that cry out to me the most the next day after a workout. Provided that we’re talking about pain that resulted from some routine, common Krav Maga moves and not about a muscle pain that came about by doing something stupid, the theory is that if these muscles hurt so much, they must be in pitiful shape and need attention.  Doing the targeted exercises on these pained muscles and areas (obviously without causing damage or straining them even more) will strengthen them for future use, making them not only stronger but also less vulnerable to debilitating pain the following morning.

For example, this week was my first extended workout punching with the 16 oz. gloves. Although this portion of the workout with the gloves had to have been 10 minutes or less yet it felt like an eternity — especially not being used to it.  Near the end I needed to bend over and hang and sway my arms in an attempt to stretch out the burning muscles and work out the cramps beginning to form in my left Teres Major Muscle. I focused on that in my trip to the gym this morning and made sure to focus on upright chest presses, some chest flies, and overhead presses to target this area.  I fully expect to struggle with those muscles and others as I continue to get back into shape but I feel this kind of body awareness and focused action will serve me well.

Now.  Where’d I put that Advil around here?