Saturday, December 5, 2009

Core Training

Thursday, December 3rd workout - Remembering the diagnosis.

Warmup

Shoulder mobility - stretching, foam rolling, dislocates

When I attended Kelly Starrett's excellent workshop at CF Boston in September, I was held up as an example of someone with bad shoulder mobility. He had me trying doing an overhead squat, and he kept telling me to stop cheating. I quite simply could not hold the bar overhead without arching my back. His prescription 5-10 minutes of shoulder mobility work before doing any overhead work. Sometimes even that is not enough lately. Hopefully, things will improve as I build a routine incorporating kipping pullups, mobility work, OHS, and the like.

5 rounds:

    3 x 25# pullups
    3 MU row-transition
3 sets each:

    10-second tuck L-sit on rings
    3 press to headstand
Even when I'm not getting in a full workout, I've been trying to squeeze in a little gymnastics training. Perhaps it would have been better if I hadn't crammed it between my shoulder mobility work and overhead lifting.

Heavy Stuff
Press 5x3 85-95-105-115-115f

As soon as I finished thee fourth set, I knew I'd commited the classic alignment fault, because I could suddenly feel tenderness in my L1-T12 disc. I know the feeling from injuring it by catching some jerks with a hinge at that L-T joint. (Kelly Starret expands on this here.) This was just enough tenderness that I knew I lost tightness in the core trying to compensate for my limited shoulder mobility.

Metcon
Half Cindy

AMRAP 10:

    5 pullups
    10 pushups
    15 squats
8 rounds -> 9 pullups; 10:20 for 10 rounds

Pushups failed me, like usual, only quicker this time.


Saturaday, December 5th workout - The Start of the Cure

Warmup
10 minutes carrying wood
5 minutes jump rope - no more than 6 consecutive DUs
Shoulder mobility work

5 rounds:
    3 HSPU
    10-second frog stand
I do the HSPUs with my belly to the wall, so I'm less likely to hinge my spine. If my back is to the wall, I'll arch to keep my center of gravity against the wall. This way I'm encouraged to hollow myself, although you can see that it's not a perfect system. By my fifth set, my form was starting to suffer:

video

You can see the two problems working against each other here, limited shoulder mobility putting me at a less-than vertical body angle and a softening of the back to make my torso angle even less vertical. This is the classic upstream-downstream mobility issue that Kelly Starrett harped on in his Chasing Performance seminar - a mobility restriction in one part of the body leads to an even worse form issue elsewhere. (This is an amazingly useful analysis tool for a coach.) The solution is even more dedication to shoulder mobility (daily perhaps), and a corresponding effort to strengthen my core, not by situps and back extensions, rather by doing exercises that force me to work to hold my spine straight.

Heavy Stuff
Deadlift 3x5 - 225-275-310

That was harder than I remember, but my form was halfway decent.

Suitcase DL 3x3 each 95-115-135

KB Complex, 12K

One minute each:
    One-arm swing, right 31
    Figure 8 forward 20
    One-arm swing, left 33
    Figure 8 backwards, 12 (That was silly.)
    Clean and press, right 20
    Halo, cross chop, alternate sides 22
    Clean and press, left 17
Total reps = 175

Some folks like the pump they get after a day of bench press and curls (guess it looks good in the mirror), but I like the pump after a day of deadlifts. Walking around with a tight trunk just makes me feel strong. I won't be doing heavy deads every week, but I'll mix them in with snatch-grip DLs, unilateral DB/KB work, and the like. I've got hips that even after a few months off can move hundreds of pounds, but I spent those months slouched in front of a computer at work, so my spinal erectors got weak much faster. That's an imbalance I won't allow to get the best of me. The same goes for my mobility work. It's time to stretch.

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