Friday, September 5, 2008

Foam Roller & Beginner Intuflow

Working through my morning ritual of therapy exercises, I was able to introduce a few new things into the series, including use of my foam roller and the Beginner Intuflow series that Scott Sonnon has so kindly made available for free as of late.

Contained within the series of exercises that my physical therapist has prescribed for me are two movements that are meant to improve trunk stability. They work some of the hip muscles as well as the transverse abdominis.

The first is the Bent Leg Lift, where you lie on your back with both legs bent and feet flat on the floor. While keeping your core firm, you proceed to alternate lifting one foot at a time. While one foot is raised, press the opposite foot into the ground (just like you would do with your hands during Renegade Rows).

The second exercise is the Straight Leg Raise. Again while lying flat on the floor, bend one leg and plant its foot flat on the floor. The opposite leg is held out straight and raised to the point where your two knees are next two one another (not an overly large movement) and then return it down.

Today I progressed both of these 'easy' exercises to a more difficult version using my foam roller. Each movement is performed exactly the same except that instead of lying flat on the floor, I now place my foam roller vertically under me so that it runs parallel to my spine. Therefore my spine is actually supported and rests on the length of the roller. Well, let me tell you how something so simple can make an easy exercise very difficult! Give it a try. Perform 30 repetitions on each leg. Oh, and try not to fall over...

Once I completed all of my rehab exercises, I then for the first time worked through Scott Sonnon's Beginner Intuflow series which he has been posting on the web as of late. I worked through the Thorax, Pelvic Lumbar, Spine, Hips, Knees and 4 Corner Balance Drill (4CBD).

This was a good workout for me today. I wasn't surprised to find during the 4CBD my left hip didn't nearly have the same range of motion of my right hip. It's amazing how things become clear once you become aware of what to look for.

On a somewhat related thought... these days I am performing my exercises on the rug in my living room. Attached to my living room is my dining room and on the wall in the dining room hands a clock. The past few mornings I would hold my stretches for 30 seconds, keeping count with the ticking of the clock. This morning as I first lay on the floor, no ticking. I could hear the whirr of the laptop fan. I could hear the coffee pot going. Maybe the batteries in the clock are dead? OK, I'll have to count these out at my own pace. As I settle in and start to relax into my stretch, low and behold, there's the ticking. So loud and clear! Where was it hiding?? Even though I thought I was listening for it, it wasn't there. Amazing how your mind can tune things out, even if you 'think' you're alert. Now I just hope I can get that ticking out of my head!! =)


hunashaman said...

Howie, it seems to me that rehab is harder than actual training. BTW. what the heck is a foam roller? I've seen many people at DD mention it but I really don't have a sense of what it is meant to do. Till we chat again there is just one thought (or sound) I'd like to leave you with: Tick, tock, tick, tock. LOL!

Franklin B Herman, RKC said...

How do Beginner InToFlow movements compare to Z-Health ones?

I wouldn't be surprised if there is some similarity as I recently found out that Dr. Cobb and Coach Sonnon worked together to develop a common platform called Systema.

I'm sure its all good.

Howie Brewer said...

Johan, if I can get proficient on the foam roller movements, I'll have a rock solid core. Now with the tick-tocks, I feel like Captain Hook!

Franklin, the beginner Intuflow movements are definitely more integrative than Z. R-Phase has a very isolated and mechanical feel to it, relative to Intuflow. As soon as Scott's new book is released I will be ordering it along with the DVD.