Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cross Training

I am definitely seeing some improvement to my back with the introduction of my new chiropractor.  My pain-free range of motion has already increased and I am not waking up with the ache in my back.

I had a chiro adjustment yesterday afternoon and a physical therapy session in the evening.  I brought my kettlebells into the PT session so my therapist could view and critique my form as I practiced a few swings and cleans.

Due to the mild scoliosis of my spine (did I mention that earlier?  I also have a very mild form of spinal bifida) it is going to be a while before I can cleanly rack the bell on my left hip.  This is now causing a lot of spinal twist (what got me here in the first place) and until I get myself fully aligned, stretched and strengthened the position will probably continue to aggravate my back.  

My left shoulder which was my recent to separate (a few years back) appears to still be weaker than my right and it appears I compensate for it during my swings by turning the shoulder inward on my downswing.  

So specific recommendations by my physical therapist... integrate some cross training into my workout schedule.  Slowly integrate the bells back in.  Yoga is ok as long as I don't move into any postures that cause pain.  And closely monitor the effects of each of these like I have been doing so far.

This morning's session... I performed 10 minutes on the elliptical machine this morning to start moving my muscles a bit differently.  This was followed by 5 pullups, 5 dips, 5 hanging leg raises and 10 pushups with a forward arm extension at the end of each rep.  Cool down with some stretches.

My thoughts... Maybe incorporate the elliptical trainer back into my routine a bit.  At most 20 minutes of intervals, maybe once or twice a week.  For the bells, focus solely on double jerks, double long cycle, snatches and swings (double rack position will keep me from torquing my spine at this point).  Incorporate some of the body weight movements such as the pushups and pullups, etc.  Re-start working on some Prasara Yoga.  And lastly, something I was going to hold off on, but may introduce sooner, Scott Sonnon's Xtension program using the 5lb clubbells.

So I have a lot to think about in terms of how to structure something that includes all of these activities while at the same time rolling things in slowly so that I can monitor their effects on my back.  At the same time, I need to make sure I have enough downtime to recuperate and recover from my workouts.  This is not how I would have imagined things a few months back, but it is what it is today.  And except for the current back pain, it isn't all that bad.  Not at all!


hunashaman said...

Glad to see things are improving. In terms of structuring your sessions you might want to try the 4x7 approach. I find that it works well for me and it allows me enough time to practice different modalities.

Aaron Friday said...

Man, I would think some light barbell training is in order. It's along the lines of double KBs, but more integrated since it's the same handle for both hands.

What about 2-hand swings?