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Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter is too impatient to come up with a fancy title

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5 hours ago, Defining said:

You can also look at joint distraction during stretching, it can really help to ensure that you're targeting the bit that needs to be stretched, rather than the bit that stretches easily/first.

steve carell lol GIF

"Stretches easily".  What does that even mean :D 

 

5 hours ago, Defining said:

the nervous system and muscle atrophy are by far and away the biggest contributors for a lack of flexibility, as I understand it

Interesting.  I don't even know how to check what is contributing to my lack of flexy, which is what makes the MyFlex assessment so intriguing. 

 

7 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

you can also check out her instagram @cirque_physio to get a feel for the type of exercises she likes

 Cool.  Off to check it out

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13 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I'm going to do it 2x per week as it's so time consuming, she recommends 2-4x/week.

Oh good, I was worried it might be an everyday thing, I'm definitely going to stalk her instagram and maybe sign up next time it opens! My joints have been feeling sticky recently (if that makes any sense), so I'm wondering if this might help.

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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Interesting.  I don't even know how to check what is contributing to my lack of flexy, which is what makes the MyFlex assessment so intriguing. 

Think of it this way - if you were unconscious, typically you would display greater flexibility than you are capable of while conscious. (Here is a cool convo on the topic, but the academic materials are few and far between: https://kitlaughlin.com/forums/index.php?/topic/647-general-anaesthesia-and-flexibility-how-much-does-the-central-nervous-system-affect-flexibility/ ). Effectively, the theory is that your body 'protects' you from the edges of your range of motion because it's 'worried' about you getting hurt. Plus, it's not used to it.

 

Our bodies are wonderfully efficient at reinforcing the repetitive patterns we inflict on them. So if you sit at a desk all day, your body thinks: 'hmm, I should get better at this - let's tighten the hips and push the head forward a bit' (I'm being facetious, but it's also kind of true). The flip side is that you can also push the boundaries of 'familiar' over time (eg. stretching, weightlifting form, etc.)

 

The other question is: how flexible do you NEED to be? While stretching can certainly feel satisfying, unless there's a specific inhibiting factor that demands improved flexibility (eg. dorsiflexion for squats, thoracic extension for safe alignment during overhead work, being able to do up your bra, etc.), not being flexible isn't necessarily a bad thing. If the concern is pain, or unhealthy movement patterns, flexibility without strength can cause even more problems. My personal example for that is that I have tried just about every stretch under the sun to improve thoracic & rib mobilisation, but the most effective movement I've found in 2 decades of searching (with the aid of LOTS of different professionals)? Banded face pulls. And yes, I am breaking my own rules by referring to anecdotal evidence as support in suggesting stuff to other people. :P 

 

Obviously the physical structure still matters, but it's not like we're actually lengthening muscles and tendons here, at the very least not to an extent that can account for the entirety of the increase of range of motion people can develop from stretching. Similar to how foam rolling and trigger point therapy don't really change the physical structure of fascia (leastways, if it is changing, it does so over YEARS), so much as effect change by signaling to the central nervous system. To that end - have you ever tested your flexibility after a massage? ;) 

 

Our bodies are so cool.

 

Some fun reading:

 

https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/stretching-doesnt-work-the-way-you-think-it-does

 

https://www.jennirawlings.com/blog/stretching-is-in-your-brain-a-new-paradigm-of-flexibility-yoga-part-1  - also references Jules Mitchell for source material

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/

 

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/fascia-myths-and-fascia-facts

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8 hours ago, Defining said:

You can also look at joint distraction during stretching,

Also part of myFlex. :D I couldn't feel a huuuge sensation when I tried it, possibly because I didn't put the band on enough tension, but afterwards when I went into middle splits stretches it felt like it made a really big difference. Felt like there was a lot more space between the joints to go deeper and combined with all the side butt activation drills it felt really, really good. 

 

8 hours ago, Defining said:

But something like Ashtanga yoga could also be a good option; and the strength work helps to ensure you're developing safe/stabilised flexibility, rather than just being bendy for flexyness' sake. ;)

I sort of agree, but I also feel that yoga is only a good option if you really like yoga. If your goal is to get flexible then working on flexibility directly is much more efficient. And unless you have a good teacher you don't necessarily develop the correct techniques and stabiliser muscles, I mean you can hurt yourself doing yoga just as much as other activities. Don't get me wrong, yoga can be great, but I don't think it's the most effective way to gain flexibility. To me yoga is better practiced for the sake of yoga, and then seeing any flexibility gains as a side effect.

 

8 hours ago, Defining said:

Besides, muscles don't preclude flexibility, people just don't seem to expect it.

100%!

 

8 hours ago, Defining said:

Sounds super interesting, thanks for sharing - always happy to check out new resources!

Np! :) And thanks for chiming in!

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14 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

And unless you have a good teacher you don't necessarily develop the correct techniques and stabiliser muscles, I mean you can hurt yourself doing yoga just as much as other activities.

100%, you're totally right. I'm a big fan of Iyengar and Ashtanga both for flexibility, but until you're confident in your own practice the right/wrong instructor can make or break the experience. Have witnessed enough injuries to know yoga is definitely not infallible. Also, I also completely agree that if yoga isn't an interest, it's not a viable consideration when there are SO many other options out there. 

 

Side note: apologies for temporary hijacking your thread (love your challenge work BTW), I got excited/distracted. 

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5 minutes ago, Defining said:
3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Interesting.  I don't even know how to check what is contributing to my lack of flexy, which is what makes the MyFlex assessment so intriguing. 

Think of it this way - if you were unconscious, typically you would display greater flexibility than you are capable of while conscious

True, and awesome, but not very helpful for practical purposes. :P The question is how best to teach the body to access that flexibility while conscious. The most obvious one is relaxing into the stretch, and it does work, but very temporarily and as you say it won't be helpful in the long run without the strength work.

 

For this program part of is it to make sure that all the structures can move smoothly so there's no physical "road block" (nerves is a common one here), and also figuring out which structures are limiting. For example if your hip rotation is not good enough it might be limiting your pike and/or middle splits. A huge part is strengthening the correct muscles to stabilize the joints. Then there's the technique part and understanding which muscles to activate to keep the joints safe in the stretch, because if you don't do that then again the nervous system will nope out really fast. :) 

 

12 minutes ago, Defining said:

The other question is: how flexible do you NEED to be? While stretching can certainly feel satisfying, unless there's a specific inhibiting factor that demands improved flexibility (eg. dorsiflexion for squats, thoracic extension for safe alignment during overhead work, being able to do up your bra, etc.), not being flexible isn't necessarily a bad thing. If the concern is pain, or unhealthy movement patterns, flexibility without strength can cause even more problems.

Completely agree. But many, many people lack basic mobility that's required for the body to function well. Then again for those people I'd recommend moving their bodies over, you know, trying to do the splits.

 

23 minutes ago, Defining said:

My personal example for that is that I have tried just about every stretch under the sun to improve thoracic & rib mobilisation, but the most effective movement I've found in 2 decades of search? Banded face pulls. And yes, I am breaking my own rules by referring to anecdotal evidence as support in suggesting stuff to other people. :P 

I think anecdotal evidence if sometimes fine too. :P There's not that much in terms of quality research concerning flexibility, and it doesn't hurt trying an exercise for a few weeks to see what happens!

Personally I'm super cautious about specific recommendations for other people since my joints are a little lax and I also respond really well to just about any stretching which makes it a very different experience than for most people. I mean I still do share tips, but never in terms of this is the best exercise ever, unless they have a similar body type.

 

29 minutes ago, Defining said:

Obviously the physical structure still matters, but it's not like we're actually lengthening muscles and tendons here,

True. Well they do, but over years of consistent input, but that input for that is mostly what we do the 99% of the time we aren't stretching.

 

31 minutes ago, Defining said:

To that end - have you ever tested your flexibility after a massage? ;) 

Heh funnily enough for me it makes almost no difference.

 

32 minutes ago, Defining said:

Our bodies are so cool.

THE COOLEST! :D 

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11 minutes ago, Defining said:

100%, you're totally right. I'm a big fan of Iyengar and Ashtanga both for flexibility, but until you're confident in your own practice the right/wrong instructor can make or break the experience. Have witnessed enough injuries to know yoga is definitely not infallible. Also, I also completely agree that if yoga isn't an interest, it's not a viable consideration when there are SO many other options out there. 

  

Side note: apologies for temporary hijacking your thread (love your challenge work BTW), I got excited/distracted. 

Oh no please don't apologize for the hijacking, I love this stuff! :D I find this such a fascinating and very misunderstood topic.

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4 hours ago, Defining said:

Think of it this way - if you were unconscious, typically you would display greater flexibility than you are capable of while conscious

I have actually wondered about this. If I were unconscious and someone put me into the splits and then woke me up, would I suddenly be able to do the splits or would my body freak out and rip my tendons?

 

4 hours ago, Defining said:

To that end - have you ever tested your flexibility after a massage?

I don't ever get massages because having a stranger rub me all over makes me more tense than I was to start with. we hates them

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Wow, three pages already... You weren't kidding when you said you didn't have time to look for a title :D

 

Those myFLex guys should definitely hire you as public relations assistant, because even I went and took a look at their site. Glad it was not working, otherwise I might have fallen for it, just on your enthusiasm :)

 

Your thread is full with thrill with so many shiny things. Wishing you the best challenge ever!

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9 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have actually wondered about this. If I were unconscious and someone put me into the splits and then woke me up, would I suddenly be able to do the splits or would my body freak out and rip my tendons?

 

:D

 

 

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20 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I also got really frustrated at one climb because there's this one move that *should* totally be a my kind of move and yet I can't do it while everyone else can and it drove me nuts! But then I did some dive rolls, a fish flop or two and some silly and fast forward rolls on the squishy mats and that made me happy again. :D 

Yes. :D:D:D

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9 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have actually wondered about this. If I were unconscious and someone put me into the splits and then woke me up, would I suddenly be able to do the splits or would my body freak out and rip my tendons?

I've been wondering about that too. I strongly suspect the latter, but it would be a pretty unethical experiment to try. :P 

 

7 hours ago, zenLara said:

Wow, three pages already... You weren't kidding when you said you didn't have time to look for a title :D

 

Those myFLex guys should definitely hire you as public relations assistant, because even I went and took a look at their site. Glad it was not working, otherwise I might have fallen for it, just on your enthusiasm :)

 

Your thread is full with thrill with so many shiny things. Wishing you the best challenge ever!

Exactly!

 

Haha. :D 

 

Thank you! <3

 

7 minutes ago, raptron said:

Yes. :D:D:D

Getting upside down really works as a mood booster. :D 

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1 minute ago, Mad Hatter said:

I've been wondering about that too. I strongly suspect the latter, but it would be a pretty unethical experiment to try. :P 

 

Unless....

 

No, no, carry on.

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Really, you should get an affiliate link, I think you've sold like 5 people on it already :P

Too busy to screw up is also not a thing alright, it just means you've got lots of things you could have screwed up- like your waiting time before class or your frustration level while climbing. And you didn't, so fuck yes. 

 

About the flexy stuff; awesome and misunderstood topic indeed! but really I'm often impressed with the level of knowledge here at NF. I don't think it'd be easy to find another group of people where a conversation of this quality could be had.

 

Pain and mobility is very much negotiating with the nervous system and the tricks you can pull with it are so cool. But then it'll take work to make those tricks / quick fixes into a permanent solution. Jaap specialises in this for rehab purposes, for people with chronic joint pain.. he can twist the calve muscle a certain way and then suddenly the pain in the knee will disappear, but since he can't hold the calve muscle like that permanently that's just where the road to recovery starts. Still always fun to watch the shock/awe in people though. And the hope. I like the hope bit. (My contribution to the pile of interesting things.)

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7 hours ago, KB Girl said:

About the flexy stuff; awesome and misunderstood topic indeed! but really I'm often impressed with the level of knowledge here at NF. I don't think it'd be easy to find another group of people where a conversation of this quality could be had.

 

Pain and mobility is very much negotiating with the nervous system and the tricks you can pull with it are so cool. But then it'll take work to make those tricks / quick fixes into a permanent solution. Jaap specialises in this for rehab purposes, for people with chronic joint pain.. he can twist the calve muscle a certain way and then suddenly the pain in the knee will disappear, but since he can't hold the calve muscle like that permanently that's just where the road to recovery starts. Still always fun to watch the shock/awe in people though. And the hope. I like the hope bit. (My contribution to the pile of interesting things.)

So true!

 

That is very cool. Chronic pain is SUCH a fascinating topic, I'd love to learn more about it. I think the hope bit is a key ingredient in recovery. If your expectations are non-existent to begin with then no treatment will help.

 

Even with my elbow I think that part of why it took such a long time to recover was because I was feeling low and wasn't ready to go back to climbing.

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I ended up a little sore after climbing and acro, but I did my flexy work just fine. I ended up starting really late in the morning and it took me something like 3 hours to complete because I was working in between modules. :P It felt good though, much easier this time, except for a select few exercises. 

 

Surprisingly enough the absolute worst exercise is one that targets the deep neck flexors. You lie on the back with your knees bent and a small pillow under your upper back. Then you make a double chin and lift your head ever so slightly off the floor and hold it there. It's SO HEAVY for me! And feels pretty horrible. Which probably means it's very good for me. ;) 

 

Thursday positive actions

  • Meditated
  • MyFlex
  • Loosely followed schedule I made in the morning
  • Went out for a short walk mid day as part of my schedule
  • Cooked dinner - at one point I thought I was too tired to cook, but then I reconsidered and thought that hey maybe I'm tired because I hadn't eaten. The latter was true.
  • Didn't leave the kitchen a mess after cooking
  • This one should count double - but I finally had a work meeting that I've been procrastinating for almost a week :P 

Negative action

  • Waited until the last minute for doodling - do it in the morning as I'm going to be busy in the evening

Current stats

  • Go to bed already 3/6
  • Get out of bed already 5/7 - First time at 3 am after a rather upsetting dream. In short I was being kept captive and sedated against my will in a sort of private mental institution, and made to believe I was on vacation somewhere else. After days or perhaps weeks I finally puzzled it out, got upset and told my mum to stop but she wouldn't listen instead she gave me a jab to calm me down. The jab woke me up. Made a snack, shook it off and went back to bed. 
  • Doodle 3/7
  • Flexy 2/2
  • Breakfast 5/7
  • Morning warm up 5/7
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9 hours ago, KB Girl said:

About the flexy stuff; awesome and misunderstood topic indeed! but really I'm often impressed with the level of knowledge here at NF. I don't think it'd be easy to find another group of people where a conversation of this quality could be had.

 

Same, I love those nerdy discussions.

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

I ended up a little sore after climbing and acro, but I did my flexy work just fine. I ended up starting really late in the morning and it took me something like 3 hours to complete because I was working in between modules. :P

 

This is great! It looks you are doing much better with your routine, even if it has delays and doesn't come exactly in the shape you had planned, it's coming around!

 

2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

In short I was being kept captive and sedated against my will in a sort of private mental institution, and made to believe I was on vacation somewhere else. After days or perhaps weeks I finally puzzled it out, got upset and told my mum to stop but she wouldn't listen instead she gave me a jab to calm me down. The jab woke me up. Made a snack, shook it off and went back to bed. 

 

:ph34r: do you dream / remember your dreams a lot these days?

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17 minutes ago, @mu said:

 This is great! It looks you are doing much better with your routine, even if it has delays and doesn't come exactly in the shape you had planned, it's coming around!

Yes I feel like it's all coming together. :) Well except that I've done 6 training sessions in 5 days and I still want to climb and lift and pole and maaaaybe go to open parkour class this week! :D But I also want to be a responsible adult and take a rest day. Hmmmm tricky tricky.... 

 

57 minutes ago, @mu said:

:ph34r: do you dream / remember your dreams a lot these days?

Not really no. But this time I did because I woke up rather aggressively. Funny thing is that my shoulder is a little sore in exactly the spot where I got the jab. :lol:

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23 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I'm pretty sure they did shit like that in the 60's. :lol:

...not the worst medical experiment from that era, if they did. Sadly, this includes experiments from the US.

 

Also, looks like a swimmingly good zero week for you! do I see a perfect so far streak for morning stuff?

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10 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Surprisingly enough the absolute worst exercise is one that targets the deep neck flexors. You lie on the back with your knees bent and a small pillow under your upper back. Then you make a double chin and lift your head ever so slightly off the floor and hold it there. It's SO HEAVY for me! And feels pretty horrible. Which probably means it's very good for me. ;) 

I periodically demonstrate a really basic upper trap/neck flex thing for my coworkers where you just draw your head back into double chin mode (my friend who is a PT explains it as "act like someone you don't like is trying to give you a kiss"). Every time I demonstrate it, I'm like "omgggagagahogiaojidglkag I should do that more often."


And then I don't. Oops. :D 

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2 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

...not the worst medical experiment from that era, if they did. Sadly, this includes experiments from the US.

 

Also, looks like a swimmingly good zero week for you! do I see a perfect so far streak for morning stuff?

Oh yeah the US was absolutely one of the worst for doing stuff like that.

 

So far so good! But to be fair most of my morning stuff was already more or less habit last challenge. I’m just tracking it so I won’t slip. :) 

 

1 hour ago, raptron said:

I periodically demonstrate a really basic upper trap/neck flex thing for my coworkers where you just draw your head back into double chin mode (my friend who is a PT explains it as "act like someone you don't like is trying to give you a kiss"). Every time I demonstrate it, I'm like "omgggagagahogiaojidglkag I should do that more often."


And then I don't. Oops. :D 

Sounds like the same exercise, except that you stay upright. But yeah it’s so hard! It seems like it should be easy but nope.

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Ok cool, I got my rest day in as I didn't lift at work. Now I can do all the things this weekend. ;) 

 

But I think I dug myself a hole at work today. :P So one of my colleagues who's effectively our dev ops guy (slash one of the new school "hippies" slash the guy that I've gotten into parkour) has effectively been using me as his lab rat for testing the migration to a new environment for the past few weeks/months. Partly because I'm a bit of a blank slate in that department so he likes talking to me specifically, partly because the other two very senior guys are busier than me and he thinks they'll just forget everything anyway. Which is funny considering I have the memory of a gold fish haha. Anyways, for the past weeks he's been sharing very useful snippets of information with me, which is great, except that I have zero background knowledge to put into context! So today I decided that I have two choices, either I can tell him to stop because I don't want to get involved, which would obviously be dumb, oooor to fill in the gaps for me and show me how everything works instead of filling my head with tidbits without context. Now you see, I actually don't want to get too deeply involved with that stuff, for many reasons, which he knows all too well. Buuuuut I want to stay ignorant even less, so today I sucked it up and told him that if he's going to keep sharing stuff with me it's better if I actually understands the stuff he's talking about at a big picture level. Except that it completely backfired, he got absolutely thrilled, and shocked haha, and I think I just made myself his minion in TWO new areas. Oops. :lol: Now I actually don't mind, I love working with him, and I think this might also help with my overall confidence levels (and ahem the occasional impostor syndrome). Today I had this strange insight that I actually have more practical experience with the new environment than both of the senior guys. Not a lot or anything complex but showing my boss how to do something just felt like a small equalizer. Which also made the other guy happy because he won't have to deal with all the questions haha. All in all I felt like I finally succumbed to the inevitable, for better or worse, after having resisted for the longest time. ;) 

 

Friday positive actions

  • Meditated
  • Closed old bank account - I've been procrastinating this for months and months
  • Quick doodle in the morning as I knew I wouldn't have time later
  • Asked for more learning opportunities at work
  • Beers with friends!

Negative action

  • Extremely distracted at work. Had a lot of fun chatting with people but I struggled with tackling any work tasks. Fix - umm deal with them next week, they're not going to go away? :P 

Current stats

  • Go to bed already 3/6
  • Get out of bed already 5/7
  • Doodle 4/7
  • Flexy 2/2
  • Breakfast 5/7
  • Morning warm up 5/7
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On 2/7/2019 at 11:41 AM, Mad Hatter said:

I've been wondering about that too. I strongly suspect the latter, but it would be a pretty unethical experiment to try. :P 

 

but...if it's for science....

(I would definitly have been the scientist that fed themselves cholera to test a cure.)

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Now you see, I actually don't want to get too deeply involved with that stuff, for many reasons, which he knows all too well. Buuuuut I want to stay ignorant even less, so today I sucked it up and told him that if he's going to keep sharing stuff with me it's better if I actually understands the stuff he's talking about at a big picture level. Except that it completely backfired, he got absolutely thrilled, and shocked haha, and I think I just made myself his minion in TWO new areas.

 

aHAHAHA oh no...

But I mean, the rest of that doesn't sound too bad. And...more knowledge is always good!!

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I've been wanting to tell you these days, but I keep forgetting: you seem to be in a much better place than before concernin climbing. Do you think taking up new fun activities has helped to put less focus on your climbing performance?

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