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Bookish Badger keeps digging....


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@Guzzi, thank you for your comment! When the pain first started, I thought the planks might be causing it. However, taking a few days off didn't help, and it isn't getting worse since I resumed. So I'll cautiously continue for now.

 

If you happen to remember the other exercises that were recommended, I'd welcome the information. Thanks for your support!

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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11 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

Silly Badger moment: Yesterday it was only after I'd gotten to work (after my hour-long commute, trip to gym, & shower) that I realized I had grabbed my lunch tote but not put anything in it. *le sigh* So I told myself it was an experiment in involuntary intermittent fasting. (Yeah, I could have gone out to get something to eat but there aren't many very good choices nearby so I decided to just skip the bother.)

Been there, done that. Empyt tupperware is also not a good lunch...

 

 

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Mm...empty Tupperware. Or as I like to call them, air sandwiches. 

 

You our got this Badger! And don't push yourself too hard with the planks. Don't want to hurt yourself too much. 

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Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

                                                                                                                       -Miyamoto Musashi

Current Challenge: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83906-kvedulfs-second-challenge-first-steps-on-a-new-way/

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Weekly update:

 

1. Plan & shop Rummage in the freezer for the week's meals: DONE.

2. Prep the week's lunches: Doing it as I type; there is a baking sheet of chicken thighs under the broiler right now.

3. Record foods. Doing it.

4. Planks - INCOMPLETE AND ON HOLD.

 

I thought my back was doing better. Then this morning, I mowed the lawn and pruned some branches from a tree overhanging the street. Less than 2 hours of mild exercise, and my back is really pissed off again. So, I'm discontinuing the plank part of the challenge. I'm going to stop the weightlifting for a while, too.

 

I joined the Academy right before the price bump, so I'll do the level 1 bodyweight exercises twice this week, and walk on the treadmill on the other days. We'll see if some extra rest helps. Grrrr. *badger hiss*

 

Otherwise, things are going well and I'm already thinking about possibilities for the next challenge.

"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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7 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

I thought my back was doing better. Then this morning, I mowed the lawn and pruned some branches from a tree overhanging the street. Less than 2 hours of mild exercise, and my back is really pissed off again. So, I'm discontinuing the plank part of the challenge. I'm going to stop the weightlifting for a while, too.

 

I joined the Academy right before the price bump, so I'll do the level 1 bodyweight exercises twice this week, and walk on the treadmill on the other days. We'll see if some extra rest helps. Grrrr. *badger hiss*

Take care of your self! My back was acting up on Sunday too, I think mostly because I was standing around holding hubby's photo stuff while he took pictures of the Rhine falls.

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On 24 June 2016 at 2:19 AM, Bookish Badger said:

If you happen to remember the other exercises that were recommended, I'd welcome the information. Thanks for your support!

 

Right! Second time lucky!(???)

 

These exercises are primarily to "switch on" those deep abdominal muscles and to teach you control. It's important to move only the parts of your body that are supposed to move and keep the rest of your body still. If you find them waaaaay too easy then it would be worth getting someone to check if you are allowing movement to creep in where it shouldn't. 

 

These are the most basic exercises though so you may find that they are simply too easy, but I would say that it's still worth doing them a couple of times to get a feel for it before moving on. And they will teach you the control needed to do the harder exercises and give you a better awareness of what your body is doing. 

 



No 1. 

Lie on your back with your spine in a neutral position* and your core engaged. Have your feet hip-with apart and toes pointing towards the ceiling. Keeping your pelvis level and your core engaged, slowly slide one foot up towards your bottom as far as is comfortable, keeping your heel on the floor and your knee in line with your foot (don't let your knee flop out to the side) then return it to the starting position.  Switch sides and repeat. The aim here is control, move slowly and keep the pelvis level. You may find it helpful to put your hands on the points of your hip bones for feedback. 

 

No 2. - Adding in arm movements. 

Start in the same position as No. 1 but make sure your arms at at your sides. This time, as you draw your foot up raise the opposite arm, reach up and back as far as you are comfortable without arching your back or moving your shoulders. As you slide your heel back return your arm to the starting position. Keep your core engaged and your pelvis level throughout. 

 

No 3. 

Same starting position, hands by your sides. This time draw your heel up towards your bottom then lift your foot up so that your knee is directly above your hip and your foot is level with your knee. This is called Table Top position. Keeping your core engaged and your pelvis level, extend your leg towards your foot (your leg should end up straight and angled approx 30° off the floor) and slowly lower back down. 

 

No 4. - Half bridge

Start on your back with your legs bent, feet and knees hip-width apart and your arms down at your sides. Engage your core and flatten you back into the mat. Tilt your pelvis so that your tailbone lifts then slowly pull your pelvis up towards you, curling up off the mat until you reach the ribcage. It is important to think of it as pulling up with the abdominals rather than pushing up with the legs. Hold this position for 20ish seconds then roll back down (curling the spine as much as possible) to the starting position. 

 

*If you don't know how to find your neutral spine position then this article will explain it. 

 

This is a good video for you if you feel that the others were too easy though I feel that she doesn't give a very good explanation of the neutral spine and it doesn't focus on control at all really. It's not what I would point absolute beginners to because of that (the exercises are incredibly easy if you let movement creep in where it shouldn't be) but if you do the exercises above first then this video is a perfect follow on to improve your core strength. :)

 

 

I hope some of this is useful to you and that I'm not just telling you stuff you already know. If I am then I apologise. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

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Make Life Rue The Day                             Turning back the clock                                                Recipe book  14

 

Life is far too short to take seriously

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@Guzzi, thank you so much! I'm sorry you had to post all of that twice!

 

One question: in exercise #1, I'm guessing that the arms should be down at the sides, palm down. Is that correct?

 

Second question: in exercise #2, do the arms move vertically up and back overhead, or horizontally out to the side and up (like when making snow angels?)

 

Thanks again, I'll give these a try once the current back spasms calm down.

"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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No problem, I have a suspicion that it may have been my own fault, lol!

 

No 1. You can have your arms where ever is comfortable. At your sides is good but just watch out that you don't press down with your palms to steady yourself. The stabilising should all come from your core. 

 

Although the first exerercise might seem really easy, it's harder than you think it isolate and move only one part of your body. There's a natural tendency to press down with the opposite hip, or use your arms, to steady yourself. That's why it's quite good to place your hands over your pointy hip bones during this exercise when you first start, you can feel if your hips move to try and help or steady the movement. 

 

Second exercise - arms move vertically up ad back like you're doing backstroke. I was starting to get really tired when I was writing and I was struggling to explain myself on that one. I just couldn't think how to put it! :D

 

I hope your spasms settle down quickly, that's no fun whatsoever  

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Make Life Rue The Day                             Turning back the clock                                                Recipe book  14

 

Life is far too short to take seriously

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4 hours ago, Guzzi said:

it's quite good to place your hands over your pointy hip bones during this exercise

If I can find them under the padding, I'll be sure to do so!

 

Thanks for the clarification, and thanks again for all the information. I'm sure it will help me out a lot.

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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On ‎27‎/‎06‎/‎2016 at 10:41 AM, Bookish Badger said:

Weekly update:

 

1. Plan & shop Rummage in the freezer for the week's meals: DONE.

2. Prep the week's lunches: Doing it as I type; there is a baking sheet of chicken thighs under the broiler right now.

3. Record foods. Doing it.

4. Planks - INCOMPLETE AND ON HOLD.

 

I thought my back was doing better. Then this morning, I mowed the lawn and pruned some branches from a tree overhanging the street. Less than 2 hours of mild exercise, and my back is really pissed off again. So, I'm discontinuing the plank part of the challenge. I'm going to stop the weightlifting for a while, too.

 

I joined the Academy right before the price bump, so I'll do the level 1 bodyweight exercises twice this week, and walk on the treadmill on the other days. We'll see if some extra rest helps. Grrrr. *badger hiss*

 

Otherwise, things are going well and I'm already thinking about possibilities for the next challenge.

 

Backs are such temperamental beasts, aren't they?  And once they throw a hissy fit, it's nigh on impossible to get anything done.  :( 

 

I hope your back gets well soon Badger!  I think dropping back to some more basic core work before heading back to the planks at a later date is a great idea.  :) 

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I just found your challenge. Doh on me!

 

Sounds like you are doing the best you can. You are hitting your goals and adjusting when you need to. That is all any of us can do. :)

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Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

Useful posts on my battle log: Useful Links and Travel Schedule, Future Challenge IdeasGoals for 2017 as a whole, Assorted Goals (not on rotation), Elements W1D1, Last Quarter Goals

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Hello! I like books and animal gifs. I showed the owl-in-a-hat to my BF and he said, oh, that's cute... Is that a screech owl? They're protected, it's illegal to own them. Who posted this? I want to report them.

 

... He doesn't know how the internet works.

 

Good luck resolving the back pain. It's awful to want to work out but be unable to because of stupid human frailties.

 

I may steal those core strength exercises.

"Those who shun the whimsy of things will experience rigor mortis before death."

Tom Robbins

 

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Hey Badger. How's things going? Haven't heard from you in a bit. Hope everything is all good.

Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

                                                                                                                       -Miyamoto Musashi

Current Challenge: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83906-kvedulfs-second-challenge-first-steps-on-a-new-way/

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Hey, everyone, sorry for the long time no post. It was a long weekend here in the US (hope none of my fellow Americans here blew off any appendages), and my husband and I took an extra day to make it even longer. We spent some time traveling through Oregon, and I'll have some pics to share this weekend when I have time to upload them. On to the update:

 

My planning, shopping, packing, and recording goals all get a big fat "0" this week, because I let a disruption to my schedule and vacation-brain throw me off. I had this niggling feeling that I should do my planning & shopping, and maybe even some prepping, before Friday...but nooooo, I told myself I'd do it when we got back. Yeah, didn't. Live and learn.

 

@Kucki68 and @Kvedulf, thank you for asking. I've come to the conclusion that my back issues are probably due to bad posture & a desk job finally catching up with me, made worse by an over-agressive attack on planks. I spent much of the weekend either in the car (which has very nice, supportive seats) or walking around the various sights we went to see, and my back felt great. Spent much of Monday in my favorite chair catching up on reading, and my back was twinging just a bit when I went to bed. Came home Tuesday after a day at work and within 5 minutes my entire upper back was making its displeasure known. I hadn't even gone to the gym that morning! 

 

I have Becoming a Supple Leopard and Deskbound on order from the library hoping for some posture intervention. Until then, cat/cow stretches seem to help. I also looked up some shoulder stretches to try, and I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

 

Gotta go get dinner started at the moment, but I wanted to share a couple of links that I've come across:

 

http://www.thelazygeniuscollective.com/blog/how-to-bullet-journal This link comes from a blog that might be my newest time sink. I really like her writing style, and for those who are interested in bullet journaling but are intimidated by the intricate craft projects clogging Pinterest, this is a great and informative article. I'll tease you with my favorite comment: "Thank you for this article because honestly, I needed a really simple guide with the added bonus of the comparison to a potato. It helped, a lot."

 

And for those of us who feel like when we're overwhelmed, the answer is to grit our teeth and power through no matter what (looking in your direction, @Severine :P) here's another perspective:

 

https://hbr.org/2016/06/resilience-is-about-how-you-recharge-not-how-you-endure

 

I'll have more to share this weekend. Until then, have a great week!

 

 

 

 

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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4 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

I have Becoming a Supple Leopard and Deskbound on order from the library hoping for some posture intervention. Until then, cat/cow stretches seem to help. I also looked up some shoulder stretches to try, and I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

I am hoping for a review if they were helpful, because like you I am at the desk all day and have some back issues, though mine are in the lower back.

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7 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

We spent some time traveling through Oregon

Oooh. Which parts of Oregon. I've spent quite some time in Lincoln City on the coast the last couple of years.

 

7 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

My planning, shopping, packing, and recording goals all get a big fat "0" this week, because I let a disruption to my schedule and vacation-brain throw me off. I had this niggling feeling that I should do my planning & shopping, and maybe even some prepping, before Friday...but nooooo, I told myself I'd do it when we got back. Yeah, didn't. Live and learn.

I totally do this too, but as long as you learn after the first time then no harm no foul.

 

7 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

I have Becoming a Supple Leopard and Deskbound on order from the library hoping for some posture intervention. Until then, cat/cow stretches seem to help. I also looked up some shoulder stretches to try, and I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Sounds like you have a plan! :D

Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

Useful posts on my battle log: Useful Links and Travel Schedule, Future Challenge IdeasGoals for 2017 as a whole, Assorted Goals (not on rotation), Elements W1D1, Last Quarter Goals

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Challenge wrap-up:

 

1. Plan & shop for the week's meals: 75% due to a couple of hiccups

2. Prep the week's lunches: 90% as the only week I hadn't done it was last week.

3. Record foods. 50% - my motivation really trailed off and went wandering around towards the end.

4. Planks - Discontinued, N/A.

 

So what did I learn?

The meal planning and prep is vital. I'm still not as solid on it as I'd like to be, so I'll still prioritize it in my weekly routine, but not continue it as a challenge for next time. I've demonstrated the value to myself enough to keep it up without posting here for accountability. (I hope. And if I backslide, there're always future challenges.)

 

I'm dropping the food recording. When I did track it, I found my macros were in the ranges I wanted but found it difficult to accurately track meals that I ate out. They were probably still pretty close to target, but since I don't know how everything was prepared I can't account for how much fat was used to cook the meals, or if hidden sugar was snuck in, or...and at about that point the anal-retentive side of my nature threw a hissy fit. What it comes down to is, at this point I don't see much value for the time investment. I'll keep it in mind as a tool if my progress stalls, but for now I'll let it go. 

 

Planks...which brings me to my back. It is much improved, mostly thanks to a massage therapist I saw on Saturday. In the past, I'd always gone to my salon & the therapists were always petite women who clearly were drawn to the "woo-woo" side of bodywork (my apologies to any this remark will offend, I'm just not sure how else to put it). Fine if you just want a pleasant relaxing time, but maybe not so much if you have serious issues to work on.

 

This one was a martial artist with tattoos and a jarhead haircut named Steve. Steve may be my new best friend. I'm still sore in places - not because he was unnecessarily rough but because he was willing to dig into those trouble spots until They. Let. Go. Keep in mind, the spot that had been bothering me most was my middle back (rhomboid area), between my right shoulder blade and spine. He found that my left lat and right bicep were the areas that were unusually tight. ("insane," "hyper tight," and "crazy stressed" were his actual words) Since Saturday, the original trouble spot hasn't bothered me at all, though I can tell I still have work to do.

 

Which brings me to...Becoming a Supple Leopard came in from the library and I've started reading it. There is a LOT of information & this may be another one I need to buy just to have it on hand. In addition to the mobility work (which is actually the last section of the book) there is also a breakdown of many exercises, their common faults, and ways to fix it. For example, throwing your head back to look up during a back squat is not just bad for your neck if the bar is too high, it also automatically overextends your lumbar vertebrae. 

 

But the very first section is on good posture - how to find it and maintain it. Step 1: stand up and clench your butt to bring your pelvis to neutral. Step 2: lower your rib cage so the diaphragm is parallel to the pelvic alignment. Step 3: engage your abs. Step 4: release your glutes (moving with a clenched butt is awkward at best). I tried these steps and all seemed well until I got to step 4. The moment I let go with my butt, my pelvis dropped forward and my back overextended. I tried it again. Same result. And again. Yep, same thing. I seem to be permanently sway-backed.

 

Needless to say, my next challenge is going to revolve around those core exercises @Guzzi sent me! 

 

Then I started thinking, maybe my squishy abs aren't totally at fault. Due to my decades of desk jobs, it's likely that my hip flexors et al are shortened and inflexible. So the dreaded couch stretch will probably be part of my new routine.

 

Finally, I realized that I had been trying to compensate for my rounded-shoulder computer-hunch by rolling my shoulders back and down - probably more than was necessary and increasing the overextension in my back. Between the two, plus trying to lift heavy on squats & deadlifts, it's no wonder the middle of my back threw a fit. Add shoulder mobility work to the list. 

 

If you're still reading, bless you! And I'll see you in the next challenge.

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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So glad I'm not the only one to type novels :P

 

Really good to see that the meal prep has worked for you and you were so successful in keeping on top of it. I wouldn't stress so much about the food tracking. So long as you're eating healthily at home that's the main thing. And I've found that since doing meal planning, the amount of take out we eat for dinner has dropped to almost non-existent (one night since the first week of my first challenge from memory).

 

Also, super happy for you that you've finally got someone to help with your back. Muscles and tight spots are crazy!

 

Looking forward to your next challenge. Goooo Badger!

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Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

                                                                                                                       -Miyamoto Musashi

Current Challenge: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/83906-kvedulfs-second-challenge-first-steps-on-a-new-way/

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Sounds like you had a good challenge.

 

I think the most valuable thing is learning how to do better or what works for you. So I'd say you aced that part!

 

Good job!

Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

Useful posts on my battle log: Useful Links and Travel Schedule, Future Challenge IdeasGoals for 2017 as a whole, Assorted Goals (not on rotation), Elements W1D1, Last Quarter Goals

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Oooooh! I want that book! It's sooo fricking expensive to buy, but I think it would be worth it since both me and the bf lift. Everyone that has it says it's great. 

 

Great challenge! I'm glad you got your back sorted out. I was going to ask if you've considered seeing an osteopath to have it checked? Those tight muscles could easily have pulled something out of alignment that could cause the whole problem to flair up again. A kind of chicken and egg scenario. It could be worthwhile. 

 

Good luck with the next challenge, I hope it goes as well as this one, sans the back issue of course! I'll be working on core exercises too though mine will be at a lower level than your, haha! Good luck! :encouragement: 

Make Life Rue The Day                             Turning back the clock                                                Recipe book  14

 

Life is far too short to take seriously

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Good recap! You finished strong and sensible. I think your willingness to toss out unhelpful things (tracking) and to back away from stuff giving you pain (planks) are signs of deep rationality :)

 

A good massage therapist is incredibly precious. Hold tight to Jarhead Steve! I went to a woman once who taught me a thing about rolling up towels and then centering my back on them and letting my shoulders hang slightly down and it was really good for loosening up the back, but I'm afraid I'm incapable of adequately describing it. It was helpful, though.

 

My posture is really horrific - slouchy and slumpy. I'm trying to work on it but I have so many years of slouching to overcome, and a pretty weak core to boot. So I am eager to hear reports on Projects Supple Leopard. Please keep us informed :)

 

Looking forward to your next challenge!

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11 hours ago, Severine said:

rolling up towels and then centering my back on them and letting my shoulders hang slightly down

 

I love that .... thing... it isn't really a stretch ... I think of it as a counter-stretch because it puts a lot of slack into the upper-back muscles so they can really relax. It's heaven when they are spasming.

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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