Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hurt Hams, Grateful Glutes



Yes the hams are still causing me a problem, but I start physical therapy in a week. At this point it's more mental than physical I think, at least it's hard for me to push myself, I have this horrible fear of tearing something and causing even more damage. I can feel the hamstring "pull" when I try to train, and it's bound to pull for a while, I just need to get past the fear and realize that.

Below is the standing work station I have for my office now, it is sitting outside my door, waiting to be assembled and moved in, my desk is way too heavy for me to move it on my own.

My doctor believes that sitting for long periods of time is causing me to have tight hip flexors and it is shortening my psoas. That, and then the contracted glute muscle seemed to have contributed to the hamstring strain I am now dealing with. 

Here is a very interesting article that was in the San Francisco Chronicle called "Firms take stand against sitting" describing the exact situation I am up against and how other Bay Area Companies are moving away from traditional desks and incorporating these standing work stations. You may want to consider one for your office or home!



I have been walking my stairs at lunch, taking them two at a time and this seems to be working my quads more than my hamstrings and glutes. When I would run them, I would need explosive posterior power, it's funny how the same exercise is changed so much by walking instead of running.

As you can see, the glutes, hamstrings and quads have come up, they have all increased in size and I have been able to maintain a reasonable bodyfat level. This area (hamstrings and quads) is one I have been working on for quite some time, I have naturally lean legs, this is considered by some a blessing, and by others a curse - just depends on how you look at it (I say it's a curse).

Before I hurt my left hamstring I was training them twice a week - heavy. I have to do that to make them grow, and as soon as I get clearance and can psych myself up, I will start back in. In fact, today I actually jogged to the Event Center to walk my stairs, and I had no pain. Of course, anything can change tomorrow, so I will need to assess how I feel when I wake up. 

Roy and I have been hitting the glutes since we need to avoid the hamstrings! Now, they are connected, so the hamstrings will be trained when training the glutes, but we can target specific areas and avoid specific areas. 

We are doing single leg hip thrusts,  and back extensions on the roman chair, both with weight. The hip thrusts were hard at first, in fact we started with only bodyweight as it pulled on my leg and my hip flexors were so tight, but on Monday we were up to 12 reps with 60 pounds, I have an Olympic bar across my hips with weight added. Thursday we add more weight, he said it all looked way too easy for me.

The back extensions are 12 reps again and I am holding a 35 pound plate, squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement. This hits the very top of the glutes.

I was a bit worried that my glutes would just "deflate" if I couldn't train hamstrings,  I really do prize my high round glutes and at the age of 51 have to fight tooth and nail to keep them where they are, so not only just maintaining status quo is difficult, but even more so is improving them!

But thank goodness I was wrong, we are progressing right along, glutes are fine and the hamstrings are getting some training, and that is what is needed to allow them to heal, there is nothing more that I can do except be patient, go easy and keep working them gently but consistently.

I think we are doing a fine job, what do you think?