I am gonna be a serious comic material in the gym today...
I worked with the PT last week and I am integrating his suggestions. Along with the very good and reasonable ideas, he noted a wobble on the way up as I squat, and to correct it he suggested I bestride the thigh extension machine.
So, I will be using a thigh machine. Might as well throw in calf raises (not recommended by the trainer), I suppose, to achieve the full impact. I am preparing a peaceful meditation to go through with it. Kittens, daisies, butterflies. But hey, if it gets rid of the wobble, it will be worth it since the wobble looks silly as well.
To add to this he thinks I need to get into my transverse abdominal, so I will be attempting to learn the wood-choppers. I think it is actually a good addition, but in my experience the motions like this are hard for me to replicate well. I will try a few times, and if I can't get a hang of it, I am leaving it for the next training session with the guy. I would have kept the thigh extensions too, but i'd rather we spend time on the more productive moves.
All and all, I am keeping my fingers crossed for a very small crowd in the gym today.
Planks work well for core stability as well. And are easier for most people to accomplish with good form. Try practicing your wood chops with no weight til you get your form perfected. Happy transverse training. It's like natural spanx!
I actually do planks and straight body rise, but PT wants something specific for transverse. The PT thinks core is a big item for me. I don't disagree
Tried woodchopper yesterday, going up in weight - getting a bit more comfortable with it, but will do a form check. It did not look too bad in the mirror.
Lords in Heaven! There are THREE, I repeat, THREE thigh machines in the gym. The weirdo rotating thinggie, abductor and adductor. Talk about wasting space... erm. Okay. I did abductor, but this morning thinking about what I am trying to achieve, I think it was adductor I wanted (squeezing motion on the way up from the squat). I need to ask the PT which one he wants me to do specifically. Hopefully not all three. I tried to tell myself that I look very erm, womanly....
At least nobody asked me how many sets I had left & can we share on the thigh machine, because on every other piece of equipment I worked yesterday someone was bugging me with it, rack, and parallel bars and the pulleys. The boys are back in town, blah.... just need to wait out a week or two, and then it should be better till January hits us with the wave of the Resolutionists.
What about doing squats with a lower weight but slowing down the tempo? I assume the wobble correlates to being weak in that sticking portion, right?
Feel free to ignore me though, I don't really lift so I should keep my trap shut.
this is what i was thinking. either a weakness or some sort of mobility/impingement issue.
Originally Posted by iniQuity
if you want to get better at squats, do squats. and i would avoid the leg extenision machine. it puts undue stress on the knee joint.
I'm not an expert on matters of exercise physiology, but I thought the latest theory was that you want to stabilize the lumbar spine, not mobilize it. I'd skip the transverse stuff and do some farmers walks (or sandbag-held-high-on-your-chest walks) and see if that wobble goes away. Just my worthless 2 cents.
I normally do my warm-up squats slowly, so if that was the problem, it would have fixed it, I think.
I will chat with the PT about the specifics. I think he wanted isolation on the either inner or outer thigh. I personally would rather do farmer's walks or bring back my front and side lunging with KBs that he wants to take out after SQT and split SQT (too much/too light/on cross-purpose with str gain), as I feel them in stabilizers more than the machine.
However, I think what happened is that he was seeing the lack of small muscle targets in my overall strength schedule that's why woodchoppers, rotator and the thigh abductor/adductor (?). Since I have never done it as a part of support, always concentrating on the big compounds, I don't mind experimenting. I guess.
AND! The cross-body pull did strengthen my rear delt eliminating an injury I kept inflicting on it by OHP/BP. (Hmm, I did not think about that before getting pouty).
It's just the thigh machine that makes me feel awkward. But then I do throw in bicep curls once in a blue moon when I feel down or want to fit in with the high school crowd. Funny, those ones make me feel good, but the thigh machine makes me feel stupid. Calf rises made me feel stupid until I got a ridiculous idea that having a bigger calf might balance my large upper leg.
So, if I understand the purpose/reasoning better, I might be more receptive? Hmm?
Last edited by Leida; 09-19-2012 at 08:53 AM.
My personal opinion, (I am a certified PT and KB instructor etc), is that static machines are fine for people who are new to gyms, and unable to safely use free weights, or have an injury/condition that makes free weight or BW exercises impossible OR using isolationist machines when it is for rehab or there is an obvious asymmetry (maybe something like a 30% difference between leg strength for 1RM etc).
Originally Posted by Leida
For some minor wobbling due to some minor asymmetries, I really can't see the point in isolating the muscles, after all, you are never going to use them that way.
What I do for clients like that, and also myself, is carry on at the same, or a slightly reduced weight with the free weights if you like them, and introduce some bodyweight exercises, particularly using the TRX or some other suspension trainer to start to iron out some of those minor issues and bring some stabilising muscles into play (you won't get that on machines!!!). One legged squats with a pole or TRX for assistance will work wonders, then do them on the BOSU ball to add even more instability after a while. Shut your eyes, that'll mix things up too.
Also, as you mention, side lunges with KB, but tactical lunges to front and rear with your feet either hips width apart or in a single line stance will work well. Racked squats to rear lunge are good too.
Hope this helps.
I am sure your PT is good, but a lot of them are keen to head to the machines as a first step, rather than looking at the lack of functional movement that these machines offer. Better to mimic real life foundational movements. IMHO
Last edited by PureFunctionalFitness; 09-23-2012 at 02:22 PM.
Don't ever worry about what you look like in the gym. I joined a new gym recently with a high percentage of young, very pumped up blokes. When I first started doing 'windshield wipers', side planks off a bench, wood chops and dragon flys I got some derogatory comments and people looking at me like I was the 'mad old bloke' (I'm 45). Over the last few weeks though, I've seen some of those guys trying to do some of these exercises after watching me and they've usually failed miserably, despite their big muscles. Now I've made some new friends who are interested in learning about Primal living and nutrition and I can see some of them are having a change of attitude already.
I have a relatively thick gym skin developed through lifting for a few years now with the high school crowd and the assorted very well endowed serious lifters, the kind that bench more than I deadlift - we have the same gym time. But it was developed to protect myself from thinking about how ultra-light I lift compared to everyone else, not to doing something real funny. Heh. I guess time to develop a new layer....