Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Functionally Fit

One of the perks of your partner being an Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainer is that all you have to say is “take me through a workout” and boom, someone creates a program for you.  It helps that our living room is basically a gym, equipped with a treadmill, a bike trainer, dumbbells, resistance bands, and yoga mats.

Last night Angela took me through a functional strength workout.  It was challenging and I am definitely sore today but more importantly, this workout pointed out my weaknesses and gave me some valuable insight.  Every injury I have ever experienced has been somewhere on my left leg.  I’ve had a tibial stress fracture, a metatarsal stress fracture, IT Band Syndrome and Tendinitis all on the left side.  I always assumed my left side was weak so I did certain exercises in the past to correct this.  Last night’s workout showed me that I was completely wrong.  My right side is far weaker than my left meaning my left side has to make up for that weakness, sometimes causing overuse injuries.

This is very valuable information.

It was also useful to find out my glutes are weak (common in runners), my hamstrings are weak, my balance is poor and my back needs strengthening.  All of this is good to know.  I plan to incorporate this workout into my training at least 2 times per week until it starts to feel easier, then I will switch it up. 

Here is the 30 minute circuit we did last night, in case you’re interested.  Keep in mind, I don't really know the technical names for these exercises and DB stands for dumbbells. 

Warm-up on the bike for 10 minutes

Squat to press w/ DB

Reverse lunge with a twist using 1 DB

Side lunge to single leg balance w/ DB

Side steps with resist-a-band

Rows with a single leg balance (switch legs halfway through)

Side plank to push up (alternating)

Forearm plank with hip abduction - Place paper towel under each foot and slide foot out and back. The paper towels make for an slippery, unstable surface, forcing your core to work harder than with a standard plank.

Straight arm plank with slow motion sliding mountain climbers Again, use paper towels under the feet to slide.

Repeat entire sequence once or twice

I realized that I won’t do my absolute best in Boston if I simply run.  I need to strengthen my core and work on correcting imbalances.  This is something that has always been put on the back burner, but it shouldn’t.  I want to avoid injury and I want to be a strong runner. Enter functional training.   Thank you, Angela for my sore booty and core today.