08 Aug Tucker: The little things
So, taking what I’ve learned in the last couple weeks from my forearm and elbow getting better, I’ve started doing that with all the little things I may have neglected in the past. I’ve been putting a lot of time into my shoulders/rotator cuffs, hips, hands, feet, forearms, calves, elbows, knees…. You name it, I’m working on it. How do I work all those things? I’m just focusing on the lightest movements possible that can help me feel the muscles activate, and increase circulation to the area to free up the muscle and get fresh blood to the area.
Ex 1: Hands and Feet
I’m grabbing my bath towel with my feet and scrunching it up with my toes, or holding it and lifting it up and rotating my foot around, and doing the same with my hands by grabbing, squeezing and rotating. I already feel stronger and more capable from increased awareness in my grip, and a sense being more secure and stable just when I’m walking around.
Ex 2: Forearms/Calves
I’m trying to work my forearms and calves in the same way, just doing those little baby movements like extensions and flexions with a tiny amount of weight to get a little burn going.
Ex 3: Elbow/Knee
The elbow and knee are a little different since they are a more stable joint and only move one direction, instead of many, but for those after I get everything else around there warm, I’m doing tiny range of motion one arm presses or one legged squats right near the lockout… I’m not really working the joint, but since the muscles around it are activated, I’m trying to get every stabilizer that goes into the joint itself to activate and build coordination and push fresh blood in.
Ex 4: Rotator cuffs/Hips
For my rotator cuffs and hips, I’m doing a ton of internal and external rotations at every angle. I’m doing the standard arm at your side and arm at 90 degrees rotations, but also at 45 degrees and then shoulder raise variations just to get everything else in there moving. For my hips, I’m putting the cuff around my ankle on the cable machine and doing rotations standing on one leg with the other leg flush with my torso and then bent at 90 degrees at my knee, and also laying down bent at 90 degrees at my hip and 90 at the knee… and of course, at 45 degrees or so in between those two. Then I’m doing lots of small glute kicks, side leg raises, front leg raises, and other fun things that feel good deep in my hips.
Most of my work for all of these has been isolation related, and after a while I break a little sweat, but it’s not particularly exhausting or difficult, it just requires a lot of patience and focus. When I say light weight, I mean LIGHT weight. I’m using the lightest plate on the cable machine, 2.5 lbs.
Within not too long though I’m already building much better coordination, and it feels like all these little muscles have been begging to get worked for a long time. Considering that my MRI’s both showed no structural damage in the joint, and I’m just full of tendonitis and instability, this might just be something I’m prone to for whatever reason. It could be genetic, or it could be history related, or both. Either way, this is working for me so far, and it sheds a little bit of light on why a lot of the standard strengthening and stability work hasn’t done a whole lot for me in the past. These little muscles were too weak or too bound up to activate, and trying to do the full body stability work wasn’t really engaging them the way the needed.