Friday, July 28, 2017

Integral Strength: Week 2

I began training under the Integral Strength program again and just completed Week 2.  My previous Integral Strength training post is here.

I might not make it all the way to Week 8 in this time around either, but I think that's ok.  I'm coming off of bronchitis.  On top of that, the heat index has been high enough to make me reluctant to test the readiness of my lungs for my typical bike commute rides, with quite a bit of it with motor vehicle traffic and the fumes associated with it.

Integral Strength is the right program for me at this time - to revisit my strength fundamentals, and rebuild my conditioning without the exposure to car/truck fumes or high heat index outdoors.  Looking back at that April 2016 post, I'm weaker in the Shrimp Squat, stronger in the Chinups, and weaker in the Tuck Sit. stronger in the Inverted Press, and about the same strength level in the other exercises.  If I stick with this program until Week 6, I will likely exceed my Week 6 performance from last year.

For my active recovery days, I practice my 4 selected exercises from Focused Flexibility.  I changed my Shoulder Position exercises to Lounge Chair and Shoulder Internal Rotation, as these two address positions that are tighter for me than the previously selected exercises.  For the Longsitting Position exercises, I will stick with the Hamstring Variations and Longsitting.  The updated program seems to have omitted the variation of the hamstring stretch in which the non-working leg and foot are folded, so that you are sitting on your foot.  I like that variation so I'll keep it in my repertoire, though I'll try the variation with the non-working foot up on the toes.  As for the Longsitting, I will try using the strap that came with my yoga mat as a prop.  There is a variation in which one can pull on a chair to assist in pulling the chest forward - I'd just substitute the strap for the chair.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Focusing more on Focused Flexibility

I've resumed training with GMB's Integral Strength program, which I may write about more in another post.  Unlike other GMB programs, there is no cool-down routine, and no specific activity specified on the active recovery days (the days one does not practice the Integral Strength exercises).  I believe Integral Strength does suggest a number of possibly active recovery activities, including Focused Flexibility.  Thus I've decided to practice Focused Flexibility on those in-between days, and see how well it works for addressing a couple of longstanding issues - tightness in the shoulders when attempting to reach overhead, and tightness in the hamstrings.  The program recommends choosing two positions of need, then choosing two exercises for each position.  Here are my selections with some comments from today's session:

Position: Shoulder Combined Motions

Posterior Shoulder Opener
May try bending the elbow next time.

Prone Scaption Rotation
May try the bent elbow version.

Position: Long Sitting

Hamstring Variations
Chair version was uncomfortable.  Seated on the mat/floor with one leg bent was better.  I may work from that position to start next time.

Longsitting Stretch
Tried one towel folded up to help position the hips.  I'll try 2 folded towels next time.

I'll review the video tutorials for all 4 exercises.

Saturday, July 08, 2017