Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm Old...I Need To Stretch. You?

Stopped on Monday and had a drink with Tracy. She had been off the erg for two or three days due to a sore back. My neck and left shoulder have been bothering me as well.

Are you stretching? I'm not stretching enough.

Erging is a movement that trains our bodies on the sagittal plane (the movement goes strictly back and forth with no twisting movement). I've noticed (in myself and my athletes) that as the winter goes on we slouch more and more. I believe that we use our core muscles and the muscles in our upper backs and shoulders in such a repetitive movement that fatigue begins to hamper our progress.

I recommend some stretches that twist the body at the waist.

Sit on the floor, place your right leg straight in front of you and put your left foot on the outside of your right knee. (The girls call this the centerfold stretch) Twist at the waist and hook your right elbow. Apply light pressure to stretch your back. Switch sides.
Here is a good hamstring stretch. Many lower back problems are caused but tight hamstrings.
Use a towel and lay down on the floor and make sure that your lower back is supported against the floor. Raise one leg and pull it back with the towel holding on to it at either end. This is quite a nice stretch that focuses on hinging at the hip joint without putting pressure on bending at the lower back.
3600 meters at 6am this morning before work.
134,131 meters.
Go fast.

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