This is part six of a series. If you haven't caught up on what I'm doing with Human Garage, see the other posts here!
Today was my first biomechanics session with Human Garage, which happens at a gym offsite.
Coach Yari had me go through a bunch of tests to see how my body moves and which muscles are or are not firing properly. I mentioned the knee pain I sometimes experience that feels like my knees are loose and don't stay in alignment. I sometimes feel pressure or slight pain in my knee in positions that I don't think I should. I also mentioned my neck pain and tension and that I often use my neck to compensate for other muscles and would like to remove that tension. She said my walk looked pretty good, (from all the unwinding at HG) so that was encouraging.
After evaluating my walk and some movements, she had me do exercises to get certainmuscles to fire. These neurological exercises are training my brain to turn on proper muscles so that my brain corrects old patterns of movement.
I have homework to do! I took a video of the exercises that are specified to my issues. I have to do them 3x a day, the more I train slowly my body will start changing and adopting this new way of moving.
One thing that stood out to me, she had me do this sort of superman move, laying on my stomach but my arms back by my sides and pulling my shoulders away from my ears. I did feel a little bit of tension in my traps and I was pulling and stretching them back so I was a little concerned that maybe I was not doing it correctly. BUT when we were finished I didn't maintain that feeling in my shoulders and neck that feels like frustration, or like shrugging...forever. Normally I would, so that was an improvement already!
Today I met with Ryan. We went back over the neurological exercises and made some adjustments. My knee was feeling a little wiggly when walking down stairs and Ryan switched up the exercises to address that. It really did take care of the instability immediately.
He gave me a bunch of stretches and small exercises that I can do on the road or at home to keep loosening up the tightness and will help me achieve correct form for lifting a load (like in a correct squat position). It also feels like these are a great source of exercise, especially when my food is dialed in, while traveling.
Some of these stretches cause my body to react similarly to when the unwinding was being done at HG. Convulsing or burning sensations (in muscle and soft tissue) will happen if i can relax into the move. This is encouraging because it feels like I'm in control of any forward progress.
Today I was with Ryan again. I was about to leave for a long time of touring and today was the day that he was going to give me a bunch of workout options!
I have posted a couple of these on my Instagram. Because I travel with so much stuff already (food, supplements, life hacking, sleep hacking tools etc.) I wanted to get the most out of body weight and small tool workouts. When asked what my main goals were I said I wanted to be able to lift heavy loads while at home and when there is equipment and I wanted to have hard legs! (Christmas Abbott as fitness inspiration anyone?)
Ryan showed me some squat prep movements that I can do with resistance bands, and some pulls to couple with that. These will help my body eventually be in the correct position to hold weights and do a proper squat. For instance, one legged squats or kneeling squats with a row. Then on the next day I could pair pushing movements with dead lifts. So I could do a one legged dead lift with a resistance band and then pair that with an overhead press or push-ups. We also went over the stretches that he showed me the session before because I was having some knee pain or discomfort and we adjusted how to do them so that didn't happen.
Here's the exciting part!
- Since starting at human garage, I've been able to introduce more fiber into my diet with 0 intestinal pain! That includes high fodmap and cruciferous veg! I still can't eat grains or over do it with alcohol without consequence but that just may be how my body works and something I'll have to accommodate forever.
- I've seen an improvement in my energy levels (likely due to the adrenal supplements) even while feeling tired from touring and having a crazy cold that took/is taking forever to go away.
- I've been able to get in those workouts around 2x a week and feel comfortable and strong.
- If I remember to do my neurological exercises, I really notice a difference in my knee (no popping or looseness). So I need to stay on top of them.
I'm about to start phase 3 of my supplemental program. After that I'll be checking in with HG to see what next steps are!