Low Back Hold

Low Back Hold

The man from Australia that came to work with out team that I was talking about…he is a physio-therapist. I didn’t spell that wrong. We don’t have them in the USA. Canadians have them, Europeans have them, Australians have them. What he does is a combination of massage, PT, active release, needling, active stretching, diagnosing, and chiropractic. Sometimes there’s some voodoo in there too.
We have a physio in town to get baseline measurements on our entire team…flexibility, strength, balance, etc. Yesterday he did all sorts of tests on me for mobility. He would have me stand up straight, bend down, lift one leg, the other leg, step forward, step back, and repeat a bunch of those until I felt like it was a game of Simon Says. Then I got on the massage table and he stretched things to their limit and rotated them and twisted me and turned me around.

Today was different. Today was really fun. Not that being a toy doll wasn’t scintillating as well.

We met at the indoor turf football field for a series of max tests. We didn’t lift a single weight or do a standing jump, or any of that standard stuff. It was all based on holding a particular position properly and then moving one muscle to exhaustion. Once you broke form, you stopped.

Now for those of you who read my previous blog where I ranted and raved because I got injured by being competitive on something like this, you can imagine the internal conflict I was feeling as the test was being explained to us. Well, I learned from my previous mistakes and I made a deal with myself: I will stop before I need to, at the first sign of breaking form, no matter what anyone else is doing.

And I give myself an A++++. The point wasn’t to see who on the team was strongest. It was to find out the balance of our own bodies, so that we can discover things we need to work on before we get injured by running with, say, weak hamstrings compared to our quads.

We did all sorts of exercises. I can only remember a few of my results, but here they are, in case you want to try them at home and take me down.

-Single leg hamstrings (laying down on the ground with one foot up on a box and lifting hips) 31
-Single leg calf raises (on a step, hand only to balance, slow all the way down and slow up (25 and 28)
-Side Planks (about 2 minutes 30 seconds)
-Low back hold (lay on your stomach on a bench with the edge of the bench under your hip bones, and your upper body hanging off the end of the bench. With your hands crossed over your chest, you hold your upper body up in the air with a little arch in your back, looking straight ahead of you). 4 minutes 15 seconds.

Thats all I can remember, but it was really fun, especially the last one I mentioned because I broke the team record by 40 seconds or so for both men and women! Not that it was a competition. 🙂 Some things can’t be helped. I must admit I felt pretty proud when the physio said that in working with loads of elite athletes, he only knew 2 other athletes who could go over 4:00, and one of them was a world medalist.

I feel like I am very gifted at stuff like that…I excel in the gym, and I learn new things very quickly. My strength and coordination are superior to most elite athletes I know, and I can’t help but think that it should help me in my running. Or does help me in my running. I don’t know. I guess days like today make me wonder why the hell I’m not healthy as a horse and absolutely killing it on the track all the time, considering how proficient I am with strength, coordination, drills, etc. Maybe I will. Maybe I’m on the verge of doing so in my career. That would sure be nice.