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Posts Tagged ‘glutes’

solstice, la unua tago da vintro

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Today will have the shortest time period between sunrise and sunset in the northern hemisphere. Although because of a kind of asymmetry, sunrise will continue to be later for the next 10 or 11 days or so, before it finally reverses course. The sunsets started becoming later 10 days ago.

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Wednesday evening, after work, I went to the nearby park to do a little walking and running. For me, the most remarkable occurrence with the short intervals of running I did, longest being about .2 miles, is that I felt the strongest sensation ever that my glutes and hamstrings were firing. There have been times in the past when I have tried to have that mind-muscle connection, and sometimes I’d think that I would feel it, but those were just faint echoes compared to what I felt Wednesday evening. It seems that the glute targeting is maybe breaking through, I’m learning to use my glutes thanks to doing bodyweight glute bridges and barbell glute bridges. Other factors which might be waking them up is I often try during the day to squeeze the glutes. The left glute is the laggard glute though. It does well when I squeeze both glutes, but it’s harder for me to get it to contract when I try to do that by itself. The right glute is fairly responsive.

So last night, I paid special attention to doing bodyweight single leg glute bridges.

If I go rummaging in my memory, I don’t know if I can ever pull up a memory that says to me my glutes were ever really functioning like they should. Of course, maybe when I was really young I would have never paid attention to it, and much of my gluteal amnesia has come about from too much sitting. On the other hand, I’ve never been a fast runner. Some of that may be because I don’t have much fast-twitch muscle fiber, but what if another part of it is that I never really used the glutes while running, even as a young kid?

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Last night I had a strange dream where it was a mixture of English and Esperanto. Probably inspired some by reading the Esperanto translation of Murder On the Orient Express, which actually mixes between Esperanto and a little bit of French. So seeing those two languages intertwined some, ended up carrying over into my dreams kind of.

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glutes and hamstrings versus the quads

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

The 2 largest muscle groups in the human body are the glutes and the hamstrings. It’s that backside that ought to be propelling you along when you walk and run. But it may be that in this day and age of comfortable chairs and jobs sitting at a desk much of the time, that many people have a posterior chain of reduced consequence. I was thinking about that yesterday as I tried to remain conscious that when I go up the steps, that I put my heel down on the step and drive myself upwards through my heel.

I also carried that same thought into the deadlifts of last evening. I wanted to feel very strongly that I was pushing the basement floor away with my heels. It seemed to work nicely, too. The pulls felt strong and I went to 10 reps, the same number of reps I did last Saturday but with 10 lbs less on the bar.

After deadlifting, I then did some farmer’s walks and closed out with carrying a sandbag with over half my bodyweight for about a 1/4 mile of distance. All in all, it was a good workout. I already feel a lot stronger than almost 4 weeks ago and it feels like I’m being smarter about my training than when I first began fumbling around with strength training back in 2007 — I’m paying more attention to the lower body and paying very close attention that I improve how much the glutes and hamstrings are doing what should be their proper share. If I’m correct in my suspicions, I don’t think it’ll be any great difficulty for me to move past my old deadlift PR. A little over 2x my own bodyweight ain’t a terrible PR, but it’s probably far short of what I should be able to achieve.

Another way I’ve been focusing on reactivating the glutes and hamstrings is to do simple squats more often. Now, when I go to the wood stove and check how it’s doing, I squat down instead of dropping to one or both knees. Doing that, along with the goblet squats in warmups before lifting, has helped a lot with me restoring better hip mobility, and use of the glutes and hamstrings when standing up.

Another daily use trick has been to change how I sit in my office chair. Instead of sitting back fully in it, I sit at the edge of it and with my left and right legs forming a right angle with each other. Then when I stand up, I do it with the thought of the glutes driving my body straight up.

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I almost didn’t want to get out of the bed cocoon this morning. It was one of the colder night we’ve had lately, and it was really nice in that warm shell. The bedroom had become quite chilly overnight.