Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Leg Day: Joining the Ministry of Funny Walks

Today was day two of my new gym routine and I started my day with a session at the Swansea University Osteopathic Clinic [1] which is helping me with my shoulder injury and lower back pain. I highly recommend the service as I came out feeling a lot freer in movement and confident in the advice I'd been given. 

I made my way to the gym at 4:30pm aware that today's session would bring me up against my old nemesis, legs. I'm not the only person approaches leg day with dread though recent improvements have given me more confidence in doing major exercises like squats. That won't stop me from joining the ministry of funny walks tomorrow.

Today's routine featured something I'd never done before: Plyometrics. The theory behind this type of exercise is that rapid and repeated stretching and contracting of the muscle will lead to increases in power. In today's workout, this consisted of bodyweight jumping and leaping movements. I'd never performed any of these exercises so I enjoyed attempting 10 reps of box jumps, 180 jumps, tuck jumps, depth jumps and dynamic step ups. I thought I'd done quite well until I re-read the plan and released I had to complete 3 sets. By the end I was absolutely dripping with sweat and absolutely shattered!

After completing the plyometric circuit, I was on more familiar ground with squats and a supersets of good mornings and calf raises. Though I have done good mornings in the past, I'm not particularly comfortable performing them as I don't like the pressure the bar exerts on my neck. I've tried holding the bar lower down but I still can't seem to get comfortable.

The final superset was supposed to be leg extensions and reverse hyperextension but as we lacked the equipment for the latter, I performed leg curls instead.

Again, I very much enjoyed today's session, particularly as plyometric exercises are new to me. I really felt I was working hard by the time I got to my third set of squats and was a little concerned at one point I wouldn't be able to complete the full 5 sets. In retrospect, I took my foot off the gas for the remaining exercises and my lack of ease with the good mornings may been the trigger for that.

Having looked after my physical health, I made my way to Mass to tend to my spiritual needs and followed that by a nice pork dinner. I've now sat down to watch the football with protein shake and a handful of nuts. My shoulders are just starting to ache a little after yesterday's session. Today was a good day.

[1] http://www.swansea.ac.uk/humanandhealthsciences/business/osteopathicclinic/

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