Title pretty much says it all. I did 25 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, holding on with one hand, sometimes two when I was tired, and survived. Varied incline from 1.5-3.0 I think, and the speed from 1.4-2.0. Wore my Xero barefoot shoes in order to strengthen my feet.
0.75 miles. Yep. That’s the farthest I’ve walked during an exercise session in over a year, I believe.
During the walk, I could feel a muscle deep in my upper leg try to turn on and support my weight. It’s difficult to describe. My guess (and I could be way off here) is that something in my deep longitudinal system is trying to work itself out.
This is the hardest I’ve physically been able to work out in in a long time. Sweated and huffed and puffed like I was doing a 5k. Afterwards, my body felt like I’d run a 5k, right down to the nausea that hit me about an hour afterwards. I’ve missed that post 5k nausea, oddly enough. It passed with food.
My muscles calmed down by evening time after I did some electric massager tissue work, PEMF mat, eggs, super smoothie and trail mix, and the natural movements of making dinner.
Today, I’m a little achy (especially in my suspected deep longitudinal system), but it could be way worse. My gait feels a little better. My steps is a little longer. That moment of push off with my back left foot is actually trying to happen as I walk.
p.s. I’ve been practicing walking into restaurants, church, etc holding my cane at my side and not leaning on it.
Has using walking aids hindered my progress? I wonder. Now that I’m doing corrective exercises, walking without any aid may have its benefits. My muscles may grow stronger. My muscle slings may learn to work together.
Everything is hard. Everything. Turning while standing. Maneuvering. 10x the effort. However, my theory is that my muscles will adjust to the increased load and will also respond quicker when I need them. If less movement this winter increased my pain and feebleness, it stands to reason that mindful, careful increased movement will help me get better.
My working theory at the moment:
Psoas firing and strengthened –> pectineus firing (and strengthened?) –> adductors release as a result, and maybe heal from the repetitive strain they’ve been under –> glute medius becomes uninhibited by adductors –> while I also do muscle sling work to get everything to work together (use walking poles?) –> gait restored
Working the anterior sling in the seated chair exercise seems to be helpful. Especially as I twist towards the painful side, I’m able to slightly lift my left leg off the floor. Still difficult, but a little easier. I also try to focus on kind of sucking the leg into the hip, in hopes that I’m activating my psoas and pectineus.
There may be more to this anterior sling work than I expected.
- New chair exercise for anterior sling. Interesting is that I have to mindful give my side muscles an extra squeeze. After doing it off and on for an hour or so while working at my computer, when I got up and did the standing version of it, I was able to turn much farther to the left without my adductor locking up on me. This is something I’ve been struggling with for a while, so it’s interesting I had such drastic results in such a short time. Interesting. Also interesting is when I sat back down and lifted the left leg, it was significantly easier. This is something I really, really have struggled with this.
- An interesting variation to the chair exercise for the anterior sling: while twisted to the left, I’ll activate my left glutes by pressing out into my hand(s).
Movements to make a video of:
- Seated anterior sling movements from side to side
Movements to do for the rest of my life:
- Seated anterior sling movements from side to side
- Laying anterior + posterior sling movements – glute bridge when you can
- Rotational lunges – for the lateral sling
- Standing on one leg – for the lateral sling
This is what I’m doing right now, and it’s working so far:
- Continue with rotational lunges in jacuzzi and out (lateral sling.)
- Stand on one foot more (lateral sling)
- Reverse Clam Shells
- Bridging (I want to get to single leg eventually)
- *Practice laying leg extensions with arm movement (posterior sling) – Not doing this regularly. Need to.
Things I need to add:
- My left adductors are really weak. So weak, it gets painful when I bring them towards the midline of my body. I’ve been avoiding this movement, but I think I need to face it. There may be the possibility that these weak adductors are what’s causing my abductors to be tight. It’s worth exploring. As it is, these weak adductors are also a weak part of that anterior oblique slings. I think that’s a large part of why my leg stays away from my body when I walk.
- Be on feet more during day, but be strategic with it.
- WATCH THE ORDER in which I do things. I should try activating the left adductors first (pressing leg into cane while standing does this), then activate abductors in that position by pressing into cane. Then practice putting weight on left leg.
List of slings from https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/re-thinking-functional-movement-the-sling-systems-of-the-body:
“Anterior Oblique System: External and internal oblique with the opposing leg’s adductors and intervening anterior abdominal fascia.
Posterior Oblique System: The lat and opposing glute maximus.
Deep Longitudinal System: Erectors, the innervating fascia and biceps femoris.
Lateral System: Glute medius and minimus and the opposing adductors of the thigh”
Also, great article here: https://experiencelife.com/article/why-you-should-activate-your-sling-system/
The title says it all. Turns out my lateral muscle slings – adductors, same side glute minimus and glute medius were shut down on the left, weak side.
This past week, working on them has given me noticeable results. In fact, I’ve gone from one crutch to testing the waters with my cane.
Also interesting is that standing on one leg also works the lateral sling. I’ve noticed an improvement in being able to do these. Can almost do it on my weak, left side.