1. Foam rolling hip flexor
Normally, my foam rolling routine consists of working my IT band, glutes, and calves, and sometimes my quads. Aside from rolling, I stretch my hamstrings and hip flexors.
I have been giving the hip flexor rolling a try. It hurt like crazy when I first started. This was a bit unsettling, considering that I have consistently stretched my flexors. But obviously foam rolling is a whole other method.
Long story short, my legs do feel noticeably better these days. Early this month, I had started experiencing a recurrence of knee pain. It was making me really nervous. Thankfully, since I've started the hip flexor rolling, things seem to be back under control. Huge relief!
In case anyone else wants to give it a whirl, I found this instructional video:
2. Fountain Finder app
I'm always happy when the water fountains on the Chicago Lakefront Path are available for use. They are such a terrific resource and provide great hydration flexibility.
While I am familiar with certain parts of the lakefront trail, there are plenty of stretches where I have no idea of water fountain placement. This has involved me just having to look around and keep my eyes peeled in the hopes that I'll see one.
SOLUTION: The Fountain Finder app! It has GPS mapping capabilities enabling you to find the closest water fountains on the path, complete with pictures. Ingenious!!!
3. Drop sets
When I am weight-lifting, my usual practice is to do 3 sets of 10-15 reps. However, this gets really cumbersome and boring for me after awhile.
To mix things up, I do drop sets. Here is an article describing the concept in more detail. In short, you use a higher amount of weight to start. Once you reach failure, you immediately reduce the weight and keep doing reps until you again reach failure. The idea is that this practice enables you to work your muscles more thoroughly to failure than if you just stuck with heavier weight the entire time.
I usually only drop the weight once or twice by about 20-25% each time. However, you could certainly vary the number of drops you do, as well as the amount of weight reduced each time.
4. Stretch breaks
My workplace is trying very hard to promote more activity throughout the day. They are encouraging each of us to get up from our desks and move around for at least five minutes every hour. They've got standing workstations, portable footpedals, and other little fitness gadgets set up all around the office for our active use.
This is all well and good, and I certainly appreciate the intentions. In reality, though, I find it too distracting and interruptive to get up once an hour. Especially when I'm swamped.
My compromise is to try to do a little bit of stretching a couple times a day. It's not too difficult to pop into a conference room for a few minutes and stretch out the perpetually tight hamstrings, hips, or calves. I figure that this all adds up over time!
Someone suggested dusting off those old workout videos from the 80s or 90s to give yourself a change of pace. What a fun idea!
I do have some old Jane Fonda videos at home. Apparently you can also find some great classics on YouTube. Hello, Cindy Crawford, Alyssa Milano, Paula Abdul, and Denise Austen, just to name a few. I love some of the classic music selections.
And since we're on the subject of 80s workouts, I would be completely remiss if I didn't include this hilarious Blackhawks video:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! (Can you imagine the outtakes!?!?!?)
Anyways, I digress. Happy Friday to all!
Linking up with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for the Friday Five.