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Catrin
07-03-2012, 05:31 PM
I am starting a small group training program with the head trainer at my gym to get help with some muscle imbalances that will, hopefully, help me to NOT tweak my overuse injuries so often so I can progress on the bike. He gave me a most unusual (to me) fitness/functional movement assessment the other day.

One of the tests was to go into a full plank position and hold it as long as possible - until I couldn't keep good form. I've wondered how long I can hold a plank... much to my surprise I was able to hold it for 4 minutes and 53 seconds - and the only reason I had to stop was my right IT band started complaining. If it wasn't for that it would have been longer.

At my consultation with him a couple of days later when he showed me a list of 10 corrective exercises to work on my own, he told me that he's never seen anyone hold a full plank that long. Ever. He's been in the business for a long time. Not that I am meaning to brag or anything, but that is kind of cool :D I don't know anyone who would understand that so I had to share - it just shows how far I've come in the last 3 years in this physical journey of mine.

That being said, I was totally incapable of moving from being flat on the ground to a full pushup position in one movement, I couldn't even figure out how to get started :o Two serious core strength tests, quite different results. I COULD move into a full plank in one movement, but not a pushup position.

I will start that once a week group session with him in two weeks and I am already dreading/looking forward to it at the same time. This is going to be fun :cool: At one time I would never have considered a small group training like this, but I've come to see the benefits. It is different from the other group classes I've done at my gym in that it will be the same people in the group and it will be at 6am :eek:

Giulianna23
07-03-2012, 05:38 PM
Wow...that's amazing...good job!...I can barely make it near to 2 minutes ...and really suffering :(

Veronica
07-03-2012, 05:50 PM
WOW! That's cool!

I wonder if being able to move into a push up position is more about arms and shoulders than core.

It will be interesting to see what you can do after the sessions.

Veronica

Catrin
07-03-2012, 06:02 PM
WOW! That's cool!

I wonder if being able to move into a push up position is more about arms and shoulders than core.

It will be interesting to see what you can do after the sessions.

Veronica

Tony said it was more about the core, but the arms and shoulders have got to be part of the equation - that's only logical. One of the goals we worked out for the next three months is to really hit my upper body strength. My lower body is quite strong - and this isn't the season to focus on building lower body strength anyway, but my upper body has been a challenge since I started working out 3 years ago.

I am still amazed at how well they work with small groups - it is like they have eyes in the back of their heads! In some ways I've found an advantage to small group training over individual - my competitive side starts to come out and it seems to make it easier to focus/encourage me - especially in the brutal workouts. I've been quite surprised by this discovery.

Artista
07-03-2012, 07:44 PM
One of the tests was to go into a full plank position and hold it as long as possible - until I couldn't keep good form. I've wondered how long I can hold a plank... much to my surprise I was able to hold it for 4 minutes and 53 seconds - and the only reason I had to stop was my right IT band started complaining. If it wasn't for that it would have been longer
You rock!

chatnoire
07-03-2012, 08:25 PM
4+ minutes???? I bow down before you! (and then get stuck and unable to get up, lol)

I can hold less than 1 minute. :(

Group training sounds awesome. If I could get over the inability to wake up early, I'd totally be down for that.

Catrin
07-04-2012, 05:00 AM
4+ minutes???? I bow down before you! (and then get stuck and unable to get up, lol)

I can hold less than 1 minute. :(

Group training sounds awesome. If I could get over the inability to wake up early, I'd totally be down for that.

It wasn't that long ago that 45 seconds was torture...something changed and I don't know when but I will take it.

I do NOT like "traditional" fitness classes - things like step, general aerobics outside of a good spinning class, combat, etc. Metabolic/functional training is a totally different beast entirely. Just being with a couple of others who are doing the same thing is encouraging and there are partner exercises that allow us to use our bodies in ways just not possible otherwise.

I don't HAVE to take the 6am option, but I am going to try it. There is a 5:00pm option if it just doesn't work for me.

OakLeaf
07-04-2012, 05:05 AM
Almost 5 minutes ?!?! Good grief. Good job.

I think shoulder stabilizers are considered part of the core? So those two things aren't mutually exclusive.

Catrin
07-04-2012, 05:16 AM
Almost 5 minutes ?!?! Good grief. Good job.

I think should stabilizers are considered part the core? So those two things aren't mutually exclusive.

The test was called a "Pure Stability Test"...and a full plank is complex - (witness to my IT band finally ending it rather than my lower back or something else). I actually didn't think my time was unusual until Tony said something about it a couple of days later, and the comments here.

Time to ride before the big broiler in the sky kicks into overdrive...

Crankin
07-04-2012, 07:01 AM
The things that stops me from doing planks longer than I can are my shoulders and wrists, depending on the position of the plank. I can do a minute, maybe a little bit more if I'm rested.
My shoulders and neck must be really weak, as they always hurt when doing any upper body stuff, even when the muscle I'm working is really in my arms. I can barely do more than 5-10 front or lateral raises, even with 5 lb. weights. It all just starts spasming.
However, after 8 months of boot camp, I can do "regular" push ups, although, sometimes when I'm on my 3d set of 18 I have to get into the girlie position. But before, I couldn't do more than 3.
That class sounds perfect, Catrin. And exercising in the early AM usually means you stick with it. You're an early riser, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Catrin
07-04-2012, 07:17 AM
The things that stops me from doing planks longer than I can are my shoulders and wrists, depending on the position of the plank. I can do a minute, maybe a little bit more if I'm rested.
My shoulders and neck must be really weak, as they always hurt when doing any upper body stuff, even when the muscle I'm working is really in my arms. I can barely do more than 5-10 front or lateral raises, even with 5 lb. weights. It all just starts spasming.
However, after 8 months of boot camp, I can do "regular" push ups, although, sometimes when I'm on my 3d set of 18 I have to get into the girlie position. But before, I couldn't do more than 3.
That class sounds perfect, Catrin. And exercising in the early AM usually means you stick with it. You're an early riser, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Congrats on being able to do unmodified pushups! I might be able to do 5 right now and those are bad. I can do modified (girlie) and have done up to 100 of them in sets of 20 - but full pushups are a different story.

Neck muscles will certainly complain during upper - or even lower body work if they aren't happy/strong to begin with. I learned that during my lengthy whiplash recovery. Hopefully your work in boot camp will help to strengthen that area.

indysteel
07-04-2012, 08:34 AM
An almost five minute plank? That is seriously impressive. I doubt I could do more than two. Awesome job, Catrin. I sure wish your gym was more convenient for me. Your workouts there sound like just the ticket.

Catrin
07-04-2012, 09:28 AM
An almost five minute plank? That is seriously impressive. I doubt I could do more than two. Awesome job, Catrin. I sure wish your gym was more convenient for me. Your workouts there sound like just the ticket.

So move closer :D

Pity we don't have those Star Trek transportation devices...darn it. Seriously speaking, there might be a facility closer to you that offers a similar training philosophy. I've a few friends who seem to know every fitness facility in the area and their focus...I will see what they have to say.

roo4
07-04-2012, 10:42 AM
Nice!

Now try them with your feet on the bench. Or arms on bench, feet on stability ball. Lots of fun!

indysteel
07-04-2012, 11:05 AM
So move closer :D

Pity we don't have those Star Trek transportation devices...darn it. Seriously speaking, there might be a facility closer to you that offers a similar training philosophy. I've a few friends who seem to know every fitness facility in the area and their focus...I will see what they have to say.

I'm one of those people who know every fitness facility in the area. I was on the Y's board for 4 years. You learn your competition. Trust me; there is no gym close to Franklin other than our own limited rec center and an area Crossfit (not for me). But thanks for offering to check.

Catrin
07-04-2012, 12:16 PM
Nice!

Now try them with your feet on the bench. Or arms on bench, feet on stability ball. Lots of fun!

I've done them with my arms on Bosu (top and bottom) doing different things - and on the exercise ball, again doing different things on the ball. I've done them with my feet in the TRX straps, but not on bench or ball... hmmmm...sounds like fun :) That would certainly mix it up and present a different challenge to my body.



I'm one of those people who know every fitness facility in the area. I was on the Y's board for 4 years. You learn your competition. Trust me; there is no gym close to Franklin other than our own limited rec center and an area Crossfit (not for me). But thanks for offering to check.

I had forgotten you were on the Y's board & would already know that. I think that the type of exercises they do at Crossfit is similar to metabolic/functional training - but I think there is more to Crossfit than that. I don't know enough about Crossfit to know the difference.

Irulan
07-04-2012, 12:38 PM
The things that stops me from doing planks longer than I can are my shoulders and wrists, depending on the position of the plank. I can do a minute, maybe a little bit more if I'm rested.
My shoulders and neck must be really weak, as they always hurt when doing any upper body stuff, even when the muscle I'm working is really in my arms. I can barely do more than 5-10 front or lateral raises, even with 5 lb. weights. It all just starts spasming.
However, after 8 months of boot camp, I can do "regular" push ups, although, sometimes when I'm on my 3d set of 18 I have to get into the girlie position. But before, I couldn't do more than 3.
That class sounds perfect, Catrin. And exercising in the early AM usually means you stick with it. You're an early riser, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Oakleaf, I don't know how well trained/certified your bootcamp instructors are, but if they are any good at all they should be able to help you with modifications so that you can have success with exercises as you build strength in the weak areas. Wrists can be troublesome but there are many ways to modify hand positions.

Irulan
07-04-2012, 12:58 PM
"Full Plank" - is that on elbows/forearms in the front?

Catrin
07-04-2012, 01:07 PM
"Full Plank" - is that on elbows/forearms in the front?

Yes, and tippy toes in the back.

Crankin
07-04-2012, 05:03 PM
I'm fine with the ones on the elbow.
It's the ones on the hands that get me.
I just never ask for modifications, at least for the flys and stuff above the head with the bar, because I am not in real pain in my neck/shoulder area. I am just weak. It doesn't bother me except during very specific stuff; I deal with it by keeping either my weights or reps lower than I do for other stuff. I also modify stuff on my own, given the background I have in fitness, in a former life. I'm not a real pro, but I know enough, to keep myself from getting hurt. The person who teaches my class is a PT, so there's no issues with her doing contraindicated stuff. In fact, I switched one of my days, so I wouldn't have the one who just pushes everyone to the point of craziness, with no regard for individual issues.
I guess I could ask her for some strengthening stuff for the neck and shoulders, but I am having enough trouble doing the up dogs that keep my back in shape at home.

Giulianna23
07-04-2012, 06:21 PM
Catrin...have you tried the planks by Shaun T ?...those are insane !!

ny biker
07-04-2012, 06:34 PM
I don't understand the "in one movement" part. But when my trainer makes me do pushups, they're primarily a chest exercise. Though I whine so much about them that he hasn't made me do them in ages.

Irulan
07-04-2012, 07:19 PM
I respectfully disagree... push ups get the pecs, sure, but they are gread for the whole shoulder system, trapezeius, lats... plus if you are doing them right ( not sagging or pointing your butt in the air) it's core also.

ny biker
07-04-2012, 07:51 PM
I respectfully disagree... push ups get the pecs, sure, but they are gread for the whole shoulder system, trapezeius, lats... plus if you are doing them right ( not sagging or pointing your butt in the air) it's core also.

I said primarily. Meaning it's an alternative to something like a chest press in my workout. But most of the exercises in my workout involve a combination of muscles.

tangentgirl
07-04-2012, 08:18 PM
I've wondered how long I can hold a plank... much to my surprise I was able to hold it for 4 minutes and 53 seconds

Holy. F*ing. Wowo. And here I was thinking I was all badass with my 30 seconds. Rock ON!

Catrin
07-04-2012, 09:06 PM
I don't understand the "in one movement" part. But when my trainer makes me do pushups, they're primarily a chest exercise. Though I whine so much about them that he hasn't made me do them in ages.


Start with your body flat on the ground, hands and lower arms are also on the ground with your finger tips angled in pointing at your temples. The next step is to raise your entire body at the same time into a full pushup position. No starting with the arms and then raising the rest of the body but one smooth movement going to hands and toes at the same time. Does that help to visualize it? I can get into a plank position this way, just not a pushup. Yet :)

Irulan
07-05-2012, 09:44 PM
Can you find a YouTube vid of that move?

Catrin
07-06-2012, 03:29 AM
Can you find a YouTube vid of that move?

I've spent the last half-hour trying to find a video, or even just a series of pictures on a website, of the special pushup that was part of my fitness assessment test but can't seem to find one. They all appear to start from an elevated position or raising the upper body before the lower body. If I do find something I will post it here. Tony made it look so easy - but after my inability to do this one he skipped the rest of the pushup part of the assessment - for which I was thankful! We already knew that I need some serious work on non-modified pushups.

Crankin
07-06-2012, 05:14 AM
Yesterday, as we were doing the third of 3 repetitions of three sets of planks (forward, left, right side), I was thinking of you guys.
We also did a lovely new plank like thing. This involved getting in a plank position on your hands, paper plates under your toes, and crawling across the gym floor, then pushing yourself backwards to the start. Twice.
Did*not*like*those.

Irulan
07-06-2012, 07:26 AM
We call those "gators". We do them with weight plates ; dragging them with our toes on the AstroTurf. I imagine what the gym floor surface is like, what they use. Do you have an ab wheel there? You know, "as seen on TV"? You can stick you feet in the loops and do it that way too. Just another variation....

Catrin
07-06-2012, 11:59 AM
I gave up trying to find a video, there are so many different kinds of pushups and the only thing that really makes this different is the starting position.

Perhaps a different explanation will help.

Body flat on the ground, face to the floor. forearms on the floor, hands/fingers angled in to point to the temples. Maintain a plank position when using the arms to raise the body into the pushup position maintaining the same hand position/angle as when you started. So your entire body rises at the same time.

Crankin, I found a video of the "Gator Pushups" which look like what you described and it looks positively brutal, I can see why you didn't like it. But you did it :cool:

Irulan
07-06-2012, 12:48 PM
Forearms on the floor, one upper arms (above the elbow) on the floor? /confused.
You could always video your trainer....

Catrin
07-06-2012, 01:49 PM
Forearms on the floor, one upper arms (above the elbow) on the floor? /confused.
You could always video your trainer....


LOL, sorry, forearms on the floor - so the arms are in a diamond shape with forearms on the ground with the fingertips touching the temples. The upper arms are the only body part not totally on the floor.

I am so sorry, I hadn't realized that I had typed that - no wonder it was confusing. Sheesh.

Catrin
07-16-2012, 04:55 AM
New variation on planks - this was a group exercise. Team approach by everyone being in the plank position in a circle on the ground, every other person on their hands rather than forearms and more of a pike plank. First person gets up, jumps over a person, then scoots under the next person, jumps over a person, and so forth, once they have completed then the next person does the same thing and so on. If anyone drops the plank before everyone is finished then the entire team of 6 gets to do 5 burpees.

We had two teams of 6 - it was a fun game!

Irulan
07-16-2012, 08:54 AM
I'd be careful with games like that. All it takes is one person tripping or stumbling and who knows what kind of injury will occur, that the gym will not be responsible for. I only say this because we used to do some games similar, and one guy ended up with a separated shoulder.

Catrin
07-16-2012, 10:08 AM
I'd be careful with games like that. All it takes is one person tripping or stumbling and who knows what kind of injury will occur, that the gym will not be responsible for. I only say this because we used to do some games similar, and one guy ended up with a separated shoulder.

It's the first time we've done a game quite like that, though we do other games often. Good thing to keep in mind...