I’m hanging on… somewhere in AFRICA!

Upper body strength isn’t about my three pound weights


A few days ago we constructed the first branch (te he) of our at-home-outdoor-adventure playground: something for me to hang on.

And I didn’t realise how hard I would find it to support my body weight.

Just hanging around… somewhere in Africa, for about 5 seconds

As Biomechanist (and my chief-inspiration-of-the-moment-gal), Katy Bowman warned, my skin was incredibly weak; I wasn’t prepared for the burning sensation I was going to get as the layers of the dermis pulled against each other. 


These fairy soft hands need some action and some callous! (Hence use of gloves in the photo below – it’s the only way I can hang on my fairly wide branch for more than five seconds.)

My hands also: very weak. I have to interlink my fingers to stay there. 

And then who could have prepared me for my ultra-tight left side? My asymmetrical habits, compounded by a once-fractured left elbow around 13 years ago, means this is the arm I hold into me, keeping anchored, cast, restricted to leave my right arm with the better mobility and strength to do the do from door opening to egg white whipping, to my claw-like gripping writing and everything else. This is also the side with the most-winging scapular… but more on that when we look at Katy’s amazing instruction in Super Supple Shoulders…


Goal: to be able to hang my body weight from said branch for 60 seconds without searing pain. I’ll go from there. Pole pole utajua, as they say here in Mwanza.


Establishing more motor patterns* and increasing the use of more parts

“If you’re strong in one way, consider changing the way you approach your practice (me, off to conquer the thin bar now). We are often caught up in more — more weight, more reps — of a single movement pattern instead of establishing more motor programs and increasing the use of more parts. If you were moving through nature it would be unlikely to find the exact situation twice. So mix it up. Spread the love. Think ‘whole body’.”


Katy Bowman, from ‘Hanging Around’ http://www.katysays.com/hanging-around/

*when I first wrote this I made a Freudian slip and wrote problems in place of patterns. Go figure.

Resources, inspirations, and leads

It’s in the skin http://www.katysays.com/palm-reader/

http://www.katysays.com/hand-skin-is-the-foundation/

http://www.katysays.com/upper-body-terrain/

http://www.katysays.com/hanging-around/

http://www.katysays.com/hanging-and-swinging-101/ (the height of my branch actually means I’m always kind of swinging, just call me a swinger…)

Obstacle courses http://positivelyaligned.com/2013/03/backyard-fun/

Things to try

https://www.yogatuneup.com/self-massage-therapy-balls-programs (mmmmm!)

And I’ll be needing a lot of help with pull ups when I get to them http://alignmentmonkey.nurturance.net/2013/pull-ups-help

Erwin Le Corre sent a great email out about hanging and climbing that I can’t find in their journal, but there’s so much great stuff to go through just looking for something like it – why not go search yourself: https://www.movnat.com/our-journal

And then this! This will make ALL the difference:

Super Supple Shoulders – more on this life-changing webinar to come… http://www.restorativeexercise.com/move/#webinars

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