In my previous post I mentioned I was embarking on a new fitness plan, so here’s the deets. The goal is to stop injuring myself whenever I start getting into hiking or running, which has happened a number of times over a number of years now. Most recently, my knee started hurting on my recent trip to Goat Rocks.
I’ve been mentally rehashing all the research I’ve done each time I’ve hurt myself, be it foot, ankle, or knee pain. And like a conspiracy theorist pinning red string between newspaper clippings, I’ve come to the conclusion that weak glutes are definitely a problem for me.
- Weak glutes are often listed as a potential cause of many of the ailments I’ve had.
- When I got a running coach/PT to assess my running form, the main form cue they recommended for me based on what they saw was to squeeze my glutes each step.
- I sit at a computer all day at work. A surefire recipe for weak glutes.
In addition to the glutes, I know I need to work on ankle mobility, ankle strength, and dynamic balance.
Last summer I was dealing with plantar fasciitis, and I tackled it with a combination of minimal shoes, toe spacers, and some exercises from NW Foot and Ankle. It’s taken over a year, which I’ve read can be common with PF, and while I don’t think I’m 100% better, the Goat Rocks trip I experienced zero PF pain, so that was really exciting!
This summer I knew I needed to up my mobility and balance and Kate and I started doing Yoga with Adriene on YouTube every day, and it’s been pretty great. Up until the knee pain on the Goat Rocks trip, my knees have been better than they ever have before, and I had actually been enjoying hiking downhill for the first time this summer. But while the daily yoga practice seems to be helping, it looks like I need even more help!
So I’ve concocted a plan. It’s going to be a lot of work, so I’m posting about it for a bit of accountability, and also to remind myself where I started and why I’m doing this when I think about quitting.
I want my hiking to be limited by my cardio. I want to hike until I’m tired. I’m sick of hiking until I get hurt. Time to change that!
In the morning: Simple and Sinister
I’ve found that I have a better track record with short workouts I can do every day, rather than long workouts a few times a week. I also seem to do a little better with at-home workouts. “Simple and Sinister” is a workout program by Pavel Tsatsouline focussing on the kettlebell swing and the Turkish get-up. It takes about 25-40 minutes and you do it more or less every day, with occasional rest days as you need them or as life gets in the way.
Throughout the day: Glute Kegels
I encountered these in a blog post about a hiker fixing their knee up before a successful PCT thruhike and they sound great. Basically, throughout the day, you squeeze your butt. That’s it!
In the evening: Yoga with Adrienne
Kate and I have been doing Yoga with Adrienne on youtube and it’s been really great. Her instruction style seems to be just right for us at the moment, and we’ve managed to stick to it for several months now, so in an effort to not fix what ain’t broke, I’m still on the Yoga with Adrienne every day train!
Goals are important! While my primary goal is pain free hiking, that’s hard to measure, so my first goal is to hit 10x10 (10 sets of 10 reps) kettlebell swings with 24kg, 10x1 (10 sets of 1 rep) turkish get-ups with 16kg, and be able to recover fully each day. Right now I’m on 5 sets of each, and am pretty burnt after two or three days.
I’ve been doing this plan for a little over a week now, and my consistency hasn’t been perfect, but it’s hasn’t been too bad, and it makes me feel good (physically and emotionally) every time I complete a workout, so that’s encouraging! Just gotta stick to it for like 6 months now ;)
And lastly, if you’d like to see me shirtless, here’s a “before pic” and a cunningly photoshopped “after” pic showing my goals of improved posture and a rockin’ booty.