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At Ground Zero: What To Do After An Injury Bomb Hits

You might recall a harrowing incident that occurred during a recent workout I shared on this blog: back went "Crunch", rib went "Pop", and I was all "Oh noes!" Well, I'm here to tell you that today's workout was killer, regardless of my brush with disaster.

Not just ok. Not just above average. Freakin' awesome.

Let's talk about what I did during today's workout, and then do a post-mortem examination of why it was effective:

Warm up: 
  1. 10 minutes of boxer shuffle, b-boy toprock, and various shadow dancing. 
    • (Yes, I will actually dance around in the middle of any gym, any time. Problem? Vanilla burpees won't help one craft his steez, so step off please.)
  2. 3 minutes of dynamic stretch, including ballistic hammie stretches. 
  1. Incline Dumbbell Press- at a 35° angle, NOT 45°! warm up, then 3 working sets of 15 reps at a challenging weight.
  2. Lat Pulldowns, Rope Attachment, False Grip, Elbows kept in close- warm up, then 3 working sets of 15 reps at a challenging weight. 
  3. Decline pushups to engage lower pecs- warm up set
  4. Lying Dumbbell Lat Row to engage shoulders/traps/lats/rotator cuff- warm up set
  5. Flat Bench Dumbbell Press- 3x15 at a challenging weight.
  6. Lawn Mowers- 3x15 pyramid up, 50/60/70 Lbs dumbbell.

  • 30 incline pushups- bodyweight
  • 30 narrow grip chins- bodyweight
Cool down/recovery: 
Immediately walk 2 blocks, climb 3 flights of stairs, stretch, have protein shake, and take a shower.

"So how did I go from 0-60 while injured? The untold story happened last night, right before I went to bed..."

"OK... I'm waiting to be impressed!" you say. Well, take a look at the big picture. I completely popped a rib out just  yesterday, but today I completely engaged all the target muscles (chest and back) for this workout and got a great, clinically tried-and-true strengthening and body building protocol completed on time- without pain... Oh, and my body feels pumped!

So how did I go from 0-60 while injured? The untold story happened last night, right before I went to bed:

Exhibit A: lacrosse ball

Exhibit B: the lip of the Iliac crest  

Exhibit C: the edge of the Coccyx ("Cock-six")  (try not to get too excited by the funny names- this technique hurts like hell!)
So, if you haven't used a la crosse ball for self-myo-fascial release, this is actually a pretty good place to start- get all of your inhibitions out of the way upfront! 

I began my evening routine by lying on the floor, on my back, and jamming this lacrosse ball into my mid back- directly at the site of the subluxation/'injury', and let my body relax until the shock of putting my 200 pound frame onto a tiny, dense rubber ball subsided to about 80% of the initial 'pain'. [Disclaimer: I would not recommend this part for anyone who does not have an extremely high degree of body awareness. If you have a severely strained or sprained muscle, this could make things very bad, very fast. Not just more pain, but also more damage.] I then worked my way down the right side of my spine, breaking up any and all scar tissue or knots in the spinal erectors [simmer down now, I told you before- this is the 'hurts like hell' part!] through the lumbar, and waaay down to the tip of the Coccyx. I then worked back up by a few inches, and traced the under-edge of the Iliac Crest all the way to the outside of the hip, which kneaded out the glutes.

I proceeded to roll out some knots in my traps and through out the scapular region of my back [straight up and down, like 6-o-clock!]. But the key target was the gluteal region between the Coccyx and Iliac Crest!

Now, to test the effectiveness of my attempt at unbinding the right side of my legs and trunk, I took the ball away, and pulled my knees to my chest, while attempting to keep the spine flat. The result? 2" more mobility on the right side than the left, meaning that I could keep my back aligned properly during all of today's lifts. BOOM. 

Rinse, repeat on the left side. Sleep like a baby. Get up ready to kick some butt after having your butt kicked- literally... by a lacrosse ball.

Stay Strong, Friends.

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