Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Travel Exercise Equipment

I always pack some training gear when I travel, especially if I expect to do a lot of physical activities or training.

This is my travel pack of exercise gear:

It consists of:

- half of my Mobility WOD floss band kit (just the thinner, weaker band)

- one of Jill Miller's Alpha Balls

- an EliteFTS light resistance band

- a CFF #0 band

- a tube of NatraBio's The Rub Arnica blend lotion.

This is my go-to collection of must-have gear to bring with me.

This trip, I used all of it to some degree:

- the floss band I used once, not on myself (as I'd expected) but on a friend who was complaining of Achilles' tendon and knee pain after running. One bout with this and some ankle exercises later and it was largely cleared up.

- the Alpha Ball was useful for some glute warmups and for a brief issue with tight pecs.

- I used the CFF band every day for 100 band pull-aparts and 100 low thumbs-back pull aparts every day plus pre-training warmups.

- I used the the EliteFTS band for band walks and for pre-training TKEs (Terminal Knee Extensions).

- I used the NatraBio rub for some post-training bruising.

Pretty much I pack gear I need for pre-hab and rehab. I don't worry too much about actual exercises. Especially when I travel, I walk far more than I do when I am in the US. Most of the time I'm concerned with making sure I'm properly warmed up and doing my daily warmups.

This is the minimal gear I'd consider bringing, and every part of it is useful. What do you bring when you travel? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fixing Diastasis Recti?

There is an article on NPR about "flattening the mummy tummy."

It's more specifically about using ab contraction and draw-in exercises to fix diastasis recti. That is when your abdominal muscles have physically separated. It's fairly common after pregnancy, but plenty of men get this from a variety of other causes.

Flattening the mummy tummy with 1 exercise 10 minutes a day

I see no reason why 10 minutes of contraction, 2 minutes apiece over 5 exercises, wouldn't have a positive effect. I haven't tried this as I don't have diastasis recti. But I have used draw-in exercises, so-called "vacuum" exercises, and fully-exhaled deep contraction exercises on my abs with some success in the past for general strengthening. It seems worth a try if you have this problem. You can fairly easily glean a workout routine for this and do it daily for a few weeks and see if it improves your abs.
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