In that hour she showed me some lower-body stretches in addition to those that I already do, to improve my running. Then she gave me five upper-body exercises, which I tried this morning for the first time at home:
- Reverse Fly: The focus is on the back part of the shoulders. Equipment: Resistance band attached to a fixed object. Start with the band in hand at the opposite hip, keeping arm straight swing hand from hip across the body to shoulder height on the other side. Try to keep trapezius muscles (traps) relaxed. Three sets of 12 repetitions (reps). Alternative method (from the internet): work one arm against the other, see graphic. I tried this alternative today.
- Cable Row: Simulated rowing. Face toward a weighted cable or resistance band, pull both elbows backward to bring the handle to the body, keep shoulders down, imagine trying to grasp a marble between shoulder blades. Slowly return. Three sets of 12 reps.
- Stability Ball Push-Back: Lay on back on stability ball holding a 10-lb medicine ball against the stomach, bend knees and slide down to bring butt to heels, then push back up. I'm not sure what this exercise is for, actually, because I feel it primarily in the quads. I'll have to set up another appointment and ask Angie. Three sets of 12.
- Assisted Pullup: A pullup is the same as a chinup except with palms facing away instead of toward me. I can do unassisted pullups (at least one, I tried it) but that may put my back at risk so we're going with assisted pullups which do not require me to lift my entire weight. At the gym, there is a machine for doing this with a very precise amount of assist. At home, today, I put a chair under the pullup bar, which brought my chin right to the bar at full height, and then used my legs to provide an assist. See the small graphic, where that same principle is applied but the bar is lower, making the chair unnecessary. The amount of assistance is uncalibrated, but it seemed to work fine. Three sets of 8 to 10.
- Stability Ball Cobra: This is a sort of "reverse crunch" using the back muscles instead of the muscles in front of the body. Lay stomach-down on the stability ball, feet against the wall for stability. Cross arms, slowly let upper body down as far as it will go, slowly raise again, but only until body is straight. Pull shoulders back, again grabbing the imaginary marble with the shoulder blades. Three sets of 8 to 10.
After the session we stopped at Target to pick up a nice 65-cm stability ball and a couple of resistance bands. We already had a pullup bar, and that's all I needed for this morning's routine.