Showing posts with label quads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quads. Show all posts

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's What We Make Of It

Yesterday I did not go sight-seeing or to the fitness center.

Long story, short: We had a power outage in the middle of the night. Being awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night makes me feel like a zombie the next day. You get the idea.

Oh, and the thunderstorms that were forecast for Thursday were a day late. It's been raining and storming all day.

Days like this can make me feel a little lazy. Two days in a row and I start feeling like a slacker.

But then I was talking to a friend who reminded me that we don't have to run/bike/swim every single day. There are other ways to get in our fitness. Just cleaning the house can be a workout. Fitness is what we make of it, not how much we can do!

This made me think about what I did do on my so-called lazy days:

1. I foam rolled

2. I did more trigger point therapy on my VM

3. I did some strength training: stability ball, core, knee strength exercises

4. I took walks

5. I let my body rest ---> it's true. Rest is important!

I also did some more reading on the vastus medialis and learned a few more things. Like, a weak VM can cause the knee cap to not track properly and a tight VM can lead to knee pain.

I found a couple of exercise videos that focus on strengthening the VMO, but liked this one the most. I'm sharing in case you are dealing with the same symptoms and because we all need to protect our knees with strong quad muscles.

But I also liked this one from Popsugar ---> leg strengthening workout. 

My left leg is still very weak compared to my right. I'm now on a mission to change that. Otherwise, I fear my knee problems will continue to haunt me.
Ever since my knee surgery in December, my range of motion has been limited. This makes doing a simple quad stretch extremely uncomfortable and awkward. The added knee pain made me drop the ball and stop stretching.
I had no idea how tight my quad had become or how much relief my knee would feel after dedicating a couple of minutes to this simple stretch.

Today I'm thankful for resting, trigger point therapy, and stretching. My knee continues to feel better. And that makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pesky Trigger Points

Last night I discovered a nasty knot right near my left (crabby) knee.

It was Taco Tuesday at Coyote's, our favorite Mexican restaurant here in Shenzhen, so we walked to dinner. My legs and feet were a little achey after we returned, probably from those 5 miles on the treadmill.

I grabbed some lotion and gave myself a self-massage. For someone who foam rolls (almost) every damn day, how do I end up with a knot that feels like the size of a golf ball? Well, for starters that inner part of my quad is seriously tender. I might not spend enough time there since it makes me want to cry.

If I were back home, I would call Dr. Brian for a little Active Release Therapy or Graston to release that bugger. Instead I turned to Dr. Google.

Here's what I found:

1. That muscle is called Vastus Medialis.

2. It's not a knot (haha). There is a trigger point RIGHT there.

3. Catching yourself mid-slip/fall can overload the quad (as a whole) and activate the trigger point. That may be what happened to me. I slipped and fell on a run a couple of weeks ago.

4. Running is a common cause for overloading this muscle too.

5. Treating trigger points can be done at home (yay!) by locating the spot and then applying pressure for 10-60 seconds.

In my research I also read that an active VM trigger point could cause knee pain. Hmmm. After a few minutes of self massage last night, my cranky knee is feeling better.

Crossing my fingers that this is the cause and I can go back to swimming laps.

Today's workout:

Strength training: in the apartment. stability ball workout, ninja ab workout, and this PopSugar plank workout that showed up in my inbox this morning. Note: I modified the circuit to 10 reps. Repeat 2x.

Cross training: a little bike ride around the 'hood and an evening walk with mrC.

Tomorrow the weather is looking questionable: 80% chance of rain/thunderstorms. I'm either going on another sight-seeing trip with friends or biking it to the fitness center for another treadmill workout.