What in your opinion is the best bang for the buck for home exercise, for toning? I saw a commercial for resistance bands yesterday and it peaked my interest. I'm not looking to body build, but I'd like to increase strength and definition. A little bulk wouldn't hurt but it's not necessary. Do you think the bands would be the way to go? Cost is everything, that's why I say bang for the buck.
Think of food as fuel for the body instead of feeding emotions
First, there's no such thing as toning if you're talking about light weights/low resistance training.
Even if you don't bulk much, you still need to lift heavy for your muscles to get that hard look. Plus you need low body fat to actually see anything.
Best bang for the buck:Bodyweight exercises. Check out ExRx(as usual), they include bodyweight options for every muscle group. All you need is a pull up bar.
Another site is Bodyweight Culture. Kind of a hard-ass attitude and you need to be a member to access all the videos and exercise sections but it's free and they don't spam your email.
The psoas is part of the hip flexor group. Pretty much impossible to avoid using it.
You need to deal with the inflammation first. Try aspirin and icing several times a day. Here's a good stretch. Stretch gently at first, you're just trying to stimulate circulation to the injury, overstretching will further inflame it.
You may need to see a doctor depending on long long this has been going on.
Exercise: swimming, maybe try a rowing machine without involving the legs.(awkward, I know)
Some gyms have a tabletop version of a handcycle.
What you need to do is avoid further irritation of the muscle while it heals.
Thank you for the quick response, handcycle. I've often wondered: how does one ice a psoas muscle? Especially with some extra pounds on board?
In fact I am a doctor, and the doc I saw initially (I had trouble with nerve compression and my hip giving out) was very rude and suggested that it was psychosomatic and I should just lose weight and exercise. I went for osteopathic manipulation, which was somewhat helpful, but for practical reasons I can't continue it. It was the stationary bike that revealed the root of the problem- a few minutes of snapping and discomfort resulting in a week's worth of acute pain.
I'm sorry to sound like I am complaining- it's just that having gotten little help from docs I've realized I need to learn from people in the trenches.
It's not an easy muscle to ice, just the groin area is reachable.
Static ab work will help support the injured muscle-planks and side planks to start.
Also, take a few weeks off to really let the inflammation die down.
ETA: Can you see a sports medicine specialist? You should find a more sympathetic ear.
Few GPs are well versed in sports injuries.
Very sound advice. I had given thought to seeing a sports medicine specialist but after my bad experience (it was a horror story overall) I hesitated to see any more docs with the same complaint. I will ask around about sports medicine docs. Consistent with your advice, I did take a few weeks off and it did help. I'm just trying not to induce another round of acute inflammation. (I suspect this injury has been in the background for many years and I just attributed it to "back trouble" or "pelvic pain." What a learning experience!)
Thanks again for the advice :-)
These are some of the drills my runners do. Do 3-4 times a week.
Basic running form still applies, head up, stand tall, footplant on the midfoot. You can't sprint running on your heels.
You should be aware that as a slow distance runner, you won't really improve sprint speed by much at all. You will improve in efficiency and strength but your basic speed is determined by your ratio of fast twitch/slow twitch muscle fibers.
HIIT is really not much different than interval workouts used by runners to prepare for racing, just generally shorter distances/time.
Also, it may be difficult or not possible to run fast enough to meet the intensity requirements of HIIT.
Trying to force the pace can be an injury risk.
You may need to run longer distances/time to bring up the intensity to the desired level.
ETA: could you post some of your race times? It'll give me some idea of your basic speed.
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift."
Thanks, that's extremely helpful; I've bookmarked the drills video, there's a lot for me to work on there.
As an indication of my pace, my (recent) 5k PB is 28mins over a moderately hilly route. I haven't really been training in any organised way, just running to burn calories.
I don't expect intensity to be a problem -- I think sprinting would hit me pretty hard, and I'm more concerned about injury prevention. But do you have a recommended approach for HIIT? I really only thought of sprinting because it's free and involves fresh air; I could be talked into an alternative pretty easily.
[EDIT: I probably should have said: I'm 40 years old... I'm aware that sprinting seriously is probably a young person's game... :-)]
Last edited by helveticat; 02-13-2012 at 12:37 PM.
You're a distance runner, middle distance is racing the 800/1500/mile.
You can do HIIT on a bike or on some of the aerobic machines at a gym.
Realize you can't do that kind of intensity for long. Three times a week for up to eight weeks is the most you should do as more will lead to burnout and/or overtraining.
The touted benefits of fat-burning are somewhat overblown. The workouts, including warmup, cooldown and recovery periods, are much longer than the 4 minutes I see claimed on some sites.
The four minutes refers to the actual high intensity portion. To a typical 8 x 40 sec., add 90 sec. (recovery) and a mile each warmup and cooldown.
That's 4 miles of running and it looks like a typical interval workout for a runner. Not exactly a major breakthrough in training theory.
Start doing tempo runs once or twice a week, save the high intensity stuff for when you want to reach a peak performance.