Monday, July 17, 2006

Ow, my aching hip adductor....

According to the sign at the gym, my hip adductor is the muscle along my inner thigh that is targeted by the infamous Thighmaster gadget. I'm in the midst of another 14 days straight at the gym, for the same reasons as last time. This past Thursday was day four. Having re-stocked my MP3 player, I finally had entertainment options beyond the LCD TV built into the treadmill. NOW I had the freedom to move around and use other equipment at the gym.

I hadn't worked my legs in three or four weeks, so that's where I decided to start. I had the brilliant idea to jump in right where I left off, instead of starting slowly and increasing the weight and the reps gradually. My quads and my hip adductors was pretty sore on Friday, but nothing I couldn't handle. I went to the gym again Friday -- I had to, or else I won't allow myself to buy the clothes as a reward at the end of 14 days in a row. I worked my arms to give my legs a rest.

By Saturday, though, my legs felt worse. Shouldn't they be getting better? I decided I needed to get some blood flowing through my legs, so the workout was a gentle one. I sat on the reclining stationary bike, set it to minimal resistance, and pedaled for 10 minutes at a leisurely pace.

But yesterday my legs felt even worse. Yikes. Maybe I really injured myself. I'd had a similar injury a couple of years ago, from skiing with poor form. It was a torn calf muscle that required weeks of physical therapy to heal. So I decided to imitate the principles I'd learned in my past therapy sessions. Duplicate the movements that caused the injury, except very gently. Let the pain be your guide. If it hurts, stop.

My quads weren't hurting so much anymore, so at least it seemed isolated to a single group of muscles now. So on Sunday afternoon I sat on the hip adductor machine again. I set it to the least possible weight and started opening and closing my legs. It was tough to stretch my knees apart, so I did it as far as a could. And then I lifted that tiny weight up and down a dozen times until I got tired. I rested and went back, and I was able to stretch the knees apart even further without hurting.

I went home and was amazed at how much better I felt. I could sit normally, walk normally, and now it just felt like sore (not injured) muscles. Whew. Maybe I fixed it. This morning I woke up and did as much stretching as I could do without pain, and I'm amazed at the improvement over yesterday.

So when I log into the gym tonight it will be day eight of 14. The carrot I've got dangling in front of me is clothes shopping. I'm more than halfway there: Lands' End, here I come.

1 comment:

  1. Wasn't that the dangling carrot last time as well?