I haven't written about Project Strength in a bit because I hit a wall and had to step back and determine my next steps. There is one factor right now that is motivating more than any other: pain. Pain is a great motivator.
I have not traveled for work since March, and I have been working at home and staying isolated for the last several months. The result is that my body has become quite stiff. Despite weekly assisted stretching sessions, I'm still experiencing limited range of motion, especially in the lower body. In fact, my right hip was locked up, and I finally got some relief after a visit to my chiropractor on Friday.
I have decided that before I can make a concerted effort to add muscle mass and increase strength, I need to increase my flexibility and range of motion. I need to at least slow down the damage (if not reverse it) from sitting all day at a computer. I also need to establish a daily practice to get better results faster.
Enter the concept of Gravity Yoga. I purchased an online course that teaches how to perform certain yoga stretches at home. I've never done yoga before. According to the training, Gravity Yoga is a different kind of Yoga in that it focuses specifically on increasing flexibility.
Here are the tenents of Gravity Yoga.
#1 Wet noodle- Muscles stretch best when completely relaxed. So when you train for flexibility, you attempt to relax into the stretch as much as possible.
#2 Whiskey breathing 4:8- Inhale through your nose to the count of four, exhale through the mouth for a count of eight. This breathing practice turns off the stretch reflex, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system response, and relieves muscle tension.
#3 Meet or beat your hold time - The gating factor for flexibility is time under passive tension (AKA how long you spend in these deep poses). The typical Gravity Yoga hold times are 2-5 minutes.
I tried a couple of these stretches, and I quickly realized I am in rough shape. It's no fun starting out at the beginning but you gotta start somewhere.
Project Strength is back on.