Finding Weakness

I take pride in the fact that I write my own exercise programs. I research multiple sites, listen to a ton of podcasts, and then create my plan. My goal is always a total body butt-kicking that has balance to it. The program has equal parts push and pull, front and back. It is always a bit humbling to find out something you think is perfect has left you with some weakness.

I have documented that I have been dealing with leg issues that kept me from training and racing this summer. In fact, I have not run or biked since June. I finally found a way to get a referral to Twin Cities Orthopedics. Being an overly cautious person, I did not want to run or bike again until I got a professional opinion. Boy, did I get a surprise.

My Achilles and calf have been feeling pretty good lately so I was optimistic going into my appointment. The diagnosis was a “return-to-run” protocol that was not too surprising. What was surprising was how absolutely weak my lateral movement was in my hips. My stability side-to-side was nowhere near forward and backward. Yikes! For all the squats, step-ups, and deadlifts, I had not seen anywhere in my research the idea of building that lateral stability. I now have a new plan (and it is surprisingly difficult)!

Side Shuffle

Each day I take a small band and place it around my ankles. I slowly shuffle to one side for ten steps and then back. After that, I slowly diagonally step forward with one leg and then another. That is done for ten steps forward, but also ten steps back. Next comes ten single-leg deadlifts (no band) with a small weight. I do three set of those and then move to the last exercise. For that, I put the band back on my ankles and lie on one side. I do ten side leg raises with each side, take a break, and do two more sets.

Leg Lifts

By the time I am done with this routine, my hips are really feeling it. For a guy who can squat and deadlift a decent amount, having a small band leave me stiff is an eye-opener. Despite feeling humbled, being able to know, and work on, my weaknesses will help me in the long run (pun intended)…speaking from experience.

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