Question: Like most people, I'm stronger on my right side. Todays workout featured the offset barbell strict press making the difference very obvious. My question is, when doing these workouts featuring one side, then the other, do we work on achieving a balance IE: equal weight both sides or do we work the weak side more to create the balance? The same thing applies to mobility, should I spend more time working on the tight side or do we accept the imbalance and accept the difference? Inquiring mind wants to know :) ?
Answer: Asymmetries are a part of life, your own body has not evolved symmetrical. That being said, we do want to be as close to symmetrical as possible. First I would like to congratulate you on being present enough during training to become aware of the differences happening side to side. Muscle imbalances can happen for many different reasons, and as to those reasons I can not begin to guess without some screening first. But I can give some general recommendations that will hopefully give you some insight as to how to work toward being more balanced. First, always choose your reps and weights from the weaker side. That way you are training your weaker side first, and picking the weight that is challenging for that side, while using the same weight for the stronger side, and essential under training your strong side, and giving your weaker side a chance to catch up. Focus on technique, ask your coach to watch for asymmetries in movement, stance, etc. as you set up/perform the movement. It is a fine idea to add a little bit more attention to the tighter side while performing stretching and mobility……but I would stress that attacking a symptom does not always fix a root cause. There are reasons why these things have occurred, so determining why is always the best place to start.
Question: What should i know about my resting & max hr and how can I use my hr monitor (apple watch) to get the most out of my workouts?
According to the Mayo Clinic "generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness." The average RHR is above 60 beats per minute, in the extremely fit population it will be in the 40’s to 50’s. Keep in mind that many factors can influence heart rate, including:
Fitness and activity levels
Being a smoker
Having cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or diabetes
Body position (standing up or lying down, for example)
Your resting heart rate is a good baseline to have, so you can keep track of changes over time.
Max Heart Rate is the number of beats per minute when working at maximum output. The formula, 220 minus your age, can give you a rough place to start, but keep in mind that everyone is different and that number is just a general guideline.
We are working on building out a template for our gym programming that will give specific goals to shoot for in each workout. The best thing to do right now would be to start a journal with the workouts listed and make notes of perceived exertion (how hard you went, scale 1-10) and heart rate, so over time, you can start to build out a framework that is specific to you.
As we begin to incorporate a more detailed outline for our conditioning efforts, it is important to use the tools available (HR monitors etc…) but to also use them to better understand our bodies and how we each individually respond to stressors.
Question: What series of dynamic stretches should I do before skate skiing and can I do them before I leave for the track or should I do them at the track?
How can you address balance issues in your non-dominant leg? (Balancing on a skate ski)
Answer: As a basic dynamic warm up for skate skiing, I would recommend doing it at the track. If you did it at the house, even with a short drive, by the time you got to your destination you would have cooled down significantly. Having a band would be very helpful, but you could easily modify some of these exercises if you do not have one. The focus should be on warming up and activating the low back, midsection, and glutes. The other thing I would recommend would be to always start out at a nice easy pace and slowly ramp up the intensity until you are quite warm.
10x good morning
10x cassock squat
10x/leg banded hip abduction and adduction
20x alt steps lateral band walk
10/10x arm circles forward and backward
10/10x standing pallof press or 60 sec plank if no bands
Training balance off the skies could see some huge benefits. The teardrop tap-dance would be a great place to start. 4 sets of 30sec per leg, and adding one or two sets to your weaker leg would help to balance them out over time. Progress to standing on an unstable surface and adding time each week. Work up to one minute on each leg per set. Also, it might not be a bad idea to have someone film your skate skiing, so you could see how your body is aligning over the ski on both sides, to see if you are doing something different side to side.