Hope for the injured and muscularly imbalanced: proof that strength training works

If you’re injured or are trying to prevent a niggle becoming an injury – I bet you’ve been given exercises to tackle the issue. And I bet you’re finding it really hard to remember to do the exercises regularly enough.

I’ve done something this month that has really brought it home to me that strength training works  and can work relatively quickly if you work at it consistently.

A page on Facebook appeared just after Christmas called January Press Up Challenge.  The idea was to do 1000 press ups in January – ie 33 a day.  That seemed reasonable and doable so I signed up. (Mine was the ‘bronze challenge’. Others were doing ludicrous numbers. Platinum was 10,000 in Jan – 322 a day! Hmmmm…)

I could do about 10 full press ups in one go if I really went for it but I was better at doing them on my knees and could usually feel the effects the next day so I figured that would be good enough for the challenge. But someone suggested trying starting the whole challenge with full press ups, although not worrying about coming all the way down to the ground ie just bending the elbows partially.  They said it got you into the plank position – beneficial – and you’d get stronger more quickly.

Well, after a month of 35 press ups a day I can do 30 full press ups in one go. Result. I’ve varied it a bit and can now do nine full triceps press ups, too.

So do the exercises the physio gives you.  They will help – but muscles need to be worked and challenged regularly for changes to happen.  Keep the faith.

Next month it’s squats.  I’ll be doing single leg squats to build hip/glute/quad strength.  If you fancy joining in and are on Facebook, search for “The 12 labours of Hercules”.  If you’re not on Facebook, here are the details anyway:

“Following on from the hugely successful and now globally recognised press up challenge, I have decided to set a new one this month. The targets are the same as before so Bronze=1000 squats (35/36 a day), Silver=2500 squats (89/90 a day), Gold=5000 squats (178/179 a day) and platinum=10000 squats (357/358 a day). For this challenge you can use a variety of different ways to squat – bodyweight, prisoner, barbell, TRX, jump squats, pistols. You get the picture!! So, like before, pick a target, record your progress (with photos and videos if you wish) and let battle commence in February.”




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