A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Did you ever wonder why I don't lift lower body?

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The other day, it occurred to me that some of you may wonder why I don't lift lower body. I am always posting my lifting routines but there is never anything lower body in there. The reason for this is that squats, lunges, and all those fun lifts for my legs and glutes really irritate my IT band. I mean, it's just a given that if I lift lower body, my IT band will ache for the rest of the day.

It sucks. I used to have leg day. It was great. Happy times. My quads were popping and I was proud of the muscle I was building. Now I get jealous when I read blogs and see other runners able to squat and lunge and all that fun stuff. I hate being jealous. It is not a fun feeling to have.

I haven't tested it out in several months because just thinking about doing squats makes my IT band hurt. I just know that feeling and I'm convinced that if I try again, it will just ache and bother me for a couple days. I know I should try, I just don't like having the reminder that my IT band is a bother.

Spinning and the elliptical are also things my IT band HATES, but I don't miss those activities. I miss leg day!

So that's the short story of why all I do is upper body stuff!
Is there any activity or exercise you wish you could do?

29 comments:

  1. That must be really annoying for you! I mean even if you didn't like that stuff I feel like its supposed to be part of a well-balanced, functional training program, right? At least you are a runner so your legs will stay strong. Can you deadlift? One of the things I learned when I went to the Speed Clinic last week was that I sway all over the place when I lunge. I probably need to work on that! I have also noticed that my squats and deadlifts feel better when I turn my feet in slightly, I think because of the weird way my hips line up. Maybe it's related to something similar for you?

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    1. It IS really annoying because I do like it... A LOT. :(

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  2. Does squatting/lunging bother you even if you do it with low weight?

    I want to do a pull up. Last summer I was committed to working my way towards it using the pull up assist machine at the gym, but once I stopped doing my long runs at the gym I stopped using the machine and just went back to my normal old lifting routine. WTF. I guess I don't want to do a pull up that badly even though I think it's like the most badass thing ever. I love when you post about doing like a million pull ups!

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    1. Yes, even body weight squats and lunges. :( I did kettle bell swings yesterday in a circuit and my IT band hurt yesterday but not today. Woot! But that is more of a glute things I think. My ass is SO SORE right now I could barely get into pigeion pose to stretch after my run.

      I haven't done an unassited pull up in a long time but when I use a band, it really only assists me about halfway up. I think it's time to try again!

      I think like you said, if you really wanted it, you'd train and do it. I hope you stick with it and do it some day!

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  3. That really is a bummer that you can't do lower body workouts! And I know you have gotten a lot of medical tests and dr. opinions and nothing is wrong. Last summer my right inner knee started to feel tight. I have had x ray and MRI and it's normal. But I can't sit crossed leg on the floor do do pigeon pose. My PT thinks it is related to how my leg lands when I run and we are working on that but in the mean time, I just don't do those 2 things which don't sound like much but make my yoga interesting.

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    1. No I can definitely see how that could make yoga interesting. Yes I did get ALL THE TESTS DONE and there is nothing "wrong". I know it's just my IT band being dumb. Forever.

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  4. Well boo on that! One thing I avoid is anything that involves short, fast movements - like box jumps or things like that. My mind just goes to "I'm too old to be doing that, I'm going to get hurt!". Might be an irrational fear, but I really don't want to whack my knee out. Seems like injuries have been plaguing me lately so I try to avoid potential triggers!

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    1. Hey I don't blame you! Sure, box jumps are cool but they ARE hard on your knees, so why risk it when there are plenty of othr exercises to do!

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  5. I avoid a lot of stuff... Unfortunately, I'm very injury prone and I have a hypermobility disorder that causes my ligaments and tendons to be over stretched and torn easily, so I have to be careful about what I do. Basically, I don't lift because I don't know the proper form, and the few times I've tried it, I've gotten hurt. Luckily running doesn't hurt, although it does cause problems for most people with hypermobility, so I guess I'm just lucky.

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    1. You know you are the second person I have met with a hypermobility disorder. I have someone who was interested in personal training sessions with me who has the same problem and I am nervous about taking her on because I am NOT an expert when it comes to having problems like that and I don't want to hurt anyone! I am so glad running doesn't bother you!

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  6. That pesky IT band is such a nuisance. My flares up from time to time and I immediately pull back or stop the activity for a few days. I would be in the same boat and just cut out leg days. Then again I hate lifting so I'm bias lol

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    1. And it is so hard to figure out too! I mean the days mine aches the most is on a rest day!

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    2. Not at all! I'll go check it out!

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  7. I can totally see why you'd avoid training legs. ITBs are so finicky and the risk of creating a chronic problem is so great. I find that if I DON'T train legs, my left knee will feel wonky until I strengthen the muscles around it. This year when I shifted my focus back to strength it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been last year.

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    1. I am so glad it worked for you Marcia. It makes total sense that strengthening would help it, but for some reason for me, it irritates it. Maybe I am not doing the right things, but then again I feel like the right things ARE squats and lunges.

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  8. Oh, I didn't even realize this! That makes a lot of sense to me. I really want to strength train but I'm nervous about irritating something. I go with the theory that if it's not broke, don't fix it. I've been running 70-100 miles per week since 2010 and haven't strength trained at all, and I'm okay.

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    1. If I did that, I'd be so injured. My IT band would just burst into flames.

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  9. This is interesting. I lift lower body so my IT band does not flare up. My PT said it ends up happening when my quad muscles are weak. It helps prevent knee problems too. It must be working because I had no pain during my marathon and I really had a good lifting routine going!

    What do you do to prevent IT band/knee injuries?

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    1. Right now just donkey kicks and things like that.

      I lifted 2-3 times a week. NO problems for so long. Now lifting bothers it. I know, it is counter productive but I don't want to do something that makes it ache.

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  10. I wish (or maybe I'm ok with it) that I could do push-ups. I broke my arm in the elbow region several years ago and to this day I can't put the weight of my body on it when it is bent. Therefore, I haven't done a push-up in years.

    I have IT band issues too. I wonder how common that is...

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    1. Is there anything you do to help it? I know you cycle a lot. That would KILL my IT band.

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  11. I hope your ITB calms down! I would miss my lower body workouts for sure!

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  12. I don't have leg day anymore and I need to have leg day. Even just once per week. I am actually working with another blogger right now to host a February strength streak and my goal is to get back to lifting legs at LEAST once per week. It's so hard for me to fit it in with the Hansons training. I don't want to do it on Mondays, because Tuesdays is a track wo. I'm tired after the workout and don't want to do it then. Wednesdays are the day before tempos, so I don't want to do that. Thursdays are the tempo runs, so nope. Friday is a pole day, and Saturday is the day before my long run. I'm struggling to find the best day for it. I am going to try doing it post long run on Sundays, but we'll see how that goes. It's so hard to fit in, and in your case it's injury related which makes it even more frustrating!!!! I hope you feel better SOOON! Foam roll those ITBs!!!!!

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    1. It IS hard to fit it in when you are in hard core marathon training. But for some reason, that is when everyone decides they need to start strength training! I really think the best time for runners to start and develop good lifting habits is when they are not training for a marathon. Then they don't have all those hard runs to do. And really, you should give your muscles time to recover after a lifting session, or what is the point of even lifting and then going on a long run the next day?

      A tip I tell runners: Why does a week need to be 7 days??? Why can't a week be 9 days? When I was training for races and still able to lift lower body, my weeks were 9 days long. I was able to get all my important runs in, 3 lifting sessions in, AND rest. It is hard to fit it all into one week when a week is only 7 days. :)

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  13. Leg work also irritates my IT band!!!! So weird. :(

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    1. Oh no I am sorry about that. :( Are there certain things that bug it more than others? Just curious.

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  14. You know how bad the aches and pains irritate me! I work around it, but I just want to be flexible and strong. I wish you didn't have to deal with it. Lately, I ache in my hamstring when I am sitting at work.

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    1. I swear it's the sitting down that is killing us, not the running!

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