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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wax on....

Whoa boy have I been busy!

I've learned a few more new workouts from Ken.  The latest is a series with the giant yoga balls.

Pick up the ball and put it on a wall with your hand holding it in place.  Give a little bit of a lean into the ball just so there's some pressure on it.

Now, you do the Mr. Miyagi routine:  Wax on (rotate left 20 times) Wax off (rotate right 20 times).  Then you paint the fence (move side-side and up-down 20 times). I think the one thing he didn't do was move diagonally, but here you do. Diagonally right and left 20 times each.

Did I mention you do this all facing directly toward the ball and then repeat standing to the side of the ball? Oh, and do both arms.

This will absolutely make you stronger.  I've seen the results in the gym many times already and am becoming a very firm believer in these small muscle exercises.  They support the bigger muscles which I can easily hit in the gym.

Speaking of the gym, I started lifting again with my right arm. I did dumbbell bench presses with a whole two pounds in my right hand.  That's right wary of my might.

One other quick thing: Sounds like Jamie Moyer is with the Blue Jays farm system and should pitch against the Rainers on Thursday.  If you are in Tacoma, get there!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Doctor's Update

I saw the doctor again yesterday for what should be my final follow up.  They measured a few things including the angles that my elbow can bend at (0, 140 for those keeping score), grip strength, and the side to side movement of my elbow.

The diagnosis was that I was ahead of schedule for everything.  Grip strength surprised both of them which I'm attributing to squeezing those dumb towel rolls 60 times a day.  The elbow is tight and healing and the muscle tone and everything looked fine.

My pain has gone down quite a bit and it's more muscle soreness now. If I do get pain, it's right at the site of the incision.  If you feel it, it's still slightly swollen as there's probably a ton of scar tissue that has build up there.  Pressing on the ligament itself is also known to be sore, but most of the time it's just oddly numb.  It's a bit hard to describe....but numb.

PT is going extremely well.  I have a new series of shoulder work that I need to work in twice a week now.  The best news of all is that I get to rest on the 7th day.  No more 7 days a week of PT!  I get a day off now.  Oh, thank merciful heavens.  Man, it's tough to hit the gym and still do another hour every single day of the weeks.

So, as it was intended...on the 7th day I will rest. Ahhhhhhh......

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Keeping your arm dry in the shower: PRO TIP!

My friend Adam Paulson found this awesome product that is designed to keep your arm dry while you're in the shower.  Unfortunately, Adam is getting surgery on his fractured wrist tomorrow so this has quickly become a necessity in his life.  Be well buddy!

One of the toughest things to do is keep your arm dry in the shower. Trust me, trying to tie up Safeway bags around your arm isn't exactly a great time...especially when doing it with one hand. Luckily, I had some help.

So, sure, this is costs a little more than a couple of plastic bags from Safeway, but it would be worth it. Trust me. If you have TJ surgery, or any arm related surgery, this thing will be an absolute lifesaver.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Padres

The blog will be dull this week.  I am heading out to all 3 Padres games at Safeco field.

Besides Spring Training, this is as good as it gets for me.  My Padres against my second favorite team the Mariners.  Now, let's be really clear.  These will not be monstrous games.  These two teams are bad.  Actually terrible.

Neither team can really hit and the defense is suspect.  Maybe there will be some pitching with Felix and Edinson throwing a few of the nights.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter. I love these teams. I grew up bleeding Padres blues/sand/tan/grey and formerly mustard yellow/brown.  I've grown to love the Mariners as my second team.  I remember the Garvey home run and the call of "the double". I cheered for Trevor when he set the saves record and Ichiro when he set the single season hits record. I heard the gloves pop when Jake Peavy and Randy Johnson pitched. I remember the Kingdome and the Murph.  

This is bad baseball but it's my favorite brand of bad baseball.

Monday, June 11, 2012


It's so strange to sit down and look over my old workouts and have to re-imagine them to fit into a routine that you've done a bunch of times.

This week, it's the heavy/light routine that I like to do.  However, instead of doing lots of things with barbells, it's all about the dumbbells.  The dumbbells have been a lifesaver and have let me continue my workouts without much interruption.

I actually think that I'm starting to put up more weight with my left arm than I did with my right.  It's interesting though...even though I'm not doing anything beyond my PT with my right arm, it still feels like it's activating in some way. It's definitely not keeping up in terms of size.  If you looked at me now, you'd swear I was left handed.  I'm pretty confident that the right side will catch up eventually.

You do have to be willing to eat a bit of crow at the gym when you're doing one-handed stuff.  I mean, I have to look like a goofball dumbbell pressing 60 pounds with one arm and zero in the other.  Just to keep things moving, I usually do the movement with the right arm. So, weight in one hand....literally nothing in the other.

I've also been working hard on my speed.  Since it's tougher to really do a lot of strength training, I've been doing a bunch of interval training.  That seems to help quite a bit in the calorie burning area as well as the "feel better" area.  It just feels good to do.  My typical interval is a 20-30 second sprint interval every 90-120 seconds.  If you're a treadmill nerd, I do a light jog on the treadmill at a 6.0 and a 1.5 incline.  My sprint is the 12.0 speed.  Obviously, there are good and bad days when it comes to this stuff, but I've been lucky so far.

The arm is definitely healing.  I've been able to pick up and curl 3 pounds now and the PT exercises are getting significantly easier.  It seems like some of the aches have gone away too.  I'm not constantly feeling that pull anymore in my elbow.  It feels easier.  I really do believe that weight training, even on one side, still makes a very big difference on both.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Random thoughts on a Friday

Happy Friday to you and yours:

Glad to hear Jamie Moyer got picked up.  He signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles.  Who knows if he'll pitch in the majors again, but I'm pretty sure everyone in Seattle is pulling for him.  San Diego is pulling for Cory Luebke who has opted to become part of the fraternity.  Nice kid with great stuff.  He'll come back just great.  Daisuke makes his first start since joining the frat this weekend.  I doubt a new ligament will make him walk fewer people or work any faster.

PT is going well.  Shoulder work has been upped a pound.  I'm also up to 3 sets for that as well.  It's tougher than you think.  That's typically the one that makes me really work.

My arm feels pretty good. I still can't lift any real weight or anything.  3 pounds is about it if my arm has to bend at all.  I am able to turn a doorknob painlessly now. Opening some jars is still difficult, but so many things that used to give me trouble no longer do so that's progress.  The biggest problem now is that my elbow will often tighten up after typing for a while or shampooing my hair.  That's always entertaining....adding stretching out to drying off as a post-shower activity.

I've learned that quick motions are not your friend.  I never thought it would hurt to swat a fly, but it did. Add that to the list of things you shouldn't do after surgery.

On a really personal note, I'd like to say goodbye to my dear friend Missy. She stood by me for 14 years as a constant companion and supported me in everything I did.  I already miss her terribly and there is a big void in our household now.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My PT schedule

A lot of people have been asking me how much physical therapy I'm doing every day.  So, I thought I'd stop giving the stock answer and show you what exactly I do every single day.

I should add that this changes all of the time so I'll be better about keeping things updated.  In fact, I need to keep this blog updated better.  That whole work thing is getting in the way though.  Bah, who needs to make a living anyway?

So, PT takes me about an hour every day.  Most of my exercises are 3 sets at 20 reps.

Here's the first set of things I do every day:

What this is showing you is a series of tubing exercises.  Basically the typed portion describes a bunch of exercises I do while seated.  I keep the tubing stepped on and use my quads for support.  It's essentially using my wrists to lift the tubing up while my palms are up, down and thumbs up.  Then the wrists go side to side.

The handwritten portion is a single arm tubing exercises that I do with the tubing wrapping around a pulley tower or, if I'm at home, secured on the outside doorknob with the door shut.  These are all wrist movements with my wrist at my side going left to right then right to left, at my hip (palm up and down) and then in the throwing position facing the tubing and away from the tubing.  Though I don't have to, I do these on both sides just to keep things even.

Again, 3 sets of 20 reps for each hand position.

Here come the shoulders!  These are TOUGH things to do.  I usually break these up into 2 categories: Those which require the tubing to go in the door and those that I can stand on.  You can see the two different types of shoulder raises going on there.  One is at 45 degrees and the other is just a front lateral raise.  Doing these back to back is rough going.

I think these are really important though.  I like to think I'm working my way up the arm with the exercises I'm doing.  I started with the wrist, went to the forearm, and have finally made it to the shoulder. Eventually, I'll be able to put them all together and start throwing (which should be in about 2 more months).

I do these sets every other day.  I combine them with the ones below.

These are basic shoulder movements that are done in the gym a lot.  These tend to work the rear deltoids and the traps.  These are the ones that will keep my shoulders back.

These are the latest ones.  These are done every other day.  They're rotated in with the two sets laid out above.  These are CURRENTLY one set for 20 reps.  This will go up to 2 sets on Sunday and the weight will go from 2 pounds to 3 pounds in a week.  I'm going to be doing these at the gym usually but when you're at home you have to make a few....concessions.....

For example, I don't have a two pound weight at home.  I do...have a Costco membership which allows me to buy something that's two pounds...

...and then I do the exercises with my arm hanging off my bed.  These are done on both arms.  It's fair trade coffee so it's ok!

So, that's about it.  I also do my hammer workouts as you've seen before on both hands as well as towel squeezes.

Adding it up it's a lot of reps.  In fact, it's about 45 different exercises in various positions.  Then it's about 3 sets of each of those and 20 reps on each.  And that my friends, is why it takes an hour to knock it all out.  So, 135 sets total.  Every day.