Monday, January 11, 2010

A Quivering Mass

At rehearsal on Saturday we worked a bit on balance. We did some pliee's while in second position with our hands in a horns up position (make your right hand in a fist, cover it with your left hand, hold your arms at a 90 degree triangle apex about 8 inches in front of your face). This really does help with balance. It also greatly strengthens your legs and lower back.

The problem is that I have a lot of weight to move up and down. A lot. I am not a person to do things halfway or make excuses if it hurts, so I did all the pliee's or however it's spelled. I did them allllll the way down and allllll the way back up. It was not easy and it hurt, but that's ok.

But I could tell I was going to be in trouble when my muscles wouldn't stop quivering the rest of the day. And when I got up on Sunday morning, I was in agony. I really must have ripped the muscles in my thighs terribly, because it is still very difficult to walk. I have to go down stairs backwards because my thigh won't support my body weight if I go down front ways. And when I walk my legs like to buckle, so I have to sort of prance to get them to go approximately where I need them to go.

Alleve does not help, so I'm just not worrying about taking anything. It serves me right to suffer. Perhaps it will be good motivation to lose a bit of bulk and do more strength training exercises before next rehearsal. But man, I can't even turn over in bed without it being a big ordeal, and getting out of a car or standing up after sitting is excruciating.

Even so, it's still funny to me, and I have to laugh at myself as I prance around. Another funny part to it is that I was making sure during rehearsal to hold my horn up longer than we were asked to in order to help build those muscles back up. It's not natural to hold something like that, and it requires quite a bit of strength, even though my horn is only 3 or 4 pounds.

If you want to see what it feels like, take 4 cans out of your pantry, or something that weighs 3 or 4 pounds and hold it about 8-12 inches in front of your face with both arms making a 90 degree angle like an upside down V (only wider than that). Make sure you're not leaning back and that your arms and elbows are away from your body. It's not the most natural position to hold something like that, and it quickly feels odd. Now hold it for a couple of minutes and see how tedious it can be. And after that, support all the weight with your left hand, so that your right hand is free to play your instrument (your cans of food) and help balance the instrument.

So, the show is about 12 minutes long. Now we don't have our horns up that entire time. They come up and down throughout the show as we do visuals, start and end songs, etc., but when the horns are up, then need to be up, so it takes time to develop the strength to do that.

So, anyway......I was consciously working on my upper body strength and worried how that was going (I was fine...holding my horn longer than anyone else was) when all along I should have been worried about my poor quivering thighs.

As soon as they recover, I'm going to begin some leg exercises so that I don't go through this again in 2 weeks at the next rehearsal. See? I can learn my lesson.....occasionally.


Jilly said...

i do a weight lifting/cardio combo routine everal days a week for 40-80 minutes, depending on how much i love myself when about to put the DVD in. We lift 2, 5, and 8 pound hand weights in each hand during different parts of the DVD. sometimes we have 16 lbs in one hand, other times just 3 lbs in each hand. The routin combines a lot of dance/balance type moves with strength traininag at the same time. The low amount of weight enable me to become stronger without buking up like a body builder. We do a lot of squats and plies. I hate it when we do plies with overhead french press and then lift one heel off the ground and put alomst all the body weight on the other leg while hoding the postion. It's a great core work out, but after 5 of them, i'm hating the instructor on the DVD with a passion.

at first, the DVD kicked my butt and I could only do it with the 3 lbs, and had to do the modified beginner work outs instead of the advanced (this DVD set allows beginner, average and advanced to all work out at once), but now I can do the average and some of the advanced with the regular weight levels. My thigs are rock hard and i'm stronger and more flexible than i've ever been as an adult. My blance has also improved greatly because my core is stronger. I really like this set because it's made to travel and can be done in small areas. I've been thinking of going to the website of the company that makes this series and buying another one of their kits to do more work outs with flexibility and trying some of the advanced cardio.

It's amazin to me just how heavy 3, 5, and even 8 pounds can be once yo u really get into it. It's been years since I was in marching band, so I haven't thought about how much work it is in years either. Even though I'm in pretty good shape for my age and body size, I doubt i'd do the plies you did cold turkey, so good for you for trying. If you do start working out, it's better to start at the level 1 and move on. once you injure yourself, it's so hard to recover. my knee still hurts like hell and i injured it on 12/6. I've had to back off my working out because of it.

when i read your title, i was hoping it was about "the land of guy" oh well, we can dream for you.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.