I think I overdid it.

Take a sledgehammer and wrap an old sweater around it. This is your "shovelglove." Every week day morning, set a timer for 14 minutes. Use the shovelglove to perform shoveling, butter churning, and wood chopping motions until the timer goes off. Stop. Rest on weekends and holidays. Baffled? Intrigued? Charmed? Discuss here.
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ezuk
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I think I overdid it.

Post by ezuk » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:23 am

Hi,

Yesterday morning was my first shovelglove day. I did 14 minutes, no more. Felt pretty good -- I could feel the burn, but it wasn't killing me.

This morning, my upper back is completely cramped and uncomfortable. I'm afraid to do another shovelglove session because I feel it might hurt my back.

What do you think? Should I wait it out?

What points (or moves) should I be careful about to keep this from happening in the future?

Finnigan
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Post by Finnigan » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:52 pm

Well, I'm no expert and I am speaking only for myself. If it was me, and I knew it was just crampiness or aches, and NOT actual strain or injury, I would probably try and do a slow low level SG workout just to try and keep the muscles stretched and to warm them up.

For example, when I first started walking about a mile a day it took a couple of weeks for me to get to the point where I could finish the walk without experiencing lower back pain and tightening or cramping up.

Over the holidays I didn't work out at all and two days ago I went for the walk again and I didn't make it a tenth of a mile before my back cramped up again. I suffered through the rest. Yesterday I went again and I went almost the whole mile before my lower back cramped up, and when it did it was much less severe.

I must say though that I am a very "walk it off" kind of person. Not everyone is. I injured my knee early on when I began exercising and rather than see a doctor I just got a knee brace and kept pushing myself to walk (not excessively though.) I might very well have slowed the healing process (I still get a twinge now and then) but in my mind my knee should be stronger for it. I am having a similar problem with an overworked wrist at the moment.

With every day systems I continualy think of the 1870's-1940's blue collar worker and ask myself what they would do.

As I said though, that is just me.

ezuk
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Post by ezuk » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:19 pm

Finnigan wrote:
With every day systems I continualy think of the 1870's-1940's blue collar worker and ask myself what they would do.

As I said though, that is just me.
Good points indeed.

Tomorrow I will do it again, slower.

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:27 pm

I'd say don't try it again until you feel better. Hopefully it's just "good soreness" from muscle fatigue, but you don't want to risk injury.

Then, when you're feeling up to it again, start with slow, low rep sets (maybe just seven reps per move).

If anything hurts, stop immediately and take the next day off.

The "twisty" moves are probably the most dangerous (but also the most fun and best for your abs and "core"). You'll want to be especially careful with those. So maybe leave out drive fence posts, chop wood, shovel, the fireman, and chop tree for a few sessions and see if that makes a difference. Then add back one at a time. If one seems problematic, leave it out indefinitely.

Other ideas:

Use a lighter weight. Even a broom or a baseball bat can be useful in the beginning just to get the moves down and carve out the habitual time.

Start with 7 minutes. Next week go to 8. Etc,. until 14. I know this may try your patience, but it's better than risking injury. By the time you get to 14 you'll have the experience and strength to do the moves safely.

Reinhard

ezuk
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Post by ezuk » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:54 pm

reinhard wrote:I'd say don't try it again until you feel better. Hopefully it's just "good soreness" from muscle fatigue, but you don't want to risk injury.

Then, when you're feeling up to it again, start with slow, low rep sets (maybe just seven reps per move).

If anything hurts, stop immediately and take the next day off.

Reinhard
I don't wanna switch to a lighter weight. That would hurt my fragile male ego, and I cannot have that. :)

But I do agree with your other suggestions. I will do 7 mins of slow moves first.

I got a crappy old Logitech webcam, I might try to hook it up and film myself doing it, and upload it to YouTube to get some pointers (like you suggested in another thread).

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gratefuldeb67
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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:24 pm

Hi Ezuk.
It's *really* easy to over do it the first day. People don't realise till they try it, how much of a workout this can be, and you are exercising muscles that you probably haven't been using much.
If you go more slowly and carefully that will really help. And make sure to breathe.. Once you start holding your breath, you are disconnecting from your body and you want to be very tuned in to how it's feeling.
Also, try to avoid twisting and lifting. Always pay attention that your core is engaged slightly and you are moving from your center, and keeping the weight "in front" of you, not on the side.. What I mean here is, whatever move you are doing with your arms, your body should be lined up and facing the same way. Sideways twists of the spine, combined with heavy lifting, are a recipe for straining your back.
Feel better.
8) Debs
There is no Wisdom greater than Kindness

Finnigan
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Post by Finnigan » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:33 pm

Obviously Reinhard has far more experience at this than I, and I'm sure he has had others ask the same advice. I'd listen to him.

Deb also has some great points. I always try to breathe with each rep. I never realised, but I keep the weight in front of me too. I think I need to pass that tip to my wife.

ezuk, how much weight are you using? I started with a 12lb hammer at work. Later I stopped working out at work and started at home. I don't have as much room though so I looked for a hammer with a shorter handle and ended up with an antique 10lb'er. Actually I think the reduction in weight was a good move for now. I might up the weight later, but i'll need to figure out how to do it with this hammer. I really love this old thing. When I get it moving I can smell the old grease, oil, and good old fassioned work it has seen in its day.

ezuk
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Post by ezuk » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:56 pm

Finnigan wrote: ezuk, how much weight are you using? I started with a 12lb hammer at work. Later I stopped working out at work and started at home.
I use a 5kg hammer, which translates to 11 pounds. Not too heavy, I think...

You guys are great :) I will let you know how it goes next time, as soon as my back is better.

Midwestern Ranger
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Post by Midwestern Ranger » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:01 pm

This morning, my upper back is completely cramped and uncomfortable. I'm afraid to do another shovelglove session because I feel it might hurt my back.
Been there brother.


With every day systems I continualy think of the 1870's-1940's blue collar worker and ask myself what they would do.
Yeah those guys are an inspiration, although they were dead by age 50 from tearing themselves up. Shovelgloving is a good happy medium between sloth and overdoing it. Or maybe I'm just another lazy modern man... :D

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BuckeyePink
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Post by BuckeyePink » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:43 pm

Ice for 10 minutes, then heat directly after that for 10 minutes. Repeat a couple of times every couple of hours. This should relax the spasm. Then lie flat on the floor in the yoga "corpse" pose to let everything readjust.

This works for me.
Finally giving up on Dieting!

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