In short, I have been absolutely loving training with Jen at SIX3NINE. In just a few weeks I feel stronger, my shoulder feels more secure and I feel as if my posture is really improving too. I have seen some physical changes too – a little tightening up here and there! So – what have we been up to?
Each session with Jen has been different. It always involves techniques and movements that I’ve never even heard of, and it’s so great to be learning so many new ‘moves’ week in, week out. What’s been especially brilliant is that each session has a focus on repairing my shoulder. It doesn’t consume the whole session, so we get to do other fun stuff too, but each week we chip away and make a little bit of progress towards getting it back to full strength.
Jen showed me the four point press, which works all the small muscles that secure the rotational movement in the shoulder (exactly where I am lacking). This is a really simple set of movements that I can do myself away from the gym which will target the exact area I need to strengthen to try and keep my shoulder where it belongs. I’ve repeated this a few times over in the past couple of weeks since Jen taught it to me and I can definitely feel strength gains in my shoulders.
We also did some floor exercises which would seem very straightforward to most people, but which strike fear in to the heart of anyone with a dislocating shoulder like me! One involved just lying on my back, putting my arms out at a right angle (as if I were shoulder pressing) and simply moving my arms up along the floor so that my hands touched above my head and then back down to parallel again. This takes my shoulder through the ‘danger range’ of movement where it’s really susceptible to subluxation and I can tell you that it’s been a long time since I concentrated so hard on anything! I generally avoid putting my right arm above my head and so my shoulder joint clicked and creaked with every repetition, but by the time I had finished my sets I definitely felt like I had more range of movement in my shoulder and felt less tension in my neck. It was scary, but I’ll definitely be incorporating this in to my routine more often.
Otherwise we have also been doing some upper body training with the aim of building more strength generally. One of the most fun (but also toughest) workouts we did was a super set of a rope pull (where the rope is attached to the cable machine with a heavy ass weight stuck on it) and bosu ball push ups. We did FOUR ROUNDS and I genuinely thought everything from the waist upwards was going to just fall off. On my own I would never have the motivation to have completed the whole thing, but Jen is really encouraging and helped me fight my way through to the end.
Treadmill pushes. True killers!
She also set up an evil circuit of squat to press, rows and treadmill pushes and I can tell you that I think it’s the hardest I have ever worked out in my life. The lady is an evil genius.
At the end of every session I feel proud at having achieved something. Jen is so enthusiastic with her training and I feel like she generally gets pleasure from seeing me nail something; she’s keen to push me to my limits (she’s good at finding them too) and I always come away feeling like I have managed more than I thought I was capable of. I’m so impressed with the progress I’ve made with my shoulder already, and can’t wait to see how much better it can get!