I seem to have strained my gluteus medius on my right side. What a pain in the butt!  It happened at the very beginning of my workout and so I had to reduce the weight and stop the reps when it hurt.  I managed to make it through my glute work out by focusing on the gluteus maximus and being VERY careful with my form. I have been getting so strong and using so much weight (which is exciting for a skinny girl like me); to have to reduce the weight so much was a real bummer.  But I’d rather take care of my injury and have it heal faster so I can get on with some hard core training, rather than make it worse and get hung up babying it in recovery for longer.

Here’s how it happened–I was on the Smith Machine (I know, you’re thinking, that darn Smith Machine, the books and magazines are always warning us that they can be quite dangerous—well, it’s true!) and I was doing some squats.  I had always read that you should do Smith Machine squats with your feet at least a foot out in front of the bar, so that you are actually leaning into the bar as you descend.  And that’s the way I’ve always done them, with no problems.  Then someone told me to put my feet directly under the bar the other day and, without question, I obeyed.  It seemed to work all right then, but last night when I started to descend into the movement in that position, I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my gluteus medius (look it up).  So I stopped and changed form to my old way of doing it, with the feet out front and that seemed to not hurt.  But it was too late and the damage was done, so I decided to stop the Smith Machine squats and move on to lunges on the Smith Machine, which felt fine.  Then, I attempted some dumbell squats and after 2 sets, my butt said “AAHHH, QUIT IT YOU BIG DUMMY!”  So I listened.  After that I did the rest of my workout with a focus on the bottom part of my butt (the gluteus maximus).  I had to lean forward on some machines and reduce the range of motion on others and reduce the weight on everything.  But I didn’t push it to the point of pain again.  And now my glutes get to take some time off to heal.  Oh, about the foot position during squats on the Smith Machine, I have found websites advocating placing the feet under the bar, and I have even read warnings that placing the feet out front may cause strain on the lower back (but it never has strained my lower back).  My philosophy is that every body’s body is different (we all have injuries in our past and some of us have curvatures in our spine, etc) and so you have to feel it out for yourself (within the choices of form deemed safe by experts) and find the position that feels best for your body.   For me, I won’t be placing my feet directly under the bar anymore in Smith Machine squats, I will keep them out front, but for someone else it may work fine to put them under the bar.  Just go slow and really feel the movement and what it is doing to your body.  That is another mistake that I made a few days ago—that workout was very fast paced and I may have been moving so fast that I didn’t realize that I was hurting myself.  Learn from my mistakes is what I’m saying.

On a positive note, I used my iPod for the first time in a long time and it really improved the whole workout, but especially the cardio.  Music is so powerful in how it effects our emotions.  Certain songs just make you want to move to the rhythm and really go for it. I think it even makes me want to perfect my form during my movements more. I don’t think I’ll ever work out without it again.  Anyways, here’s the workout that I did last night–enjoy!:

  • Smith Machine Squats: 10 reps/50 lbs X 4
  • Smith Machine Lunges: 12 reps/50 lbs ea leg, 12 reps/70 lbs X 2, 12 reps/90 lbs
  • Dumbell Squats: 12 reps/2-20 lbs X 2
  • Dumbell Lunges (one leg at a time):  12 reps/2-20 lbs ea leg X 3
  • Dumbell Plie Squats: 25 reps/50 lbs X 4
  • Cable Kick Backs: 15 reps/40 lbs ea leg, 15 reps/50 lbs ea leg, 15 reps/60 lbs ea leg
  • Seated Hamstring Curl: 10 reps/90 lbs X 3
  • Outer Thigh (Abductor) Machine: 3 reps/39 lbs (drop set to) 8 reps/28 lbs, 12 reps/ 34 lbs, 10 reps/ 39 lbs X 2
  • Inner Thigh (Adductor) Machine: 20 reps/52 lbs, 12 reps/60 lbs X 2
  • Leg Extension (Quad) Machine: 10 reps/40 lbs X 4
  • Cardio on Adaptive Motion Trainer (with glutes squeezed): 30 min, 322 cals burned

And, here’s what I ate yesterday:

  • Breakfast (37 g protein): smoothie with bananas, frozen cherries, blueberries, peaches, 1 oz wheatgrass, 1.5 cups soymilk (10 g protein), 1/2 scoop Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer (7 g protein), 1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein (20 g protein)
  • Snack: Peanuts (15 g protein)
  • Lunch (60 g protein): Pizza made with “Rustic Crust” (30 g protein), pizza sauce, spinach, red peppers, daiya cheese (made from tapioca and pea protein and other neat stuff) (3 g protein), and one diced Tofurky sausage (27 g protein)
  • Snack: Builder’s Bar (20 g protein) and a glass of milk (14 g protein)
  • After Gym/Before Bed (41 g protein): smoothie with banana, frozen cherries, blueberries, 1 oz wheatgrass, 2 cups soymilk (14 g protein), 1/2 scoop Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer (7 g protein), 1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein (20 g protein)
  • Total 173 grams of protein for the day!

OK, some of you might be saying, “there are a lot of processed foods here.”  You’re right (very annoying, but right).  It was not my best food day.  My excuse is that I was very busy yesterday and didn’t take the time to get my beans and sprouts ready ahead of time (again, learn from my mistakes people).  Now I have some nice lentils and mung beans sprouting and I will get back on track with eating more whole foods today!   : )


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