Greasing the Groove…great for busy folks and rehabbing injuries!

Posted: July 19, 2013 in Fitness, Inspirational
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

After many years of really good luck (including 12 yrs of mma), it finally happened to me. I was in mid-dead lift and inhaled some type of dust or other similar irritant, leading to a sudden cough, which brought on a turn of my head. The shooting pain the fired through the right side of my neck dictates the rest of the story. Under a load of over 200 lbs (it was an 8-12 rep day), I had done some type of damage here.

Most of my prior injuries were deep bruises or simple muscle pulls, but this one felt structural. Those would heal with a bit of rest, this didn’t seem to be headed in that direction. After a torturous following day of work, I was diagnosed by the chiropractor. She told me I had a subluxation of my c3 and c4 vertebrae in my neck. In simple terms, things were completely misaligned now, and the muscles were seriously inflamed.

After a week of multiple visits of cracking and popping things back into place, I began to feel like I was doing a bit better. I was still shelved for martial arts for at least another ten days and from any type of full contact engagement for longer, but cleared for light exercise. It was tough to realize that I had very limited options, as weights were out of the question.

I was given a book called “The Naked Warrior” that limits its scope to body weight work. In this program, two exercises are done without a direct or concentrated time routine. Pistol squats (look them up because they’re awesome) and one arm push-ups (it’s a slow buildup to this) are the highlight movements. They require an extreme amount of full-body bracing and allow the participant to ease progressively into the exercise.

While these movements are excellent, it’s the idea of “greasing the groove”  (GTG) that really worked for me in the scenario I’m currently facing. You only focus on two moves during a two/three week cycle, which allows you to remain focused and perfect those moves. The most interesting part is found in the frequency in which these moves are done. It is recommended that you do mini-sets of no more than five reps as often as is comfortable in your daily schedule. You should attempt to get a fairly high number of mini-sets in though. This allows you to remain fresh each time you approach the moves.

I found the mini-set idea to be a great option for my neck injury. I would not be fatiguing myself. Additionally, the author is clear that it’s okay to fluctuate the amount of mini-sets done throughout a day depending upon your physical level of wellness. I am currently working on getting a better handle on the pistol squat and one arm push-up, so I did a GTG with tricep and chest dips, as well as calf raises. I wanted to steer clear of my neck, while working on areas that have been weaknesses for me.

Pavel Tsatsouline has created a great program that lets you sprinkle your reps throughout the course of your day. I highly recommend it to anyone who is transitioning between cycles, injured, or looking to learn some great body tension ideas that will help you through your everyday lifts. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a comment. Until then, stay safe, be well, and I’m glad to be back.

  1. Aww hope you’re feeling better, but this does sound like a really cool technique 🙂 Thank you for sharing it!

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