As a “local” – able to drive in to my appointments rather than flying in for 7-10 intensive days – I am on a more spread out schedule. I have to wait 17 long days between my casting appointment and the day I get my ExoSyms.
As I wait out those long days, I’m doing what I can to prepare. Ryan sent me a PDF outlining a number of pre-ExoSym exercise I can do to strengthen up for the devices – building up the weak muscles I’ll need, especially my core.
While the PDF didn’t outline the need for them, I purchased a 55cm stability ball and a 9 in pilates ball because I know several exercise using each that can’t hurt. Plus, it’s great motivation – having to work out in preparation for ExoSyms – to try taking a chunk out of the old muffin top, eh?
Now, when I got the PDF and excitedly had a look through the few exercises with visions of studly core muscles dancing in my head, I quickly needed to put a few things in perspective. The 30 repetitions, three times, five times a week of “injury side up T-crunches” is a goal to aim for, not an immediate expectation, for instance. If, let’s say, you’re crying for your mommy after 10 reps one time on day one, this is not a failure.
So I do my recommended exercises, plus a few more hip exercises I know my weak right side needs from past physical therapists. I try to do them every day. Lower ab work a day or two during a certain part of the month sucks raw donkey balls and therefore are avoided. But otherwise, I’m keeping up as best as I can. I won’t admit how many of the “recommended” reps I can actually do for some of these exercises, but the important thing is I’m doing them as much as I can. As long as I am sore the next day, I know I’m doing some good. That blasted pain-gain correlation and all.
It hurts to laugh some days and I need a hot shower in the morning to get going, so I know it’s working.
Exercises I do:
- Straight and bent knee leg lifts on the right side (for my week hip muscles)
- Plank exercise (on back, put calves on stability ball, slowly rise up to a plank, hold, slowly lower)
- With small palates ball under small of back, leg lifts, scissor kicks and knee bends
- Single leg push ups (both legs for me, from knee because hurts feet too much to do properly)
- T-cruches (both legs)
- Leg lifts – straight and bent knee (lay on stomach, lift legs)
- Single-leg bridge (both legs – way hard for me on my right side)
- Single-leg reverse hyperextension (both legs and easiest of all the exercises for me)
One week to go!