Well, I somehow managed to make it through Phase 1 of my first round with P90X. Although, the past couple days have been pretty rough. When I woke up yesterday I was in the worst pain I’ve been in since starting P90X. When I went to bed Friday night my back felt a little sore but when it was time to get out of bed Saturday morning it had moved past sore to not being able to move. I quickly isolated the problem to the triangle-shaped muscle located near the top of my back.
Based on my research, including a really interesting anatomy book I picked up at the library, this muscle is called the trapezium. It extends down along the base of your neck over to your shoulder blade and down to the lower part of your spine. There are two symmetrical parts of this muscle–one on each side of your spine–separately known as the right or left trapezius–together known as the trapezium.
My left side seemed to hurt worse than the right side. I was really confused because the morning before I did Core Synergistics. Shouldn’t my core be sore today and not my back? Tony told me to “ENGAGE”! But apparently I didn’t ENGAGE my core enough!
I’m sure it was quite entertaining for my husband to watch me figure out how to drag myself out of bed. I felt a little better once I got off my back and was able to stand up. I immediately started doing some stretches which seemed to help but only temporarily.
I think the reason why I ended up over-working my back is because my core is so weak. The crazy thing about the core and what makes it so important is that it’s the bridge to almost all the other muscles in your body–including the trapezius. When you work your core, not only do you work your core muscles, you’re also working the stabilizing muscles which connect to your core.
Here’s what Pat Manocchia, the author of the Anatomy of Exercise, has to say: “Active or primary muscles are defined as those that contract to move a structure, while stabilizing muscles are defined as those that either co-contract, or, by their activation, stabilize either the primary or secondary structure to allow movement . . . The point here is to make the reader aware that during any given movement, some muscles that may not play a major role in the actual execution may still be necessary contributors for proper biomechanics and form while the exercise is being performed.”
So, I’m thinking my poor little left trapezius was working hard to make up for the fact that my core wasn’t doing its share of the work–especially on the left side where I tend to be weaker anyway. For a fleeting moment I contemplated calling in sick to work. But then I remembered it was Saturday (good luck finding anyone to cover your shift) and given the fact that I’ve only called in sick to work once in the past 7 years I decided against it.
It was probably a good thing that I had to work anyway, because it forced me to move around. Sitting around at home getting all stiff again probably wasn’t a good idea. At work I’m moving around–reaching, squating, stooping, etc. Every 30 minutes or so I’d go off and do some more stretches which really helped out a lot.
When I got home after 4PM I really didn’t know if doing my Yoga X workout was a good idea. So I did a couple Vinyasas and Downward Dogs just to test the waters. It actually felt pretty good so I went ahead with Yoga X. I’m glad I did!
I guess the moral of the story is: the first couple times you do Core Synergistics you really have to be aware of what your body is doing. Tony says to “engage” your core and he really means it. If it feels like your core isn’t doing the majority of the work, it probably isn’t. Hopefully my core gets a little stronger by the time I make it to my next recovery week. I don’t want to go through that again!
Today I feel much better than yesterday and I think I’m ready to tackle my first day of Phase 2 tomorrow. It should be interesting.
You can read through my entire P90X journey here: My P90X Experience
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