Itsy-Bitsy Progress

on May 31, 2011 in Misc

My arms and shoulders are finally getting stronger  You know how I can tell?

I can do two chin-ups.

Okay, so they’re kinda sloppy and I just barely get my chin to the bar and two chin-ups sounds pathetically wuss.   But the fact is this is a 200% improvement for me, ‘cause until fairly recently I couldn’t even do one.

Better yet, my overall shoulder and arm strength are pretty good now, especially when you consider that I haven’t been pushing myself in the weightlifting department.   My darling reader Robert Read once wrote a very informative comment here about how to work with weights.  I’m going to try to look it up and maybe with his permission post it here, in case any of y’all need some guidelines.   I certainly do.

Usually there isn’t a place for me even  to try chin-ups, but today I was in the park near my home and, while trying not to look like too much of a dork (not easy for me), I tried my luck on the jungle gym, of course avoiding the kiddies on it.

And I pulled myself up!  Sloppily, but twice!

I also tried my luck on that thing-a-ma-jig that’s like a suspended ladder and you swing by hand from one bar to the next (monkey bars?).   Strength-wise, it was no problem, but I had to let go before the end  because my hands were stinging.

It made me remember how years ago, when I flew trapeze, I learned fast to wear hand guards and encourage calluses to grow on my palms; maybe my skin got coarser but that was better than blisters.   It also helped that the trapeze bar was wrapped in tape and we used chalk on our hands before each swing.

Of course in real life chalk and tape and hand guards aren’t usually available for action heroes on the move.   So maybe this means I’ve gotta start growing some calluses again.  At the very least I should start strengthening my hands.

Elsewhere in the muscles department, here’s a handy tip that might be of more interest to the ladies than to men.   In an interview a ballerina remarked that when she switched to more Russian-style dance training her muscles began to look longer and leaner because its style is “…not as quick, and you’re not contracting your muscle all the time.”   She said she could relax in the movements instead of contracting her muscles all the time.   Since I still do some old dance/ballet exercises, I might try slowing them down and emphasizing the stretch and lengthening of the limbs.   After all, the last thing I want my already solid thighs to do is bulk up even more.

Now if only I could bulk up my bustline.

6 Responses to “Itsy-Bitsy Progress”

  1. Ciara Knight says:

    Two chin-ups? I’m jealous. I could not even do one! LOL

  2. Ketutar says:

    WOW! Congratulations! I don’t think I could do one. I don’t think I could even hang there :-D

    That thigy with the hand guards – I just read the other day about a ballerina who was allowed to do pointe work at very early age… her teacher told her NOT to tape her toes, because that would make it impossible for her ever to dance without tape, and sometimes she might need to.

  3. Helena says:

    Ciara – It’s been a long, grueling process to get to two.

  4. Helena says:

    Ketutar — I can see the teacher’s pointe (pun). If a dancer tapes her toes they won’t get tough enough to withstand the work. So I guess I gotta just toughen up my hands.

  5. Hart says:

    Holy cow! You used to do trapeze?! When I was a kid, I thought that would have been the worlds BEST job! I am also impressed with the pull-ups. I think 2 is as many as I will ever be able to do, too. I was totally a monkey bar kid though, so I do get the callous thing.

  6. Helena says:

    Hart — I did only a few basic trapeze tricks when there was a rig in the nearby YMCA, but I knew guys who flew trapeze at Club Meds and that way could stay for free through the summers. Now that was cool.