Is it really Wednesday? My schedule has been interrupted this week and my days are off – I unfortunately did not make it to the gym on Monday! I always put in my best effort when I am at the gym, but today felt extra important since I have had a few days off.
My focus today was on my core and upper body. I began with deadlifts, as I love to start my workout fresh and warm up with those. I grip the bar using a mixed grip, one overhand and one underhand on the bar. This is best for me because of my decreased grip strength. Impairment in hand function and grip strength is common in MS. I find ways to deal with that by using a mixed grip when lifting heavy and I wear lifting gloves with wrist straps for added support.
Next up, pull-ups. I love pull-ups because they are highly efficient, working the lats (the latissimus dorsi muscle runs from the low back and hips to the top of the upper arm), traps (The trapezius a major muscle of the back, responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the shoulder blade and extending the head at the neck), biceps and pectoral (chest) muscles.
My goal is to be able to do body weight pull-ups independently; however, I am not there yet, so that means I use an assisted pull-up machine. This machine is counterbalanced so the higher amount of weight you set, the easier the exercise becomes. Start by setting the weight at about half of your body weight. If you can do 10-12 repetitions easily, try decreasing the weight.
I have been using the assisted pull-up machine for quite a while and that is OK! Building strength takes patience and time, don’t get discouraged if you aren’t where you want to be just yet, results do not happen over night.