End of Summer & Weekend Recap

And just like that, another weekend draws to a close. Actually, scratch that…just like that, another month comes to a close – today is the last day of August. Damn, I guess that means summer is officially coming to a close. That escalated quickly from bummer to big bummer to huge bummer…sorry, Internet for being a Debbie Downer. But, if this weekend had to be the last “official” weekend of summer, it wasn’t a bad one to end on.

In the spirt of pretending it’s summer forever, and living in a state where temperatures average out at about 60°, I think that a country concert was a great way to wrap up the summer. My sister and I went to Luke Bryan’s Kick the Dust Up Tour at the Levi’s Stadium on Saturday night, and I think from now on I will only ever go to country concerts. I was a closeted country fan for awhile, because when I was younger it totally wasn’t cool to like country, but it came with the territory of horses. Now that I’m older, I don’t care and I fucking love country using. That statement deserved that f-bomb, because it needed ultimate emphasis on the I-don’t-care-what-you-think meter.

concert

But um, as you can see, holy crap were we high up. Nearly gave me vertigo.

Anyway it was an awesome show! Florida Georgia Line was also there and I love them, and they’re awesome live. I used to go to a ton of concerts when I was a teenager, but now I just want to be in bed by 11:30 most nights and the idea of staying out late with a crap ton of people makes me cringe. BUT I’D DO IT AGAIN FOR THE COUNTRY MUSIC. I would also go again because those venues always have the big giant soft pretzels…and I hate to admit this, but enormous soft pretzels are basically my favorite food of all time. If I could eat them everyday and not feel like crap and get enormous, I would. Sad but true.

On Sunday, I took advantage of the gym’s yoga close before open gym. Our yoga teacher is also a super strong weightlifter, so she knows where we need the most help. After stretching out and feeling super loose, I stuck around for some accessory work; I did some relatively easy cleans & power cleans (about 75/80% of my max at low reps) before moving on to light weight pause front squats. I only used 83 lbs, and did 4 sets of 3, with a 3-5 second pause at the bottom. The goal here was to work on mobility and get reaaaally low with my hips, all while maintaining an upright chest and front rack position. Even though these were light, I definitely felt them – especially in my hips and glutes.

front squat

Video demonstration:

As I said earlier, pause squats are great at a few things. First, they are great at creating midline stability as you have to use your core to stabilize in the low position, and force you to stay tight when you might ordinarily get loose at the bottom of the squat. Second, they focus on mobility; you have to work on keeping your elbows & chest up, and they can help you work to get below parallel at the bottom. Last, when you’re holding the bottom of a squat, you don’t have any momentum to get yourself back up; standing up with a weighted barbell from the hole creates faster and stronger hip drive, which translates over to about 90% of  the other movements in Crossfit/lifting. And yeah, ok, they’re a booty killer.

I also worked on some handstand holds. My left wrist has been giving me some issues, and I’m trying to play around with where I put my weight when doing these, which helps with any feeling of numbness/tingling/discomfort. I think it’s a nerve issue that stems back to my neck (my axis is tilted forward), so I think that working on some neck stretches and being conscious of my head positioning is in order. Or, you know, a visit to the chiropractor/masseuse.

handstand

And, because you know my back is sad, I did some accessory back work.

latsbro

Once again, I did some bent over barbell rows:

I also did some banded face pulls, but I didn’t film any of it because I forgot. I’m sorry. But I got al the other things! Small victories, people. Small victories.

What was the highlight of your weekend? Do you have any mobility exercises I should try?

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