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15 October 2004 @ 01:04 am
It's amazing what you can do to work around weird upper body troubles when you start thinking outside the typical exercise box. I realized today that pressing my arm out to the side (keeping my hand below shoulder level) is reliably more comfortable than trying to do an overhead press with my palm facing inward (which is supposed to be good for cranky rotator cuffs - I can sometimes do this and feel fine). So I started looking into old school strongman-style bent presses (or side presses - whatever you want to call them). I've found a bunch of form variations of this exercise, and I'm not sure which (if any) are better, but you basically lean over to one side while pressing upward so that you wind up bent with your arm sticking up over your hip. It looks like a godawful recipe for back problems, but if you perform it properly, it's actually a w00t full-body exercise. While researching, I also found that some folks recommend that you start off with windmills while learning that sort of press. To do a windmill, you hold one arm straight up with a weight (I used 5 pounds thinking it was going to be easy, but read on) and, keeping your arm straight and looking at the weight the entire time (which helps keep your shoulder in the proper position), twist down and touch the ground with your other hand. Be sure to keep your stabilizing muscles tight and stop as soon as your form starts to go. Even with such a dinky weight, I could only manage 3-5 good reps at a time. (My obliques are wussy.) More importantly, my upper body felt A-OK during the entire ordeal (and yes, I can get the weight overhead without hurting myself). Oh yeah...and during my research, I came across a recommendation to tighten your lats while doing overhead presses. I tried doing this while pressing overhead with no weight, and it virtually eliminated the slight weirdness I feel during the motion in my left upper back. Methinks some stabilizer there is weak (which would also explain why I can usually press more comfortably with my right arm, too).

Katamari Damacy is crack. Surreal psychedelic crack. I can explain more later. For now, let's just say that it's a PS2 game where you roll this ball around and collect stuff and as the ball gets bigger, you can pick up bigger stuff. And then the king barfs out a rainbow to collect it all. Of course, there is lots of inept English translation to be found as well. I blame that game for my not getting any cosplay work done tonight at all. =P

On that note...I made the front, collar, and trim jinbaori patterns, and I'd say the entire pattern is virtually final. I pinned the butcher paper pieces together and hung it on Rando and the armhole seemed to be a good size...and besides, I did trace it from a well-fitting button-down and I'm positive that the inner line falls in the right spot because I measured it on the shirt while Rando was wearing it...but because I'm anal and that brocade is ex fricking spensive and the lining I'm using is really bleeping cheap (I got it for 99 cents a yard on sale at JoAnn's), I'll have to cut and pin the lining pieces together first to make REALLY sure. If the pattern is fine (which will probably be the case), then I'll have gotten some of the garment construction done in the process. Weeeee. Oh, and thanks to that same sale, I got the colonial pattern I'd wanted to use for the jacket for 99 cents. They're normally about $8, so I was a happy camper. I was also very happy to see that not only did JoAnn's sell Steam-a-Seam 2 (which I had chosen as my magical fusible applique adhesive because it can be temporarily stuck to the fabric before you iron it down, which makes life a hell of a lot easier when trying to place a bazillion little pieces precisely), they carried a lite version meant for more delicate work. I generally have to order my weirder notions (like the Paper Solvy I'd gotten when I planned to embroider the motifs). (Hell, I generally have to order my FABRIC because unless you love to quilt, the local selection isn't so great.)

The brocade and the dutchess satin I ordered last week aren't here yet. *taps feet impatiently* I do have other stuff to work on in the meantime (like the pants, which I've been putting off...the pattern is jokingly simple, but the fabric frays, so I want to cut it, sew it, and finish the seams all in the same sewing session), but I like having multiple options available so I can choose what I want to work on. Eh...at least I got two of the sash motifs traced on the paper end of the Steam-a-Seam...and I do need to sit down and draw the front sash motif at some point.
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Bizarre dreamy game music stuck in my head
Mountain-Hikermountain_hiker on October 14th, 2004 11:27 pm (UTC)
The Heavy Metal Matador: frylockrydain on October 15th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC)