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I just watched this very interesting video on doing kettlebell deadlifts. (I would link to the original place where I found it, but internet and computer problems this morning made me lose my history. Sorry.)

What was said at the end of the video struck a chord with me. Gray Cook talked about an imbalance in the hips leading to the core and shoulders compensating for the imbalance.

I am out of balance. Just based on this video and statement alone, I can tell you I am out of balance. Here’s why.

I have been seeing a massage therapist roughly once a month for the past year. The trips started out as a desperate need for some intense immediate relaxation help after a major crisis, but I’ve stayed with her. To say she’s a godsend would be a gross understatement. Anyway, long story short, I’m right-handed. I have a lingering issue with a pinched nerve of unknown cause in my left shoulder, which is supposedly rather odd. It’s the nerve bundle that exits the spine in or near the neck, and then extends under the triceps, the deltoids, and trapezius down the back of the arm to the little and ring fingers.  (I’m using I believe the 1st edition of this book as my anatomy muscle reference, given to me by a friend a couple years ago.)

My traps and delts, especially on the left side, are constantly knotted. At my last visit, the massage therapist suggested I start working on strengthening my triceps, since the muscle on the left side feels particularly weaker than the right. Also whenever she works those knots, I get a muscle-pull feeling into the neck and stabby electric nerve tingles down the backside of the arm through the elbow into the little and ring fingers. The tingles are WAY worse when she works the triceps. Depending on how hard she kneads, it downright hurts. She feels that the shoulder muscles may be compensating for the overly weak triceps, tightening up far too much and pinching that nerve.

However, I also must note that I work a desk job. I sit at a computer for 8 hours straight, 5 shifts per week. Then, because I’m somewhat of a computer nerd, I come home and sit some more. Yes, not healthy, I know. The muscles connected to the core and hip are likely very weak. I think these are the psoas and the illiacus, if I understand the anatomy correctly. (My desk job has nothing to do with biology. Life sciences were never my forte.)

Anyway, thanks to this video, I have more confirmation that I must start working on hip strength (and flexiblity) in addition to trying to strengthen those triceps. I have no idea what to do for the hip flexors. Next step, figuring out what to do for weights since I don’t go to a gym and I don’t have anything I can deadlift with. Also, my kettlebells are 10lbs and 20lbs – certainly not enough to deadlift with (though I’ve finally graduated to the 20lb for curls and presses and squats and swings). I’ll be scouring local stores that sell exercise equipment (not many options there) as well as Craigslist for options. If anybody has any ideas, I’d be very glad to hear them!