The Fighter

Nikki Bradley

The Fighter: Nikki’s ongoing war with one-legged skipping

Nikki training for her one-legged skipping challenge.

Nikki training for her one-legged skipping challenge.

I MENTIONED in one of my previous columns about my desire to crack the art that is one-legged skipping. My attempt back then was unsuccessful, to say the least.

My ankle became inflamed which resulted in me taking Difene (Turns out I am massively allergic to anti-inflammatories). I left skipping alone for a while after that but during training last week I decided to pick up the rope once again.
To say I struggle with it is somewhat of an understatement. If I could stop tripping over my own foot it would be a great start.

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I am determined to get better though as it is a great form of cardio. I plan to buy a decent skipping rope as I think (and hope) the heavier rope will improve things.
Finding a good cardio workout is difficult for me as my hip interferes with the usual kinds such as running, walking and cycling etc.

If I can improve my skipping skills it will in turn improve my workouts. It is also very satisfying when you get into a rhythm so it is definitely an area I wish to explore further.
 
Make Sure You Roll Out
In recent months I have noticed a change in my posture, one which I am not overly happy with. When sitting upright, I can feel my shoulders rolling forward and it is becoming increasingly difficult to straighten them out.

The reason for this is entirely down to my own laziness. I haven’t been rolling out after my workouts which is a big no no in the world of training.
‘Rolling out’ is the process whereby you stretch out your muscles using a foam roller. It is not exactly a pleasant experience as the muscle gets quite tight post workout. However, if you don’t do it the muscle will continue to tighten causing pain, stiffness and the aforementioned bad posture.

If you do not wish to use a roller you can do simple stretches which will give similar results. Try and include a ten minute warm down after each workout and do the stretching exercises during this time. I plan to take my own advice on this as I don’t want to continue to feel slouchy and uncomfortable.

What is the point in sculpting your body in the gym only to sit in an unflattering manner afterwards. We work out to feel and look better so those ten minutes at the end of each session are important. 

Men in particular seem to suffer from bad posture as a result of working out because they work so much on their pecs. Repeated work on this area pulls the muscles forward causing a roundness of the shoulders. To counteract this we need to ensure that we work on the back area equally to balance things out.

Nikki Bradley and her Physio Lorraine Boyce at Optimal Fitness gym.

Nikki Bradley and her Physio Lorraine Boyce at Optimal Fitness gym.

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My friend and physiotherapist Lorraine Boyce wrote a piece on this in her blog recently. She discusses the functions of the pectoral muscle and how the lack of stretching can cause various problems such as shoulder impingement, tendonitis, poor cardio ability and breathing issues. I would encourage you to read it as it is full of helpful tips and advice.

She has also included a step-by-step guide to stretching out the pectoral and shoulder muscles. If you go to www.lorraineboycephysio.ie and look in her blog section you will find it under ‘Tips and Advice’. Feel free to admire her new website which was developed by the company I work for called MeanIT. If you need a website, look no further!   

Nikki Bradley is the founder of Fighting Fit For Ewing’s, a campaign to promote awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nikki is sponsored by All Sports in Donegal Town. Support her campaign by giving ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’ a LIKE on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @nikkibradley59

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