I have been focusing on finding answers to your pain questions for the last month. I have asked wonderful coaches, physical therapists, athletes, and researched questions on the internet, in my medical books etc. The more I ask and learn, the more I realize I know so little. But isn’t that how all learning is?
I have a few answers for you. As we’ve discussed, muscle soreness means you worked the area, it needs to recover (rest, good food), the muscle will grow stronger and as it does your body will burn fat and your shape will change (in a good way). Pain, on the other hand, is to be avoided and when it occurs, it should be dealt with quickly.
Many women (not all) who are experiencing knee pain (including myself when I first started) may be doing the movements incorrectly. If you dip forward as you squat, bending at the knee, you are placing too much load on your knees with the repetitive and/or full range of movement. When you dip backward first as you squat, bending at the hips and leaning forward with your shoulders/chest, you are sharing the quadricep load with your glutes/hamstrings and shouldn’t feel knee pain.
One of the best lifters in our Team PINK group was having shoulder pain because of a slightly incorrect position holding the bar overhead. With a minor correction in positioning, it appears we may have eliminated her shoulder pain.
Shelli recently posted a comment I’m adding to the front page: “I have had painful heel spurs for the past year. I had a cortisone shot, shoe inserts and bought elevated blocks to stretch the heel and calf but nothing really helped until now. My main source of exercise has always been walking but I had to stop. I believe everything with the PINK program, the nutrition, stretching and exercising, has helped my feet immensely. I really enjoy the PINK workouts three times a week and I have just realized that I have been without heel pain for the past three weeks. I can actually get out of bed in the morning and walk without any pain.”
Positioning on these lifts is critical. Oh let’s get real, positioning on anything whether your trying to get big arms with bicep curls, or walking down the sidewalk with a bag a groceries, is critical. Improper positioning even in sitting, typing on the computer or sleeping, will create pain and more problems down the road. I see the end result here in the hospital – surgery. Improper positioning in the olympic lifts will be felt quicker than you can say “jerk it”!
Let’s review: Shoulders back (further than that! I can see you!), upper back tight, chest up high, face forward/up, back arched, butt out (further than that – I can still see you!), bend at the hips – stick butt out first as you bend. Do this with every movement – as you approach the snatch, the clean, the jerk, squats, as you sit down to eat, as you bend to get your pencil!
I am so impressed with your commitment level. You have persevered in spite of not only soreness, but pain! You group of ladies are amazing. I thought every one of you would quit when your feet started hurting…then the knees…but when I saw Jodi and Shannon lift in my gym the other night – I was almost in tears. You have really become beautiful olympic-style weightlifters! Absolutely beautiful. There are 4 female olympic lifters in Utah. Probably less than 100 nationwide. I believe it’s because no one has shown us this way to work out - provided a way for us to do this without leaving our families at home - and hidden from us how cool and beautiful these lifts are. You are supporting my theory every day. Your enthusiasm in learning these lifts and then doing them so beautifully – you are truly amazing. So thank you Icon and Scott Watterson for believing that more women than just little ol’ me would fall in love with this type of workout and for putting this program out there for everyone!