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Fitness Questions From Instagram (May 2021)

Thoughts on COVID being a super serious virus we all need to protect ourselves from, improving hip internal rotation & how often to change workout routines……..

What are your thoughts on Covid being a serious thing we need to shield ourselves from? Do you think it’s as serious as they say?

Oh brother, shall we get an extra mop for all the worms we’re about to spill all over the floor?

Personally speaking, I’ve never taken this Corona virus stuff all that seriously. I remember rumours echoing round at the very end of 2019 and scoffing at them quite dismissively. Obviously those rumours got louder and louder as the first 2-3 months of 2020 passed by.

I think the facts speak for themselves. The flu is a much bigger killer worldwide than corona virus has ever been and will ever be. In fact, corona virus isn’t even in the top 10 of the UK’s most ‘deadly’ killers – and by ‘deadly’ we mean responsible for the highest total of deaths.

I know many people personally that have had the virus or symptoms of it and every single one of them was back to normal within a few days. They didn’t do anything drastic or out of the ordinary, they just rode it out and did the usual immune boosting stuff; stuff you would do when you have a COLD.

Granted, these people were relatively young and relatively healthy. But all of them said it felt no different to a cold.

Without getting too down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole, there are many real world grounds to seriously question the validity of the supposed statistics we’re being shown. Again, I personally know people who work in the NHS and have seen, or been told/encouraged to, put down the death cause as Covid on multiple death certificates. Many of these people had completely unrelated issues – many of which were WELL DOCUMENTED throughout the years.

Is the virus real? Yes. Does it warrant the hypersensitive response and ludicrous precautions seen worldwide? I think the jury is well and truly out on that one.

I have always gone with the notion of: how much are we going to destroy the future to protect the present?

It’s no secret the economy is ruined and as for the self employed population………..well, if their business is fortunate enough to be in the minute list of businesses still allowed to ‘safely’ trade, then they’ll have been ok. But what about those who haven’t and can’t? They’ve lost their livelihoods and all they’ve worked for to lose a year of their lives and ‘protect everyone’ from a virus with highly bogus stats!

If it’s all as legit as they say it is, then why oh why do the ‘facts and figures’ not stand up at all to any real scrutiny?

We didn’t become the age old and resilient, adaptive species we are today by running and taking cover anytime so much as a breeze threatened us. Never in human history has such an onus been given to a virus strain. I just hope this doesn’t start a theme!

And let’s not forget how many elderly people have died NOT as a result of the virus itself but as a result of being totally isolated from their families and loved ones. Millions of older people live for their families and the routines involving them, yet now they’ve been stopped indefinitely from seeing them, life has lost meaning and what do we see, we see massive deterioration in their general health.

You don’t even have to be old either. Look at the mental health markers around the globe for 2020-2021…………the figures are awful. And that’s just it: stop something so extremely and cause a whole host of other issues in the process? So unnecessary in my opinion.

I think you get my stance on this by now? Life NEEDS to go back to normal ASAP so we can not lose more time of our precious lives to this saga. Maybe the vaccinations will speed this up? Let’s hope so but whether you should need a vaccination in the first place is a whole other topic.

What could I do to improve hip internal rotation? I’ve tested mine and it seems terrible; hips restricted and just feels tight and locked up.

Ah hip internal rotation! The transient state of elitism that is more than 30 degrees of internal rotation at the hip socket!

In all seriousness this is another common deficit that gets overlooked and undervalued. Much like shoulder internal rotation as well!

In actual fact the similarities between the two are a plenty. They both highly correlate to extension of the joint involved, they can be tricky to drastically improve in short time frames and most people don’t even think they need these ranges or see what these ranges carry over to and aid.

As with most mobility limitations, it’s worth determining whether you have a passive/active discrepancy? If you have, you can then look at bringing up the relevant area and this gives you a mini blueprint for the approach to use.

Usually with hip internal rotation people are lacking both active and passive range. A very simple go-to is the 90/90 sit with active lifts of the back leg. You can also get a passive stretch by rotating over the back leg as far as possible. I used this drill daily when I did my 30 day daily mobility ‘challenge’.

Adding an active (3 second) lift of the back foot improved my active strength massively over the 30 days I did this drill

Another good drill for internal hip rotation is the ‘W’ sit. This is a more intense stretch especially if you’re pretty locked up to start with but is very powerful purely because you can load it with your bodyweight – or a percentage of your bodyweight to suit you.

The W-Sit you used to sit in as a kid but your parents told you not to

2 last points of consideration: You don’t need to go ham on these drills everyday to see good results. Twice per week is great. If you do too much stretching with no work on your hip abductors, you can end up with medial rotation of the knees (valgus knees) and weak(er) abductors as a result. I’ve seen people sitting in this pose excessively and they have a really distinct knock-knee’d walk to them. And when they squat or load the legs, the knee knocking/knee collapse is even more pronounced.

36 Knock knees ideas | knock knees, knee exercises, exercise
Is there a less sexy sight than this stance/walk? I think not…….

And lastly, it can be worth working on hip extension alongside trying to improve internal rotation. The 2 are super connected; you’ll never find anyone with a nice flat and square front split with poor internal hip rotation. And the reverse tends to be true too……..decent internal rotation offering up a reasonable extension level starting point to begin with.

For more on hip extension make sure to check out my front split articles. There’s lots of killer info in there to ensure solid and consistent progress with regards to improving hip extension!

How often do you think I should change my workout routine? I hear different things and never know if I’m doing the right thing or changing too early? I always seem to train better on new routines though!

This is a great question and one I’ve always struggled to know the answer to. I think in a weird way, that in itself is the answer: there’s only really the ‘right’ answer for YOU.

It’s an age old cliche – find what works for you blah blah blah……..

But HOW do you find what works for you?

The first step is deciphering between SLOW progress and NO progress. Slow progress is still progress and sometimes slow progress is safer progress.

Getting a one arm chin up in 3 months is all well and good but what if it costs you your elbows in the process, to the extent you can’t actually do one again? Such an approach is neither sustainable or sensible.

Similar impatient thinking will have you writing off programs at the first sign of an ‘average’ session. When the reality is: you can make progress on the same routine for 16, 20 or even 24 weeks.

Granted, as you get stronger and more experienced, the easier you adapt to routines so the quicker you have to tweak things and indulge in a bowl of variation.

If you go a full week with no progress whatsoever and providing your lifestyle is on point – sleep, eating, stress levels and there are no injuries, then it could be time to think about mixing it up.

And by no progress we mean you’re not able to use more weight, do more reps, rest for shorter durations, or do the same workload with less perceived effort.

Many people (and I myself have done this many times) fail to realise doing the same workload easier and with better and better technique, is damn good progress especially when you’re training age gets higher and higher.

If boredom is an issue and you find you crush new workout routines better, and have noticed this theme, go ahead and schedule in a preset shake up every 6 or 8 weeks, or even less if you need. But please be honest with yourself and don’t excuse ‘fuck-around-itis’ with ‘needing more training variety than the average person’.

I hope you enjoyed these juicy topics. Stay tuned for next month’s questions!

If you would like a question that’s been nagging at you covered, hit me up on Instagram (@straight_talking_fitness) or email Always willing to go in depth on things!

Thanks for reading.

JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All

The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.

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