Ok, here are my attempts at translating the descriptions of the exercises Mimmi Enoksson recommended. I emailed her asking if she can send me the pictures of the exercises so I can post them somewhere. Otherwise I might try to get my roommate to take pictures of me doing the exercises and put them up. :)
First of all, make sure you are warmed up when you do the exercises. Mimmi had us go for an easy 30-minute jog to warm up.
All the exercises involve using a stick - preferably something that won't bend or break easily, such as a wooden club of constant thickness (2-4ft long) or the shaft of an old hockey stick or perhaps of an old golf club.
"Always make sure to:
- have the stomach tucked in and flat; chest out
- have good posture.
1. Deep knee bend with lat stretch.
Hold the stick over your head with straight arms. Feet at shoulder-width. Slowly lower yourself, bending at the knees and always facing forward. Try to go as far down as you can, with the knees always directly above the feet. (3 sets of 15 reps each)
2. Total rotation with bent knee
Put the stick on your shoulders behind your head, holding it with both hands. Spread the legs. Lean slightly forward with the torso and also slightly bend the knees. Look straight ahead with the head still. Rotate your torso with respect to the spinal cord, going to the position where one hand is directly above the other (both still holding the stick on the shoulders.) After rotating to one side, return to the starting position and rotate to the other side. The knee that the body is rotating towards should be slightly bent and the other one straight. (3 x 15)
3. Side bends
Stick on straight arms overhead. Bend to the side, keping the arms straight, holding the stick. The knee you are bending over should be straight and the other one slightly bent. Bend until one hand is directly above the other. (3 x 15)
4. Hamstring stretch
Lie down on your back, preferably on a mat. Legs up in the air, bent at the knees. Hold the stick with your hands so that one leg is in front of it and the other behind, preferably not right at the knee, but slightly below. Push hard towards the stick with each leg to stabilize and activate stomach muscles. The leg behind the stick should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the knee the whole time. Straighten your other leg (the one in front of the stick, or closer to your face) up in the air as much as you can, pushing hard against the stick to increase flexibility in the back of the thigh. Then slowly lower that leg back down to a bent-at-the-knee position and repeat. (3 x 15)
5. Sit-ups with stick
Lie down on the ground, holding the stick with straight arms behind the head. Legs bent at the knee, feet on the ground. Roll up, bringing the stick towards the feet (arms still straight) and at the same time, bringing the knees closer to your chin, head slightly off the ground. Try to bring the stick over the toes or onto the other side of the toes. (3 x 15)
6. Lunge with stick
Stand straight, with feet at shoulder-width, tucked-in stomach, good posture. The stick is held vertically behind the head, with one hand holding the stick behind the head and the other close to the waist. The upper hand should be of the same side as the leg lunging forward. Luge forward with your leg carefully, not stomping but bringing the foot slowly down, the back still straight. The knee of the lunging leg should be directly over the foot, and the leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the knee. The back knee should end up low, close to the ground, with the back heel off the ground. Then bring the forward leg back to standing position, keeping the back straight the whole time and, preferably, not shifting the back foot. (3 x 15 on each side.)"
Ok, i added lots of information and details to the descriptions to make up for the lack of pictures, so hopefully this can be useful. Tell me if any of this makes any sense and ask if something is unclear, I'll do my best to clarify. A comment on the choice of stick: i pulled an orange hard-plastic pole (used, i think, to show where the road goes in case of a blizzard) out of the snow and it worked ok, except during the hamstring stretch (which is awesome, by the way! - my favorite) when i broke it in half pushing against it.
After much thought and agonizing, I decided to take a complete day off today, aside from some stretching. My own training volume the last two weeks sort of scared me and I don't think the first day off in 2006 can do much harm. (Although a couple of hours ago i looked out the window to see a bunch of Linne guys doing some road intervals and was extremely tempted to join....)