It seems that a day doesn't go by without James Harrison posting a video of himself performing an insane workout in his trademark gray sweatsuit.
Yesterday, the 38-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker got in some core work. Instead of a simple Plank or a set of Russian Twists, Harrison opted for a grueling exercise known as Hanging Straight Leg Windshield Wipers:
This is a very tough exercise. In addition to great grip strength, it requires a serious amount of rotational core strength and stability. The fact that Harrison tips the scales at 242 pounds doesn't make it any easier, either.
Harrison's strong, stable core has undoubtedly had a positive impact on his longevity. A strong core allows an athlete to transfer energy between his upper and lower extremities, resulting in stronger, faster and more explosive movements. And make no mistake about it—underneath that baggy sweatsuit, Harrison sports a bonafide six-pack:
How is Harrison able to push himself so hard in the weight room? Because he's extremely diligent about his recovery. Harrison recently posted a photo of himself during a lower-body dry needling session:
In dry needling, long thin needles are inserted into an inflamed area to speed up the recovery process. Inflammation can occur as a result of either injury or intense training. One function of inflammation is to protect against further damage to the area, and part of this process involves the muscle contracting and tightening. This is a good thing because the muscle is trying to heal itself, but inflammation limits the amount of good blood flow reaching the area. With dry needling, the attempt is to hit "trigger points" within the muscle, facilitating a release of tension and promoting increased blood flow, which in turn speeds recovery.
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