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dps
11-06-2009, 09:59 PM
Here is an interesting article that Upyu posted on Rum Soaked Fist Forum about muscles and fascia and power.

http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=menshealth&channel=fitness&category=muscle.building&topic=total.body&conitem=6bde7ea369683210vgnvcm10000030281eac____&page=1

David

Buck
11-06-2009, 10:59 PM
An assessment of the article in relation to Aikido.

The article is titled:

Understanding Your Muscles
Everything You Know About Muscle is Wrong
Discover the secret to building a stronger, faster, more athletic body

The main thing the article is about:

"...the new science of strength, an event focusing almost entirely on human connective tissueUntil recently, very little was understood about these elastic wrappings that surround your muscles and bones. But a series of research breakthroughs now reveals that they might be your body's greatest untapped resource for improving the efficiency of your muscles and preventing injuries."

A recurring theme in the article was the importance of the posture, from using a Blackberry, to running, to weight lifting. There was only one reference to martial arts and that was to Bruce Lee under the heading: The Secret To Superstrength. It referred confusingly to Bruce Lee's "One-Inch-Punch" and weight lifting with connective tissue. It was clear the author lack the entire technical knowledge of how the punch works- he tried.

Aikido instructors have always stressed posture. I stress it. What I got from the article is things I already knew prior to this new awareness of the facisa. Stuff like in weight lifting, incorrect posture (hip alinement) causes pain in the feet. What I didn't know is that I am suffering from the Blackberry syndrome. As a result, I shall change by posture when I use my Blackberry, or I will just get a new IPHONE.

I didn't think it was a very strong article. I think many things are going the way of spam in terms of catching your attention to read something. This article had a touch of that. I don't think anything new was learned in terms of my Aikido practice to improve it. Unless I had poor posture thus poor technique. If I applied better posture my technique would work better. I don't think knowing how or if the facisa plays a role is revolutionary. I mean if it does play a role than it always has. It's like your heart, it beats, knowing it beats doesn't have a role in improving it.

Over-all, it was a general filler article of mild interest. There was no examination of how connective tissue works to improve martial artists or sports- beyond posture and how to relieve heel or arch pain.:) :)

Janet Rosen
11-06-2009, 11:44 PM
As a middle aged, damaged aikidoka who has had a lot of exposure to Pilates and various bodywork and still feels like there are missing pieces in how to optimize my body to keep training, I found this article INCREDIBLY apt and helpful.
Knowing The Principles Of Good Posture is useless if the body cannot hold it naturally, without thinking, and for many of us it is a problem because of tight odd holding patterns and trigger points - we embody the best posture we can given our bodies but frankly it often isn't as good or as natural or as relaxed as we think it is.
Anyhow, my 2 cents is I found the anatomy and physiology well laid out, the research described fascinating, and the practical application in some exercises something I am going to play with.

Buck
11-07-2009, 08:04 AM
I also want to add, after reading the article again, the article does give a picture of what the fascia connective tissue is and where it's at in the body, if you didn't already know that. It is an introductory article.

It presents pretty clear the theory the connective tissue has a holistic function of having all the muscles work as a unit, together, and not working in an isometric fashion. The article doesn't go further to examining the theory. As it is an introductory article to the subject, it's all good. I mean it is in Mens Health, and not in a medical publication.

And on the magazine end, it lacked related exercises and that was the major complaint in the comments section. And 53 people recommend the article.

I rate it for what it is, a general interest article in a commerical magazine of :) :) = mild interest. About what you can expect and a bit more from a such a magazine.

Kevin Leavitt
11-07-2009, 11:27 AM
I think the point of it is not so much that the article is presenting any useful information, but that it is starting to reach the mainstream when you get it in Men's Health or People Magazine.

It means that the stuff you did 10 years ago and that you were shunned as being a wierdo is now the cool thing to do.

Janet Rosen
11-07-2009, 02:17 PM
No exercises? I found several and printed them out.

Upyu
11-08-2009, 02:04 AM
I think the point of it is not so much that the article is presenting any useful information, but that it is starting to reach the mainstream when you get it in Men's Health or People Magazine.

It means that the stuff you did 10 years ago and that you were shunned as being a wierdo is now the cool thing to do.

Good to know someone out there gets it :D

And while the article blathers on about posture (which is important), it kind of misses the fact that strengthening this stuff allows you to do certain things even when "out of posture."
Posture facilitates training, but isn't an end to a means.

and the practical application in some exercises something I am going to play with.

Something I thought I'd throw out there... the exercises themselves aren't something I wholly agree with, especially when it comes to achieving the goals for generating force along the lines of what Ueshiba "may" have done.
I'd use it as a catalyst to take another look at the kooky exercises that already exist in the Aikido curriculum and figure out what he was trying to train. (99% of which probably isn't covered in that article).

Pauliina Lievonen
11-08-2009, 02:40 AM
I thought the advice towards the end about sitting up straight (pull your chest up, your shoulders back and down and tighten your core) was terrible. Almost everyone who comes to me for lessons tries to do some variation of this kind of "good posture". As a result, they have stiff shoulders, tired backs, and can't breathe fully. It's just not that simple.

kvaak
Pauliina

SeiserL
11-08-2009, 08:58 AM
Good read. Thanks.
This appears to be the direction many of us are going.

C. David Henderson
11-08-2009, 09:06 AM
Knowing The Principles Of Good Posture is useless if the body cannot hold it naturally, without thinking, and for many of us it is a problem because of tight odd holding patterns and trigger points - we embody the best posture we can given our bodies but frankly it often isn't as good or as natural or as relaxed as we think it is.

I think this is a good statement of a number of related and important points.

When/if your body structure allows a shift in the direction Janet describes, the difference is immediately apparent; good posture should require less effort.

Regards,

cdh

Buck
11-08-2009, 09:49 AM
Wow, there must be alot of people out there with bad or incorrect posture. I like Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo for good posture work. But that is just me. :)

Keith Larman
11-08-2009, 09:52 AM
Good to know someone out there gets it :D

Yeah, seconded. I don't see the criticisms really (I mean, yeah, sure, we can argue, but overall it was a good article and the author wasn't writing a comprehensive how to article). The article, in my mind at least, wasn't written as anything more than a discussion of an emerging and more nuanced view of what strength really is. It gave a few things to try in the process and as such I rather liked the article. And who knows what got lost "in translation" with respect to the author's examples (having been interviewed in the past it is always amazing how profoundly wrong the subsequent articles can end up being).

I think the single best part of the article was the point of considering the body is itself "one large muscle" in effect. The mental image of the connective tissue, fascia, etc. acting as a means of binding everything together into a interrelated whole is really an interesting way of seeing it. It makes a really wonderful point of allowing the reader to see beyond local muscle force and see how movement and power are really generalized across much of the body when done well.

There are always things to quibble about in details given, but I thought it was great to see this stuff discussed and taken seriously in a "popular" media format. No magic, no BS, just an attempt at a deeper understanding of something long misunderstood. And obviously directly related to a lot of discussions that have gone on here.

Kevin Leavitt
11-08-2009, 10:26 AM
Yup..we really kinda need this stuff in the mainstream if we are ever gonna transcend the 1970's "Arnold" pumping iron mentality that become popular and then bastardized into various weight machines from Cybex to Nautalis etc.

Of course this is just my own observations and assumptions, but I think that mainstream is most uneducated about the aspects of overall fitness.

Anyway, what has been interesting is watching how CrossFit has gotten folks to look differently at fitness, and as much as I like Crossfit...there are issues with this as well that go unaddressed that I think alot of folks will eventually figure out once they take a long term look at sustaining the levels of performance/functionality, and then look and assess injuries obtained during the process etc.

However, it is definitely a move in the right direction for fitness, and I think as knowledge expands on how the body actually works as a unit/machine...that we will get closer to this kind of model.

It also doesn't hurt that we have a huge baby boomer population that is aging and slowing down...that actually understands fitness, brings alot of money power to the table, and will have the time to focus on long term sustainable, functional fitness now that they don't care to look like Arnold or Jane Fonda!

Will it end up being a fad or a trend...most definitely if it catches on. There will be machines designed that will improve the development of your fascia overnight...you will see the AB Roller changed and morphed into a new product....you will see new contraptions, DVDs, Online videos, and fitness programs being marketed!

In the end, through, most folks really won't put in the time...like anything it is alot of work and there are no real shortcuts.

In the process though, I think the money that will drive the fad, will cause researchers to invest time and money, and we will find some prodigies out there that will finally have the recognition and more importantly the Money to make some real headway.

A dream...but maybe in 10 years I can come back to Aikiweb and say...remember when I wrote this 10 years ago! lol!

Kevin Leavitt
11-08-2009, 10:36 AM
http://health.msn.com/fitness/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100218435&Gt1=31037

I'd be interested to hear folks comment on this article. Specifically about the psychology or perspective of the guy that wrote it.

I do not see internal training working well in the mainstream unless there is a shift in how we view fitness.

Again, I think the baby boomers are the single greatest hope we have for the masses. As we/they age...they will become less concerned with external comparisons, and more concerned with ADLs and functional fitness.

What are your thoughts?

Buck
11-08-2009, 10:39 AM
Wow, there must be alot of people out there with bad or incorrect posture. I like Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo for good posture work. But that is just me. :)

And a good Chiropractor! :D

Buck
11-08-2009, 11:22 AM
The article, in my mind at least, wasn't written as anything more than a discussion of an emerging and more nuanced view of what strength really is.

There are always things to quibble about in details given, but I thought it was great to see this stuff discussed and taken seriously in a "popular" media format. No magic, no BS, just an attempt at a deeper understanding of something long misunderstood. And obviously directly related to a lot of discussions that have gone on here.

I think that is true, no real impact on anything other then the shift of how you understand muscle movement; isolation of muscle movement vs. holistic. If you have subscribed to the isometrics or isolation of building muscles or how muscles move then the article may have an impact on how you view muscle.

In short, the fitness industry has long held muscle isolation until reviving Pilates about 10 years ago. Up until then there was a big stress on individual muscle groups for strength. But, Pilates hits the mainstream and works on a balanced body with exercises that work several muscles groups together. Now there seems to be a shift in thinking due to the results of Pilates in the mainstream that muscle strength is holistic. Personally, I think the fitness industry is as bad as the fashion world, in terms of dictating fads, and trends all coming and going, all promoted by the mass media sold on the shelf.

Joseph Pilates (a German) was originally created in 1912 in Germany (a place really big on fitness then). It focuses on body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. Pilates improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain.

If you have been into Pilates before the mainstream, say a dancer, your view of fitness isn't dictated by the media. You where probably aware that muscles support each other and how the can be strengthen together.

:)

Janet Rosen
11-08-2009, 12:44 PM
http://health.msn.com/fitness/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100218435&Gt1=31037
I'd be interested to hear folks comment on this article. Specifically about the psychology or perspective of the guy that wrote it.


I think that, like a lot of people, he is hung up on appearance and competition. And like many people his approach to fitness is akin to most peoples' approach to dieting: something inherently unpleasant to be stoically undertaken (as opposed to considering either of them a series of possibly pleasant longterm modifications in how one lives).

Of course I'm hardly the poster child for a discussion of the positive aspects of exercising....I took up aikido as a last resort because I detest exercise, and never rehabbed from my knee surgery as well as I coulda/shoulda because I detest exercise, and....oy.

Buck
11-08-2009, 03:47 PM
Personally, I think the fitness industry is as bad as the fashion world, in terms of dictating fads, and trends all coming and going, all promoted by the mass media sold on the shelf.

:)

I guess what I am saying is something many of professor drilled in my head about using viable and credible sources. "You work is only as good as your sources." I recalled one professor scolding me for the obvious.

I don't see a tendy mainstream magazine that caters to fitness fads, and trends as being the authority. I realize the importance of connective tissue being in such a magazine. What I question is, is it in the right direction. Does the research on connective tissue being in a commercial mainstream fitness magazine really give it the credibility and depth of attention it requires not to become another Hollywood fitness fad or celebrity tend.

The other thing is, in the comments section some guy was saying this is what the Chinese knew for centuries and Western medicine is now realizing. The guy then said, Sifu So and So, teaches this stuff, yada yada yada - basically along those lines. I rolled my eyes. Common if the Chinese understood this stuff they would have surpassed Western medicine long before Western medicine started. We know more about the human body now then anyone did in the past. It seemed crazy to me for him to say that.

Kevin Leavitt
11-08-2009, 06:25 PM
I think that, like a lot of people, he is hung up on appearance and competition. And like many people his approach to fitness is akin to most peoples' approach to dieting: something inherently unpleasant to be stoically undertaken (as opposed to considering either of them a series of possibly pleasant longterm modifications in how one lives).

Of course I'm hardly the poster child for a discussion of the positive aspects of exercising....I took up aikido as a last resort because I detest exercise, and never rehabbed from my knee surgery as well as I coulda/shoulda because I detest exercise, and....oy.

But I think that is a big part of the issue. I think by the time most of us are in our mid 40's we all have some issue be it knee injury, shoulders, slower metabolism, high blood pressure, loss of speed, agility, strength.

So, we need a practice that is realistic and makes us feel good in our bodies vice busting it up, then taking a few days to rest, then busting it up again.

I think practices such as Tai Chi, Aikido, Yoga etc can offer us wonderful, holistic, and restorative practices that allow us to grow old gracefully and offer us the opportunity to actually get better in many ways as we age!