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jlbrewer
06-11-2011, 10:58 PM
Guess my new annoying ache for this week. :D Nothing bad, but noticeable. I guess sitting seiza long enough would give them a good stretch, but any other ideas?

Chris Li
06-11-2011, 11:37 PM
Guess my new annoying ache for this week. :D Nothing bad, but noticeable. I guess sitting seiza long enough would give them a good stretch, but any other ideas?

Unless your range of motion is reduced, you don't need any. These are focused on running, but you'll get the general idea:

http://runningfreeandeasy.blogspot.com/2011/05/flexible-myth.html

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/428/623/Myth_Busted:_Stretching_Before_A_Run_Does_Not_Prevent_Injury.html

Best,

Chris

jlbrewer
06-11-2011, 11:43 PM
Unless your range of motion is reduced...

Nope, nothing like that.

Michael Varin
06-12-2011, 05:06 AM
Unless your range of motion is reduced, you don't need any. These are focused on running, but you'll get the general idea:

A bit short-sighted...

Lack of ankle mobility is one of the primary reasons many people have knee problems.

This is something that can and should be improved.

But static stretching isn't where it's at.

Here is a video that will give you some ideas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rET7J_kV3T0

Dave de Vos
06-12-2011, 05:20 AM
Unless your range of motion is reduced, you don't need any. These are focused on running, but you'll get the general idea:

http://runningfreeandeasy.blogspot.com/2011/05/flexible-myth.html

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/428/623/Myth_Busted:_Stretching_Before_A_Run_Does_Not_Prevent_Injury.html

Best,

Chris

The first article says that flexibility is not beneficial for distance running, cycling and other sports with low intensity repetitive motion, but it aso mentions that it is beneficial for basketball, soccer and footbal that have more bursts of high intentisty motion like jumping and bouncing.

I'd say that aikido is more in the second category than the first.

Chris Li
06-12-2011, 11:15 AM
A bit short-sighted...

Lack of ankle mobility is one of the primary reasons many people have knee problems.

This is something that can and should be improved.

But static stretching isn't where it's at.

Here is a video that will give you some ideas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rET7J_kV3T0

My very first words were "Unless your range of motion is reduced".

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-12-2011, 11:20 AM
The first article says that flexibility is not beneficial for distance running, cycling and other sports with low intensity repetitive motion, but it aso mentions that it is beneficial for basketball, soccer and footbal that have more bursts of high intentisty motion like jumping and bouncing.

I'd say that aikido is more in the second category than the first.

Well, he said that it is "conceivable" that it may be beneficial for those things, but he didn't know one way or the other.

If you are a ballet dancer or a Tae Kwon Do student then the benefits are obvious, because you are moving outside the normal range of motion. Aikido techniques, on the other hand, can all be done quite well inside the normal range of motion.

Did you check out the linked article?

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/phys-ed-how-necessary-is-stretching/

Best,

Chris

lbb
06-12-2011, 12:59 PM
I think y'all have departed a bit from the original post, which makes it sound like sitting seiza is the problem. Jamie, is this the case?

Dave de Vos
06-12-2011, 01:18 PM
Well, he said that it is "conceivable" that it may be beneficial for those things, but he didn't know one way or the other.

If you are a ballet dancer or a Tae Kwon Do student then the benefits are obvious, because you are moving outside the normal range of motion. Aikido techniques, on the other hand, can all be done quite well inside the normal range of motion

You probably mean this part: If yoga, weightlifting, soccer, rock climbing, or gymnastics are your passion, it is conceivable that stretching may range from important to an absolute must in those activities. I am not any kind expert in those fields [...], so I will leave that discussion for others.


I was referring to this part: According to the evidence presented, participants in high intensity sports that involve a large amount of jumping and bouncing, such as football, basketball, and soccer, tended to experience fewer injuries with increased flexibility.

I'm not trying to contradict you, but there do seem to be some nuances involved in the benefits of stretching, depending on the type of activity.


Did you check out the linked article?

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/phys-ed-how-necessary-is-stretching/


I have now :)
Interesting read, supporting that high flexibility is not beneficial for distance running. It also says that when you can reach a bit beyond your toes in the sit-and-reach test, you are more than flexible enough.

When I started aikido, I couldn't do that. Today I can touch my toes and after warming up a bit I can grab my toes. And thanks to your post, I won't feel embarrassed anymore when we do this in class and I see people grabbing their whole foot with ease :)

Chris Li
06-12-2011, 01:37 PM
I have now :)
Interesting read, supporting that high flexibility is not beneficial for distance running. It also says that when you can reach a bit beyond your toes in the sit-and-reach test, you are more than flexible enough.

When I started aikido, I couldn't do that. Today I can touch my toes and after warming up a bit I can grab my toes. And thanks to your post, I won't feel embarrassed anymore when we do this in class and I see people grabbing their whole foot with ease :)

I've run long distances (up to 100 miles/week) for more than 15 years without stretching and without getting injured (well, not anything that stretching would help).

Even the FIFA 11+ injury prevention routine for soccer (football) players involves no stretching, just warm-up exercises. Another good article is at http://saveyourself.ca/articles/stretching.php

Aikido really doesn't involve greater than normal range of motion exercises, or the kind of impact that stretching would help (thinking of falling). Just my opinion, of course, but the case against classical static stretching as a warm-up is quite strong these days.

Best,

Chris

jlbrewer
06-12-2011, 02:10 PM
I think y'all have departed a bit from the original post, which makes it sound like sitting seiza is the problem. Jamie, is this the case?

Ah, well it is a problem, but I'm talking about after-class aches and wanting to have less of them. ;) Both seiza and backfall ukemi, which means hitting the mat with the top of my foot flat with the rest of my leg, mean for me putting stretching stress on my feet and ankles in ways they're not used to yet. All the ukemi we did in yesterday's class were backfalls, so last night my ankle was sore. It's not this morning, but I tried sitting seiza for a bit and it did make it harder to hold it for long (besides that my carpet isn't as springy as the dojo mat).

Chris Li
06-12-2011, 06:19 PM
Ah, well it is a problem, but I'm talking about after-class aches and wanting to have less of them. ;) Both seiza and backfall ukemi, which means hitting the mat with the top of my foot flat with the rest of my leg, mean for me putting stretching stress on my feet and ankles in ways they're not used to yet. All the ukemi we did in yesterday's class were backfalls, so last night my ankle was sore. It's not this morning, but I tried sitting seiza for a bit and it did make it harder to hold it for long (besides that my carpet isn't as springy as the dojo mat).

It may be a range of motion problem - or it may just be a conditioning problem, in that your feet aren't used to being stretched in that direction. If that's the case, then they should become gradually stronger just through repetition.

Best,

Chris

Janet Rosen
06-12-2011, 08:39 PM
Aikido really doesn't involve greater than normal range of motion exercises, or the kind of impact that stretching would help (thinking of falling). Just my opinion, of course, but the case against classical static stretching as a warm-up is quite strong these days.

Yep. I think dynamic range of motion is a much better warm up - and is an actual "warm up" - than static stretching but usually find I"m a lone voice in the desert....

Michael Hackett
06-12-2011, 11:44 PM
We continue to do the stretches before class and I continue to wonder why. We also do some light jogging and other warmup activities in addition. The warmups are beneficial for me, but the stretches are of little benefit at all from my viewpoint. I guess I'm a lone voice in the dessert line myself.

Janet Rosen
06-13-2011, 12:19 AM
We continue to do the stretches before class and I continue to wonder why. .

Tradition!

Michael Varin
06-13-2011, 12:21 AM
Since I went to a dynamic mobility/muscle activation type of warm-up there has been no looking back.

I have made strides that were never possible with yoga or static stretching.

It is superior than a warm-up that is overly general like treadmill or jumping jacks as well.

Personally, I have incorporated foam rolling also and think it is indispensible, but I have never brought that into class.

jlbrewer
06-13-2011, 02:39 AM
Jumping on the sidetrack: The warmup we do involves stretching but it's not what I'd call "static" - it's bouncy, you reach and move back up on each count. Is that dynamic, or is that, as I saw when I googled dynamic motion stretching, what's called "ballistic"?

I think I said before - I did yoga for a semester in college. And I did get a lot more flexible in the sense that I could do the moves I couldn't at the beginning of the semester. I know that the actual health/safety of certain yoga poses are in question but one of the more important thing I learned was how to relax into a stretch, instead of muscle into it. I still do some yoga stretches on my own mainly just because that's what I know.

lbb
06-13-2011, 07:55 AM
Ah, well it is a problem, but I'm talking about after-class aches and wanting to have less of them. ;) Both seiza and backfall ukemi, which means hitting the mat with the top of my foot flat with the rest of my leg, mean for me putting stretching stress on my feet and ankles in ways they're not used to yet. All the ukemi we did in yesterday's class were backfalls, so last night my ankle was sore. It's not this morning, but I tried sitting seiza for a bit and it did make it harder to hold it for long (besides that my carpet isn't as springy as the dojo mat).

Backfalls aren't always done by putting the top of your foot (instep) on the mat -- my dojo teaches to do them by placing the foot normally and then just bending the foot and ankle as if you were squatting down (note, however, that when we're going to do a backward roll, we place the foot as you've described...which confuses the hell out of people). People will argue the pros and cons of the two approaches with great vigor -- I don't particularly have a dog in that hunt. I do know from hard experience that it is easy to injure the instep, either by hyperextending it or by impact, since it has very little padding, and it is a difficult and tedious injury to heal.

Doing backfalls that way does put you at risk for both of those mechanisms of injury. If that's the way backfalls are taught in your dojo, though, there's not much you can do but try to be careful and controlled in your ukemi. "Ride the elevator down" is a phrase we often use with newbies -- if you simply topple over from the top floor, or drop the elevator down the shaft in an uncontrolled fashion,it'll probably end in tears. As far as stretching, it does help with seiza, but avoiding trauma helps even more -- seiza will be painful if your insteps are banged up and sore. If you want to make seiza more tolerable, try spending some time at home sitting in seiza but with a pillow or cushion under your butt and between your feet/legs, so that your feet don't have to stretch quite so much or take quite as much weight at first. It does get better with time, but it doesn't if you incur trauma along the way.

C. David Henderson
06-13-2011, 12:21 PM
Our basic back ukemi -- whether back falls or roles -- it from live toes, not from the top of the foot. Which leads to other issues, but not this particular one...FWIW.

jlbrewer
06-15-2011, 10:54 AM
Chris and Mary - I don't know about any of that, but I did learn last night that a lot of the time I was going down on the wrong leg (supposed to be the side closer to the nage). So maybe because of that I was going down harder than I needed to.

Basia Halliop
06-16-2011, 04:37 PM
Well maybe, but then some dojos (e.g. mine) explicitly teach rolling from the outside leg (i.e., furthest from nage). Unless there's something specific about the direction they're throwing you - although come to think of it there might be - that shouldn't by itself cause you to go down hard or cause your feet to hurt... Of course on the other hand I've never really tried doing it using the top of my foot (we're live toe people...).

As far as 'stretching' I like rolling my ankles (sort of drawing a circle with your toes), and shaking them, and also squatting on hands and feet and rocking forward and back so you're bending and unbending your toes. We also often massage our feet a little before class. But those aren't done as static stretches they're just sort of going through the range of motion and 'loosening up'.

jlbrewer
06-18-2011, 12:15 AM
I just got introduced properly to the concept of live toes last night (though not in falling, for movement). In a word, yikes! I was on my hands more than my toes...maybe I should extend my inquiry to suggestsions on how to get better at that.