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Zoe S Toth 03-27-2012 03:03 PM

Stretching
 
Hello all!

I've never met a teacher in any physical activity (ranging from zumba to soccer to martial arts) who thinks you can skip streching. YET everyone has vastly different ideas about streching which is understandable. Afterall, soccer uses different muscles than Aikido so why strech the same.

To my understanding, ballistic streching is not very efficent and many suggest it is down right harmful. Yet that is what our main sensei does here. (Personally, I have to admit I deviate and try to hold the streches to make them static. He's never said a word to me, although I try to be as nondisruptive as I can.) We also have a yudasha who is a certified chiroprator and has flat out said ballastic streching is bad for you.

All of our black belts have their own verisions of warm ups that draw from their life experience. One who boxed, for example, has us do 'on our feet' warm ups before sitting down and breathing. The chiroprator has us do static streches.

This makes me curious about other dojo's warm up. What do you guys do? Also, if you can't do what the sensei is doing (for medical/ safety reasons) do you deviate or try to stick it out?

Thanks!

Chris Li 03-27-2012 03:11 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Zoe Toth wrote: (Post 306515)
Hello all!

I've never met a teacher in any physical activity (ranging from zumba to soccer to martial arts) who thinks you can skip streching. YET everyone has vastly different ideas about streching which is understandable. Afterall, soccer uses different muscles than Aikido so why strech the same.

To my understanding, ballistic streching is not very efficent and many suggest it is down right harmful. Yet that is what our main sensei does here. (Personally, I have to admit I deviate and try to hold the streches to make them static. He's never said a word to me, although I try to be as nondisruptive as I can.) We also have a yudasha who is a certified chiroprator and has flat out said ballastic streching is bad for you.

All of our black belts have their own verisions of warm ups that draw from their life experience. One who boxed, for example, has us do 'on our feet' warm ups before sitting down and breathing. The chiroprator has us do static streches.

This makes me curious about other dojo's warm up. What do you guys do? Also, if you can't do what the sensei is doing (for medical/ safety reasons) do you deviate or try to stick it out?

Thanks!

Try this one for a slightly different outlook: http://saveyourself.ca/articles/stretching.php

Best,

Chris

grondahl 03-27-2012 03:14 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Its important to separate ballistic and dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching, that is controlled, non static stretching (ex lunges, squats, wall slides etc) is superior to static stretching in warm-ups. Static stretching before training actually makes you weaker and increase the risk of injury.

Stumbled upon this study today: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22446678

Quote:

ABSTRACT: Aguilar, AJ, DiStefano, LJ, Brown, CN, Herman, DC, Guskiewicz, KM, and Padua, DA. A dynamic warm-up model increases quadriceps strength and hamstring flexibility. J Strength Cond Res 26(4): 1130-1141, 2012-Research suggests that static stretching can negatively influence muscle strength and power and may result in decreased functional performance. The dynamic warm-up (DWU) is a common alternative to static stretching before physical activity, but there is limited research investigating the effects of a DWU. The purpose of this study was to compare the acute effects of a DWU and static stretching warm-up (SWU) on muscle flexibility, strength, and vertical jump using a randomized controlled trial design. Forty-five volunteers were randomly assigned into a control (CON), SWU, or DWU group. All participants rode a stationary bicycle for 5 minutes and completed a 10-minute warm-up protocol. During this protocol, the DWU group performed dynamic stretching and running, the SWU group performed static stretching, and the CON group rested. Dependent variables were measured immediately before and after the warm-up protocol. A digital inclinometer measured flexibility (degrees) for the hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexor muscles. An isokinetic dynamometer measured concentric and eccentric peak torque (Nm/kg) for the hamstrings and quadriceps. A force plate was used to measure vertical jump height (meters) and power (watts). In the DWU group, there was a significant increase in hamstring flexibility (pretest: 26.4 13.5, posttest: 16.9 9.4; p < .0001) and eccentric quadriceps peak torque (pretest: 2.49 0.83 Nm/kg, posttest: 2.78 0.69 Nm/kg; p = 0.04). The CON and SWU did not significantly affect any flexibility, strength, or vertical jump measures (p > 0.05). The DWU significantly improved eccentric quadriceps strength and hamstrings flexibility, whereas the SWU did not facilitate any positive or negative changes in muscle flexibility, strength, power, or vertical jump. Therefore, the DWU may be a better preactivity warm-up choice than an SWU.

phitruong 03-27-2012 04:17 PM

Re: Stretching
 
i used a number of elements from this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Bd8J3nTMOWk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL...yer_detailpage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL...&v=kuzpnJcLu0w

Jon Haas 03-27-2012 05:01 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Hi Zoe,

Here's a different opinion: To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Hope this helps!

gregstec 03-27-2012 05:35 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Jon Haas wrote: (Post 306522)
Hi Zoe,

Here's a different opinion: To Stretch or Not to Stretch

Hope this helps!

Nice approach Jon - gave me some different insights to think about.

Thanks

Greg

Janet Rosen 03-27-2012 05:55 PM

Re: Stretching
 
All current research I"m aware of says there is no benefit to static stretching before exercise and there may be risk of microtears if stretching cold muscles.
Most aikido dojos seem to do a hodgepodge of range of motion, static stretching and dynamic stretching as their "warmups." I believe that good range of motion is all that is really needed. Nobody listens to me :-)

Janet Rosen 03-27-2012 05:57 PM

Re: Stretching
 
I add that range of motion can and should focus on movements specific to the activity to be done. For this reason I think a little general range of motion + the "ki exercises" (udefuri waza, etc) + some low key rolling are in themselves plenty of "warm up" for aikido.

Malicat 03-27-2012 06:38 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 306528)
All current research I"m aware of says there is no benefit to static stretching before exercise and there may be risk of microtears if stretching cold muscles.
Most aikido dojos seem to do a hodgepodge of range of motion, static stretching and dynamic stretching as their "warmups." I believe that good range of motion is all that is really needed. Nobody listens to me :-)

"I don't believe in it. You ever seen a lion limber up before taking down a gazelle?"

Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

--Ashley

kewms 03-27-2012 07:55 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Ashley Hemsath wrote: (Post 306531)
"I don't believe in it. You ever seen a lion limber up before taking down a gazelle?"

Actually, my cats do pause for stretching during play sessions. They also stretch throughout the day, as they move from one nap spot to another.

Katherine

kewms 03-27-2012 07:57 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 306528)
All current research I"m aware of says there is no benefit to static stretching before exercise and there may be risk of microtears if stretching cold muscles.
Most aikido dojos seem to do a hodgepodge of range of motion, static stretching and dynamic stretching as their "warmups." I believe that good range of motion is all that is really needed. Nobody listens to me :-)

I do! :-)

For my classes, I mostly do range of motion stuff.

Katherine

Keith Larman 03-27-2012 10:29 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Hey, Janet, I listen. No static stretches, just gentle movements at first working in to the aiki taiso ending with rolling. Then to rest! The movement is to "check in on your body" to see what's tight, what needs more movement, what hurts, etc. Get it moving!

Janet Rosen 03-27-2012 10:45 PM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Keith Larman wrote: (Post 306540)
Hey, Janet, I listen. No static stretches, just gentle movements at first working in to the aiki taiso ending with rolling. Then to rest! The movement is to "check in on your body" to see what's tight, what needs more movement, what hurts, etc. Get it moving!

That's exactly what I do on my Tuesday night class. Including giving folks about a couple of minutes of freestyle time to move about the mat and work on whatever they find needs it.

Carl Thompson 03-28-2012 03:45 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 306528)
All current research I"m aware of says there is no benefit to static stretching before exercise and there may be risk of microtears if stretching cold muscles.
Most aikido dojos seem to do a hodgepodge of range of motion, static stretching and dynamic stretching as their "warmups." I believe that good range of motion is all that is really needed. Nobody listens to me :-)

Hello Janet

I'm sure your research is well-founded for sports and activities that emphasis the use of regular muscle-power. I wonder why one would want to warm up conventional muscles for use in aikido anyway.

As I understand it, a lot of aikido stretching comes from the makko-ho and nishishiki undo. Then there's chinkon no gyo and other solo exercises.

The way I see it, they are part of the conditioning rather than working on external muscles to prepare them for use in training. In my experience,even push-ups tend to be adapted for conditioning wrists, knuckles and so on with conventional fitness being a useful byproduct.

Regards

Carl

Jon Haas 03-28-2012 05:39 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Greg Steckel wrote: (Post 306526)
Nice approach Jon - gave me some different insights to think about.

Thanks

Greg

Thanks Greg!

chillzATL 03-28-2012 06:38 AM

Re: Stretching
 
We have a set of stretches that are always done before taiso. I usually do other things to warm up before class and then use the stretches to stretch my body more than just my muscles. I agree with what Carl said in a lot of ways.

phitruong 03-28-2012 07:02 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 306528)
Nobody listens to me :-)

what? what? did you say something? :D

lbb 03-28-2012 09:01 AM

Re: Stretching
 
As with nearly everything, the discussion tends to founder if you don't start off by defining your terms and stating your goal. What do you mean by "stretching" -- people use the term to mean vastly different things, ranging from a warm-up to exercises designed to increase flexibility -- and why do you think you should be doing it?

I believe that if the goal is injury prevention, a pre-workout warmup consisting of fairly slow movement within the normal range of motion is the way to go. But no one listens to me either ;-)

Kevin Leavitt 03-28-2012 09:05 AM

Re: Stretching
 
I'm listening Mary, and I agree. I don't stretch before training, I warm up.

Janet Rosen 03-28-2012 10:16 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Carl Thompson wrote: (Post 306545)
Hello Janet
I'm sure your research is well-founded for sports and activities that emphasis the use of regular muscle-power. I wonder why one would want to warm up conventional muscles for use in aikido anyway.

Because we are moving.
We are not power lifting but we are moving in space, rolling, falling, receiving pins, etc. Warmed muscles move through activity with less chance of microtears or overstretch injury.

lbb 03-28-2012 11:06 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 306568)
I'm listening Mary, and I agree. I don't stretch before training, I warm up.

Yeah, I meant more that every sensei in the world seems to start class with this stretching-and-warmup melange that is really an homage to tradition rather than a functional exercise.

Keith Larman 03-28-2012 11:12 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Carl Thompson wrote: (Post 306545)
Hello Janet

I'm sure your research is well-founded for sports and activities that emphasis the use of regular muscle-power. I wonder why one would want to warm up conventional muscles for use in aikido anyway.

All I can say is that you must be in great shape. Cause if I don't get some warm up movement in before training I'm going to be regretting the first few times I hit the mat. There are various body parts on me that need to loosen up a bit before I can get out there. Well, before I can get out there with a realistic expectation of being able to get back off under my own power...

Kevin Leavitt 03-28-2012 11:44 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 306578)
Yeah, I meant more that every sensei in the world seems to start class with this stretching-and-warmup melange that is really an homage to tradition rather than a functional exercise.

Agree and it is a pet peeve of mine. Having taken personal fitness training courses, it pretty much goes against all modern recommendations. That is what most dojos do.

Carl Thompson 03-29-2012 01:05 AM

Re: Stretching
 
Quote:

Keith Larman wrote: (Post 306579)
All I can say is that you must be in great shape. Cause if I don't get some warm up movement in before training I'm going to be regretting the first few times I hit the mat. There are various body parts on me that need to loosen up a bit before I can get out there. Well, before I can get out there with a realistic expectation of being able to get back off under my own power...

Hello Keith

I agree about warming up in the sense of "loosening" or raising the temperature of the body although the extent depends on the season for me. I think the preparatory exercises aren't just about that and I don't regard stretching as being for that.

If you look at Chris's link, one important point is the purpose of stretching. I don't see the need to specifically warm-up the omote kinniku (outer muscles) for the purpose of doing aikido training or how stretching would do that anyway. I agree that movement exercises for "loosening up" and raising the temperature of the body generally (inside and out) are fine as needed.
Quote:

The difference is in intention. The intention of stretching in the context of good qigong, yoga or martial arts is to focus the mind, to stimulate vitality through a combination of mental and physical exercise. The intention is everything without the intention, you might as well not bother with these activities.
I can't see how the stretching parts of the makko-ho and Nishi health systems are intended to loosen up or raise the temperature of muscles. Katsuzō Nishi created his exercises from practising all kinds of health systems including Yoga. He was also a direct student of the founder of aikido and instrumental in the creation of the Aikikai. I don't think Nishi-shiki exercises caught on within the aikido community just because of this position though. Osensei also incorporated Nishi's exercises into his warm-ups along with the makko ho. Here he can clearly be seen doing these stretches.





I am not an advocate of Osensei did it, so it must be right. I am an advocate of Osensei was a gifted martial artist with a good understanding of how to cultivate the human body, so there is a very good chance he knew what he was doing. There is a good chance that he took things of value from Nishi-shiki and the makko-ho.

Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 306573)
Because we are moving.
We are not power lifting but we are moving in space, rolling, falling, receiving pins, etc. Warmed muscles move through activity with less chance of microtears or overstretch injury.

In Japanese the preparatory exercises are usually called "junbi undo" or "junbi taiso". The whole job lot of exercises sometimes gets referred to as "warming up" in English. When I teach English, I usually do a "warming up" activity that has nothing to do with body temperature or loosening up the body for movement or falling (actually... it depends on the age of the students. ;) ) The point is that there are different ways in which we are using terminology here.

Let's disambiguate this a little more by totally separating "warming up" from "stretching" within the umbrella-term of "preparatory exercises". If we do that, I think we are in agreement regarding the "warming up" part. The value and purpose of stretching as an activity not for raising temperature/loosening within the preparatory exercises is something I would like to resolve a little more if possible.

Specifically I am interested to know which muscles Osensei is in danger of micro-tearing or overstretching as a result of the specific stretching pictured above.

Which muscles are endangered by the other nishi-shiki exercises and the makko-ho?

Given the ongoing discussions regarding Internal Power and body structure, I think these are important issues to understand before we discard any body-conditioning that Osensei practised. Bear in mind that other martial arts that feature in these discussions also involve actions including stretching as part of their conditioning.

Kind regards
Carl

hughrbeyer 03-30-2012 08:48 PM

Re: Stretching
 
What I find interesting is that most of the traditional warm-up isn't really static stretching. It's the "ballistic stretching" that every coach I ever met criticized when I was growing up.

What I think is interesting is that the "fascial fitness" people are promoting something that looks a lot like that old ballistic stretching. Bounce, bounce against some resistance but not taking the ROM past where it's comfortable. Could it be that those old budo people knew what they were doing? Nahhh....


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