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GregH 03-30-2003 06:12 PM

Aikido & other forms of exercise
 
Hello All,
I wanted to find out your thoughts on other types of exercise to supplement Aikido training. Specifically, if anyone out there lifts weights, what types of
movements/exercises to you find the most beneficial? Thanks for your time.

Greg

David T Anderson 03-30-2003 08:25 PM

I do core weight exercises and general aerobic work. I don't feel much need to do any specific strength training for Aikido, aside perhaps from strengthening my grip.

I think working on balance and flexibility is more important...and there's always Ukemi...

Bogeyman 03-30-2003 09:10 PM

I do inline skating and ride a bike, no weights at all anymore.

E

happysod 03-31-2003 02:00 AM

aerobic cardiovascular work to improve stamina (most aikido's essentially anaerobic) and weights to maintain general tone - don't know how much of this is for my aikido as it's more a response of coming too close to 40 and finding there's more of me than I remember...

ian 03-31-2003 05:17 AM

I think David hit the nail on the head - core exercises.

I do running and swimming to keep myself fit which is more for general fitness and the self-defence benefits (able to keep moving and thinking with blood loss/overcome the tiring effects of extreme adrenalin).

I used to do some weights but actually found may aikido getting worse - mainly 'cos I was strengthening my upper body and making myself heavier. Instead I do core exercises such as press-ups (which also exercises stomach) followed by crunches/sit-ups.

Also do plenty of sword cutting (very good to get the body movement), chi gung and some tai chi. Also do an exercise to strengthen the grip and improve finger strength for pressure point strikes; throwing up bricks and catching them with my finge tips.

Now I swim properly I also find this focuses on my core body muscles rather than my arms and shoulders.

========

My philosophy for training has changed considerably due to time limits (I also have to work!) my main aims are:

- keep fit

- keep fast

- focus on exercises which are related to the movements you want to improve at.

Many weights exercises teach you to isolate your muscles, to keep your body stationary and to use your body ineffeciently - don't bother with them. The only 'weights' I do every so often are pull-ups (strengthen back and shoulders and biceps) and dips (triceps and shoulders) - these utilise your own body weight, for some reason this prevents you getting as bulky as normal weights exercises.

ian

Kung Fu Liane 03-31-2003 05:48 AM

it really depends on what you're looking to achieve from suplementary training. anyone who lifts big weights will know that it can have a detrimental effect on your flexibility. if you're going to start weight training, you might want to increase your flexibility training as well, just so that you don't end up like all of the wieght lifters i know who can't touch their toes. my teacher has always emphasised strength and flexibility...you'll strengthen up a bit even just through flexibility training.

cardiovascular training is excellent, most martial artists i know go running or cycling several times a week. you just need to be careful about training outside when its very cold or wet, as its not too good for the lungs.

tai chi is good for developing control over individual muscles - especially the deep ones that some other forms of exercise don't always help, and i can imagine yoga would be good also. shaolin styles of kung fu offer a fairly good workout, as they involve a lot of jumping and quick movements. plus kung fu requires stong legs, and builds good stances - something that not every aikidoka has :) but then there is the problem of changing between stances in different styles (kung fu bow stance is so nice and comfy)

i would advise doing something you enjoy, 'cos that way you'll stick at a routine. you could always get together with a group of fellow students, as training with others always makes things more fun.

paw 03-31-2003 06:23 AM

Here we go:

Ian,
Quote:

aerobic cardiovascular work to improve stamina (most aikido's essentially anaerobic)
If aikido is anaerobic, why not train that way? Why do aerobic work when another energy pathway is being used?

Liane,
Quote:

anyone who lifts big weights will know that it can have a detrimental effect on your flexibility.
First, "big" is relative. You'll have to clarify that. Second, your statement is false unless someone is lifting weights incorrectly (abreviated range of motion), in which case I would argue they aren't lifting weights. Third, aging can have a detrimental effect on flexibility ... so can not being warmed up. Strength training's benefits on bone density, posture, injury prevention, bodywieght maintance and general health are well documented.
Quote:

you'll strengthen up a bit even just through flexibility training.
How? You'll have to describe your flexibility routine in more detail for this to be true.


Quote:

you just need to be careful about training outside when its very cold or wet, as its not too good for the lungs
Dress properly and/or temper your body and this isn't an issue.
Quote:

i would advise doing something you enjoy, 'cos that way you'll stick at a routine.
Absolutely 100% correct.

Regards,

Paul

paw 03-31-2003 06:26 AM

Ian,

If you like bodyweight training, try:

Scrapper's Workout Number 1

I think you'll like it.

Regards,

Paul

bob_stra 03-31-2003 06:44 AM

Re: Aikido & other forms of exercise
 
Quote:

Greg Hahn (GregH) wrote:
Hello All,

I wanted to find out your thoughts on other types of exercise to supplement Aikido training. Specifically, if anyone out there lifts weights, what types of

movements/exercises to you find the most beneficial? Thanks for your time.

Greg

I get mighty bored with weights, so I follow the idea "perpetual motion" bodyweight workouts. 5 days a week. No seesion lasting over 20 minutes. Change every two weeks.

Here's last weeks routine. I use numbers rather than days, so if I feel tired one day, I'm not locked into anything.

(1)

Hindu Squats

Hindu Pushups

Plate hamstring pulls

(2)

Tabata protocol on stationary bike

(sprint 20 secs... rest 10) x 5

(3)

Bootstrapers

Lunge

Heel lift

Frog Hops

Plate hamstring pulls

(4)

Grappler's toolbox and ukemi workout

(5)

Stretching and rubber band uchikomi

Combined with breathing exercises (3x daily).

I've also gotten involved in a dumb bet (50 chin ups by May 1), so every few hours I pump out a few chinups on the back of the bedroom door.

I've been thinking lately I need to do more plyos for aikido. I had a game of tag with the dog this weekend and they sure are speedy little devils!

bob_stra 03-31-2003 06:46 AM

Quote:

paul watt (paw) wrote:
Ian,

If you like bodyweight training, try:

Scrapper's Workout Number 1

I think you'll like it.

Regards,

Paul

You're a evil, evil man ;-)

happysod 03-31-2003 06:48 AM

Paul, why aerobic? Three reasons, one randori and bokken/jo katas (where it really helps with maintaining a good breathing rhythm); two running away (my preferred self-defence option); three, I've got visions of living longer if I look after my heart (also see comment re potential fatman)...

Agree with you about weights/flexibility, they're not a problem as long as you train as diligently in both. However, I think you were a bit direct on Lianes comment regarding flexibility training. The more advanced moves in tai-chi and yoga (which she mentioned) do use the body as a "dead weight" on specific muscle groups for long periods at a time. For example, 5 mins in a crouch with all the weight on one leg does help strengthen the little darling, but I do agree that relying on such a regime to gain the strength in the first place is rather inefficient.

Kung Fu Liane 03-31-2003 06:55 AM

Paul,

by big weights, i mean powerlifter routines - bench press of +120kg, deadlifts of 200kg, that sort of thing. perhaps it was a little unclear. an yes it really does have an effect on flexibility, i know several weightlifting coaches who say that they regret losing their flexibility - the muscles can become so big that it inhibits movement. tho most people don't intend to ever get to this 'big' stage, some of them end up there after getting carried away.

you get added strength from flexibility training if the stretches require you to support body weight. there are a few that we do for kung fu that you probably won't have seen - not gonna go into detail because it would take a long time, and i'm not sure what i write won't be misinterpreted. i would agree that most of the stretches done sitting or lying down won't have much effect.

cardio work done outside if its wet and cold can be bad, if you breathe in and out through the mouth, because cold air goes to the lungs, without being properly warmed up (as it would be through the nose). thats why tai chi should never be done outside when its dark or rainy. maybe there is less effect when jogging or cycling etc, but my teacher always said not to. if that doesn't satisfy you, best ask a doctor of chinese medicine, they might be able to explain it properly.

Joseph Huebner 03-31-2003 07:31 AM

Greetings!

I attend class 3-4 times a week, so on top of that, I do 3 days strength training (bowflex) and 4 days cardio/aerobic. Of course, having a very active 5 yr old daughter does in itself provide a complete workout, too:dead: :dead: :dead: !

Joseph

paw 03-31-2003 08:18 AM

Bob,
Quote:

You're a evil, evil man
Et tu?

Ian,

Agree with you about aerobics. I do the long, slow, distance thing during much of winter.

I also agree with you about the strength benefits of flexibility.

Liane,
Quote:

by big weights, i mean powerlifter routines - bench press of +120kg, deadlifts of 200kg, that sort of thing. perhaps it was a little unclear.
I wouldn't say those are "big weights". I'm 75kg and have deadlifted 243kg and benched 120kg, which frankly, isn't very good from a powerlifting perspective.
Quote:

i know several weightlifting coaches who say that they regret losing their flexibility - the muscles can become so big that it inhibits movement.
Hmm... When you say weightlifting, to me that refers to Olympic lifting (clean&jerk, snatch). As such, those lifts are only valid if they satisfy a particular range of motion. If the athlete is unable to complete the lift due to a lack of flexibility, they aren't being coached properly. The same thing would be true in powerlifting (squat, bench, deadlift).

I don't deny that someone can gain so much mass that they have trouble with various movements, but I would wonder if:

1. An athelete in one sport is being judged by standards they have not trained in (how many runners would do well in gymnastics, for example)

2. The coach/athlete lost sight of the goal (improved performance) and have focused on appearance.

From a training perspective, it seems to me that one should compare the flexibility of different strength training methods and compare that with a control group in the general population that engages in no exercise. I suspect the trained group will not fare worse.

As a final aside, if you do know several weightlifting coaches (Olympic weightlifting) I'd encourage you to train with them. Olympic lifters are fantastic strength athletes.
Quote:

you get added strength from flexibility training if the stretches require you to support body weight.
I agree. I'm just making the point that resistance is resistance if the range of motion is the same, is it not? (Yeah, that's a bit of a simplification but I really don't want to talk about leverage differences inherent between say dumbbells, kettlebells and clubbells)
Quote:

cardio work done outside if its wet and cold can be bad, ... if that doesn't satisfy you, best ask a doctor of chinese medicine, they might be able to explain it properly.
Here's the rub: to a certain degree the Soviets encouraged athletes to train outside in the cold and wet as they strongly beleived there were positive health benefits. Who should I beleive? (That's a retorical quesiton)

Hope it doesn't seem like I'm busting your chops. There's so much myth and nonsense when it comes to fitness, despite a good body of scientific evidence. Not to mention that some folks are more interested in pushing "their program" (and making $$$$$) than really improving their client's health, well-being, and physical performance.

Regards,

Paul

Paul Smith 03-31-2003 09:12 AM

There was a study put out nearly a quarter a century ago on the virtues (or lack thereof) of supplemental training to aid in sports, in this case, swimming. At the time, when I was swimming intensively (6 days per week, nearly 25,000 meters per day), it was the custom to do weights three mornings per week, with additional training mandated by major events, such as "nationals." The gist of this study, put out by, if memory serves, a professor out of Cal. State Bakersfield, was that it is nearly impossible to aid a given sport by training in other than that sport. In other words, because a given sport utilizes whole-system resources, by specific muscles, specific parts of muscles, at a given rate of firing and duration, it is impossible to aid those same muscles and therefore improve upon one's system conditioning by doing other than that sport. To wit. I was a distance swimmer. When I was sick, I would stay out of the water but still train, by doing, for example, high-rep triceps extensions, etc. The problem is that the rate of the swimming motion, angle of attack, etc., were not possible to replicate and, by this study, this training would offer very little towards my swimming. What it did help with was my ability to lift these weights, in this manner.

So, if I understood correctly then (and memory serves well now), if you want to gain aerobically by doing Aikido, tax yourself aerobically by doing Aikido - don't ride a bike 3 x per week at 100 miles; etc.

twilliams423 03-31-2003 01:21 PM

I agree with Paul. I was also a highly trained athlete in college (water polo). We cross-trained running distance and stairs, lifted weights for strength and endurance. But the best swimmers and polo players were still the one's who had practiced the hardest in the pool.

That said, there's certainly nothing wrong with exercising in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes.

Personally, I find Aikido to be wholly sufficient in and of itself for the practice of Aikido. To further enjoy a healthy life I surf regularly and practice qigong daily.

Tom

Paul Smith 03-31-2003 01:59 PM

All the rest, forgive me, a bit off topic, but Tom, just curious - I swam for Mason Parrish in Ventura, California, Buena Swim Club. I wonder if we crossed paths (although I am from another era- I'm 41 - Shirley Babashoff and Jesse Vassalo era).

Cheers.

twilliams423 03-31-2003 02:36 PM

Paul,

I'm 50 so we probably haven't swallowed chlorine together. Maybe that was you cutting me off at Hollywood by the Sea? Just kidding. Those Oxnard fellows are known for their warm reception to us old longboarders from the south.

Hang loose brudda...

happysod 04-01-2003 04:57 AM

Paul, aerobically train in aikido, you're a genius! We can start new classes -"aikidosise" and bring the dojo numbers up (and I can get that nice little lycra mini-hakoma at long last).

Funning aside, yes, I agree, for competence in any sport/MA etc, only practicing that sport or MA can achieve this. However, sports training has come a long way in the past 10 years, never mind 25 (compare athletes today versus then). While you need to practice aikido to learn how to use your body correctly in aikido, other training can help you more efficiently target specific muscle groups you use. This is a regime used by most professionals, so why should MA's be any different?

As for aerobic aikido classes, I would hesitate to even imagine their format (1000 sword cuts on the bounce, work that jo?) and could see trying to run such a class an easy turn off for most aikidokas whereas the stamina gained from aerobic exercise can be performed nice and toasty in the gym.

sanosuke 04-01-2003 05:33 AM

I heard taichi really complement with aikido. I do swimming and running though, useful if you take ukemi from several people in a row.

Kung Fu Liane 04-01-2003 05:34 AM

Paul,

maybe they're not big weights to a guy like you, but they are to me :) (i'm female if you hadn't already guessed)

hmmm...but the soviets also encouraged their female gymnasts to fall pregnant a month or so before they competed...something to do with food intake i think. it sounds crazy, but it was an ex gymnast from russia who told me

Ian,

ugh, i'm imagining something worse than tae bo. i know too many non-martial artists who have gone to those kind of workouts and now reckon they can 'handle themseleves on the streets'. saying that, surely it can't be a bad thing to use that kind of exercise to supplement martial arts training?

Paul Smith 04-01-2003 11:41 AM

Ian, wear what you'd like. As the past recipient of several marathon "50-break falls in a row" sessions, or sitting in seiza for an hour with heavy (suburito) in chuden-no-kamae, or mountain running with bokken, by the end of it, I didn't really care what I wore. Come to think of it, spandex booties might have given me more lift by No. 50.

As to cross training, it very well could be outdated material. Interesting point, though, because they tested with electro-conductivity, Max VO2 consumption levels, etc., fairly rigorous, concluding that not so much muscle "groups," but individual fibres their inherent characteristics (e.g., slow twitch/fast twitch percentages in a given athlete) and their trained characteristics (responsiveness to various aerobic/anaerobic/resistance stressors) matter when discussing an athlete's conditioning regimen.

Paul Smith 04-01-2003 11:43 AM

By the way, hey Tom, hang loose. My brother is more your era. Neil Smith, '68 Olympic Trials, CSULB. Great home movies of seeing him get his ass kicked by Spitz.

paw 04-01-2003 01:19 PM

beware....rant ahead
 
Paul,
Quote:

As to cross training, it very well could be outdated material. Interesting point, though, because they tested with electro-conductivity, Max VO2 consumption levels, etc., fairly rigorous, concluding that not so much muscle "groups," but individual fibres their inherent characteristics (e.g., slow twitch/fast twitch percentages in a given athlete) and their trained characteristics (responsiveness to various aerobic/anaerobic/resistance stressors) matter when discussing an athlete's conditioning regimen.
It may not be outdated so much as focused on swimming. Arguably, a swimmer has little use for cycling or running as neither has a direct correlation to swimming. In the same token, a powerlifter has no need to develop a strong aerobic base, as competition is anaerobic.

I see two questions here:

1. What is the minimum physical requirements for aikido?

2. What physical attributes should aikido develop for optimum performance?

I submit that the minimum physical requirements can be met by nearly everyone and any deficiencies addressed by regular training. (Yeah, the minimum level will probably result in some bumps, bruises and injuries that could be avoided by "better than minimum" physical condition, but let's table that discussion for now)

The second question hasn't been addressed to the best of my knowledge. For example, wrestling, boxing and judo have been studied fairly extensively (benefits of having a sporting aspect of the art in the Olympics no doubt). So, there is a wealth of information available on what each art requires at the very highest levels, for example, Wayland's collection of Judo Studies for Athletes.

I suspect that aikido would require a more balanced athlete than swimming/running/weightlifting for optimum performance, which would suggest a wider variety of training protocals. But then again, as Bob noted, I'm evil.

Regards,

Paul

Bronson 04-01-2003 01:53 PM

I'm in no way a fitness expert (ask Marty on these forums about my amazing lack of upper body strength :D ) but I can relate my experiences. I've recently started exercising and doing some light weight :confused: training. For me the exercises that have given me the most obvious benefit in my aikido practice have been: running for endurance, crunches for really tucking in on those rolls, squats for gettin' up off the floor, and deadlifts seem to give me a feeling of greater stability in my trunk overall.

I'm sure the other exercises I do help also but it feels like these ones in particular have given almost immediate benefit...especially the crunches and squats.

Bronson


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