Mike Sigman wrote:
I agree, although I defer to your expertise, John. I get my mother, mother-in-law, etc., to do a little standing on one leg while one hand lightly touches a wall or kitchen-counter, etc. for balance. It has brought their balance and leg strength back to where they now walk again pretty normally.
I suggest for the first minute (or half minute) that they hold the upheld leg so that the femur is horizontal or above (preferably a couple of degrees above horizontal) and the abdomen relaxed so that the hold of the femur is done by the psoas. I'm a great believer in strengthening the psoas and in stretching the psoas (which I do with held forward lunges while slowly tucking the pelvic cage). Mike
I frequently do what you described with older patients to help restore their balance-I also recommend tai chi as well. Both help to prevent falls-a bane for the older folks.
BTW-having read some of your comments in Ellis' blog, I would also like to point out that I'm trying to figure out the power of my sensei (Kato). I have not approached him yet to ask for training tips on how to improve this or what path to take. I somewhat expect a simplistic answer-train or something like that. His power is amazing and with so little movement. He lifted (not totally off the ground) up one of my guys weighing about 325 lbs and just tossed him off like nothing off a ryotedori grab. I'm not sure how well sensei could explain what he does. I think a lot gets lost by my lack of Japanese comprehension. Sensei is getting more and more detailed in explaining little subtleties to us as time goes on. Sometimes it is just a little movement that gives me an aha! He also has an uke that travels with him that is pretty good at showing things that get lost in translation. Both have helped me at the right times. As these masters age, getting this knowledge becomes more and more important. I hope to have a chance to press sensei more for information in the fall.