Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-17-2007, 08:55 PM   #1
jennyvanwest
 
jennyvanwest's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of ME
Location: Maine
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 61
United_States
Offline
preserving knees and shoulders....

now that I'm getting back on the mat after an injury....and having heard many aikido stories of knees and shoulders incurring wrath from the mat...I would love to hear some ideas about taking care of them.

So far I have: listen to your teacher re proper technique. Perfect the roll. Don't train overly hard when very tired. Listen to myself. Go easy on the seiza when the knees start yelling.

Any others you've gleaned from your own or others' experiences?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 05:44 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,715
United_States
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

Good form and alignment.

Knees: keep you toes, knees, and hips pointed in the same direction.

Shoulders: keep you hand in front of you body, elbows down, arm pits closes.

Warm up.

Common sense: don't push through fatigue or pain.

Avoid jerking motions.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 01:53 PM   #3
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

I used to get sore shoulders after a day of pins (although it wouldn't seem painful during the pin itself). I found doing a few simple exercises to strengthen the muscles around my shoulders got rid of that problem.

Personally I find basic fitness really helps with ukemi. The muscles around a joint apparently play a role in protecting that joint.

The other thing I find helps me with eg not getting a sore back is stretching muscles right _after_ practicing.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 02:19 PM   #4
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I used to get sore shoulders after a day of pins (although it wouldn't seem painful during the pin itself). I found doing a few simple exercises to strengthen the muscles around my shoulders got rid of that problem.

Personally I find basic fitness really helps with ukemi. The muscles around a joint apparently play a role in protecting that joint.
It's more than that: the muscles surrounding a joint are primarily what hold the joint together when it comes to putting serious athletic stresses on it. If you try to lift, throw, or pull something and your muscles are so relaxed that nothing but ligaments are holding the joint together, you are in trouble. This is also why excessive passive stretching is not a good idea.

Moreover, strength exercises not only protect the joint by strengthening the muscles that stabilize a joint. So long as the exercises involve actually handling weight, as opposed to using a machine, strength exercise strengthens many of the tissues involved in the joint themselves: bones, ligaments, tendons. Proper strength exercises also provide a way to help learn and ingrain healthy movement patterns - like squatting, lunging, picking up something heavy - and assure that your body is well used to doing such movements when they come up in more stressful and less ideal situations.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 04:13 PM   #5
dragonteeth
Dojo: Elkton Ki-Aikido
Location: Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
United_States
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

I agree completely that fitness is important for protection. Light to moderate weightlifting can be very useful, but don't overdo it as a muscle strain can open you up to injury on the mat. I also agree that proper ukemi technique is important. If you're having trouble with a roll or fall, ask your sensei or sempai for help. There are also some really great video resources out there. I like the Bruce Bookman two dvd series on ukemi myself. There are also a couple of really great clips on YouTube. Do a search on "Guido Ukemi" - not sure who Guido is but he has a great way of demonstrating good technique.

If you have a known injury, you might consider bracing or taping that area for extra protection. I had an ACL reconstruction a few years back, and wear a DonJoy Female Fourcepoint brace that was specificially designed for women. Some researchers debate whether it prevents injury or not, but I can tell you that it makes a huge difference in post-practice discomfort especially if we are in seiza alot. Also remember that you can mark an injured area with a bandanna or sticker to remind nage that you have an injury (though some people find it more helpful to mark the opposite limb...reverse psychology at play).

Lastly, the biggest injury risk factor in the dojo can often be pride. We're all a hard headed bunch of individuals, and it's really hard to sit on the sidelines with an injury. However, it is much better to sit out one practice to let a minor injury heal, rather than keep going and let it progress into something that will keep you out for months.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 11:45 PM   #6
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,136
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

Kevin,

Why do you suggest that machines aren't good for strengthening muscle? I have and use a Bowflex machine and have had good results with it for the past few years. I prefer free weights for a number of other reasons, but the Bowflex is a good, safe alternative for me. Please explain when you have a chance. Thanks.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 10:01 AM   #7
dragonteeth
Dojo: Elkton Ki-Aikido
Location: Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
United_States
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

Free weights and machines both have their roles to play in any fitness program, imho. Machines are great for beginners because the guidance they provide helps to keep the beginner in a more correct form, thus reducing the chance for injury. Once initial gains are made and the beginner starts to gain a feel for the correct motion, progression should be made (under supervision of a trainer or experienced lifter) to free weights. free weights require more balance and coordination, and work the minor joint stabilizing muscles as well as the major groups. It is those stabilizing muscles that protect the join in other sports, like aikido. Still, machines can continue to play a part by providing a safe venue for faster gains, as well as offering certain exercises which are more advanced or difficult to replicate with free weights. They also offer a safer alternative to those who are rehabilitating an injury - in my case giving me an alternative to squats.

Any good martial arts fitness program will use a variety of techniques...which is really true of any sport. Protective and performance benefits can also be seen with the incorporation of other activities like yoga, pilates, plyometrics, and cardio activities like cycling. Consistently changing the challenges you present to your body will give you a better all-around fitness level and help prevent those most annoying plateaus all athletes face.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 10:21 AM   #8
statisticool
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 534
United_States
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

stretch and warm up thorougly, before and afterwards.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 01:32 PM   #9
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Kevin,

Why do you suggest that machines aren't good for strengthening muscle? I have and use a Bowflex machine and have had good results with it for the past few years. I prefer free weights for a number of other reasons, but the Bowflex is a good, safe alternative for me. Please explain when you have a chance. Thanks.
I think most machines are a poor substitute for freeweight exercises. What I was talking about particularly was about increasing bone density and the strength of the joint tissues. For instance, I have seen studies that show better bone density gains in the leg and spine from squats vs. leg presses. This makes sense because in freeweight exercises your bones and joints are actually holding up weight and controlling its position in three planes of movement, from the time you pick it up to the time you put it down. It is putting more and more varied stress on the tissues, so they adapt by getting stronger. Moreover, if you use good form, it is the healthiest kind of stress because it is most similar to what you actually need it for: standing on the ground, pushing weight up over your head, squatting, lunging, etc...

Most machines fix one or more planes of motion. The worst, like Nautilus machines or a leg extension machine fix everything, so you are merely pushing a lever along an extremely limited track. Actually, I take that back, the worst is the Smith Machine for squats, which force your upper back to move along an unnatural path with your feet fixed on the ground. This multiplies the shearing forces on the knee, as do leg presses. The idea that such machines are better than free weights for rehab is silly. They may be useful after a surgery or something really severe, but once you are strong enough to do a basic free squat with bodyweight, they should be phased out. The idea behind rehab and conditioning should be to get damaged or weak parts functioning properly as soon as possible. It makes far more sense to do this using complex functional movements right away, rather than building up strength in weird artificial patterns then trying to transfer it over to functional patterns.

Pulley machines are a little different, in that the handle you pull on has some freedom of movement, but still are not as good as actual weight, either for functional strength or injury prevention, which are two parts of the same thing. I consider many of the weird freeweight exercises I learned from magazines and books when I was a kid in the same category.

There are a lot of myths floating around in the exercise world, and a lot of beliefs are influenced by commercialism and fads, not science or sensible thinking. The worst such fad has been bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is based on a deeply flawed, oversimplified model of body functioning. It divides up the body into a few major muscle groups, then tries to target those muscles by using "isolated" movements. In fact, it is neither desireable or possible to really isolate a particular muscle. Even the weirdest little dumbbell or machine exercises involve many muscles, and complicated movement patterns, it's just that most of them are not very useful patterns, and some are actually harmful. Bodybuilding has it completely upside down and backwards, and most machines are influenced by this paradigm.

The best exercises are weight and bodyweight exercises. They are based on training general functional movement patterns, not "muscle groups". They are also not that difficult to learn to do properly. Most people don't need extensive training and supervision to do simple standing barbell exercises, dips, pullups and pushups, which provide just about all the options most people would ever need. I plan on using nothing but the ground, an Olympic barbell, a few bumper plates, and a couple of boxes to hold the bar up for plate changing as my entire strength program for the next year. I could teach anyone that has normal physical aptitude enough to get them going on a program with a few simple exercises in minutes. The Olympic lifts require a little more training, but not that much. I learned to be moderately competent at all of them along with partials and supplemental exercises at a 3-day camp.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 08-19-2007 at 01:37 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 01:33 PM   #10
statisticool
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 534
United_States
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

I'd also personally say less on heavy lifts that involve shoudlers and knees.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 01:50 PM   #11
dalen7
 
dalen7's Avatar
Dojo: Karcag Aikido Club
Location: Karcag
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 750
Hungary
Offline
and elbows?

what about elbows.

We had a guest from another dojo came by...and I injured my elbow. took a few days to heal, but I can move it again without the sharp pain.

The dude was amazing (amazingly rough). When he was doing a version of sankyo he would take my arm, shake, twist, pin, etc. and my elbow literally could not take anymore.

The sempai was away that day, and a 3rd kyu (police officer) was showing some rougher police techniques.

My lesson...people from other dojos are dangerous.

Peace

dAlen
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 01:51 PM   #12
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

All this business about staying away from "heavy" weights is also nonsense. You have to lift at a certain level of resistance in relation to your maximum in order to provide enough stimulus to actually strengthen any tissue or gain strength. It's nothing to be afraid of.

There is some risk of injury doing extremely heavy or intense lifting. Unless you are some kind of strength athlete, you would rarely need to use weight that you can't do at least 4 or 5 proper reps with, except with the Olympic lifts. There is also virtually no reason to ever train to concentric muscle failure, do negatives, or any other such intensity tricks.

People are not made of porcelain. We can pick up heavy stuff and put it back down. If we do it a few times in a row, a couple times a week, we get strong. It's not rocket science. What destroys the human body more than anything is precisely the opposite: inactivity.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 02:01 PM   #13
dalen7
 
dalen7's Avatar
Dojo: Karcag Aikido Club
Location: Karcag
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 750
Hungary
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
All this business about staying away from "heavy" weights is also nonsense. You have to lift at a certain level of resistance in relation to your maximum in order to provide enough stimulus to actually strengthen any tissue or gain strength. It's nothing to be afraid of. .
Yeah...I guess it depends on how you look at it.
You bring up a good point that you should be able to lift it 4 times.

I hurt myself in highschool on the decline bench (took years for my shoulder to heal.)

I benched around 250lbs (at the time I weighed only 145lbs) and with decline I found i could do a bit more. I had 275 (which i typically can do around 25 pounds more on decline) and my shoulder did a thingy.

Well...The whole idea of trying to max out now seems like a thing that truly would be better had I left it alone. Ego will bring you down...my last year I was pretty 'cocky' as I was gaining 5 pounds to my bench press basically every week or two for a period there. (going from 200lbs or so and going up)...no drugs...no, just a lot of training on my triceps (which shoulders are involved, but I never really worked on that specific group. Now to mention it, I was unbalanced, as I could not even 'squat' but about the same as my bench. (which is not usual, you typically can do more if your 'training.')

That was years ago though...trip down memory lane to say, yes avoiding heavy loads such as 'maxing out' may prove beneficial.

And some may find that they do need to have even lighter workout than pushing it to 4 or 5...Point is, listen to your body. :-)

Peace

dAlen
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 03:31 PM   #14
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

The main flag I see in your story is the bench press. I don't like it at all as an exercise. To start with, you rarely push anything heavy horizontal to your body in real life. A push up is about the most you'll ever do pushing in that direction. When standing, it simply doesn't work, as it only takes a few pounds of force to tip you over backwards. When you push something heavy, you have to lean way over - you end up configuring your body into what is basically an overhead push.

By putting a bench behind your back, you are making an artificial movement pattern into a heavy exercise. Worse, unlike an overhead press or a push up, the bench acts as a crutch in stabilizing the scapulae, allowing a whole bunch of shoulder girdle stabilizers to get a free ride. They can eventually become weak in relation to the strength of muscles stressed built by the bench press, and you can end up with serious imbalance in the shoulder - an injury waiting to happen. Many people find ways to balance this out somewhat with other exercises in their routine, but I would rather just avoid exercises that are not inherently sound altogether.

As far as the heaviness of squats, the topic here is how to keep your knees and shoulders healthy for Aikido. Squatting with the addition of double your body weight is a bit overkill for this purpose. I doubt most people would even need to lift with the addition of their bodyweight - somewhere in the half to full bodyweight range is probably fine.

The rep range determines what body systems you are training, and which energy systems get worked. The spectrum is roughly divided into named categories. Low reps (~1-6) work strength and short term energy systems, higher reps (~7-12) work strength-endurance and medium term energy sytems. Above about 15 reps, it starts to become aerobic endurance training.. Very low reps train the shortest-term energy system and heavily stress the nervous system. Heavy 1RM compound lifts can take over a week to fully recover from, neurologically. Pushing a 5RM set to concentric failure, or beyond, using assisted reps, partials, negatives, etc...can have a similar effect. This is the main reason so many people have overtraining problems with weights, and end up stagnating or getting chronic problems. Overtraining, and the chance of acute injury during the lift itself are the main reasons most people probably shouldn't mess with this stuff. For general conditioning, it's not necessary.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 08-19-2007 at 03:33 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2007, 04:11 PM   #15
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,136
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

Thanks, Kevin. Now I understand what you were saying. I appreciate the broader explanation.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 08:51 PM   #16
jennyvanwest
 
jennyvanwest's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of ME
Location: Maine
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 61
United_States
Offline
Re: preserving knees and shoulders....

thanks everyone. I don't have access to weights right now so that probably won't be part of my strengthening plan. If I had my druthers the plan would include kayaking. Pushups and bokken practice are probably more economical.

[says she, hobbling a bit after sitting at the computer]

Jenny
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bad knees Apoy Training 61 10-26-2007 07:48 AM
Training the Body. Part 2: Exercesis Upyu Training 16 12-21-2006 01:54 PM
Relaxing the hips Moses General 6 08-07-2006 08:32 AM
Article: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (Part Deux) by Michael J. Hacker AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 12-22-2005 04:31 PM
Article: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Michael J. Hacker AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 13 12-05-2005 03:47 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:45 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate