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 > General

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 09-29-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
Noah Stacy
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4
United_States
Offline
Improving Flexibility

Having just returned to aikido after a few years away, I was reminded in my first trip back to the mat yesterday of my rather limited flexibility. This has always been the case for me--even as a kid, I could never touch my toes; I still can't now. Sitting with my legs spread, I can probably get to something rather less than a ninety-degree angle (and certainly can't touch my toes that way either).

I'd love to improve on this. My current exercise, outside of aikido, consists of riding my bicycle to/from school each day, weather and light permitting. It's about a 12 mile round trip. I'll be transitioning to swimming soon, in anticipation of my eventual relocation to Manhattan, where I wouldn't dream of setting wheels to pavement.

Any advice folks might offer would be appreciated!
(PS: Apologies if this is off-topic for the General forum, since it's tangential to aikido; feel free to move if it would be happier elsewhere.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,825
United_States
Offline
Re: Improving Flexibility

Like most things, if you want to develop flexibility you have to be somewhat systematic about it. That means finding the stretches that will enhance the kind of flexibility you're looking for, doing them consistently, doing them the right way, and doing the right thing re: injury prevention and treatment. No shortcuts or magic bullets. If you do a google search for Brad Appleton's stretching FAQ, you'll have a lot of info to get you started off, on the physiology of flexibility, different stretching methods and how to do them.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 05:22 PM   #3
Sy Labthavikul
Dojo: Aikido Academy USA of Alhambra
Location: Los Angeles area, CA
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 98
United_States
Offline
Re: Improving Flexibility

I was in the same boat as you, Noah: stiff as a board, and I had very short, tight muscles and ligaments. While doing frontbends I could barely touch mid-shin, and my shoulders had limited range of motion. This lack of flexibility resulted in my acquiring a slew of over-use injuries from my training, in aikido, running, and bodyweight exercises: i developed plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis, always had stiff hips, and had chronic neck stiffness.

I started doing yoga consistently: first a one hour class two times a week, then as I got more experienced and comfortable (probably 3 months) I started going to class 4 times a week, then i started doing yoga on my own (once my instructor felt my form was correct) every day before I went to bed. I didn't do it for long: maybe 20 minutes or so, but I did it every day, just a little bit, and this was when I started having the most improvement.

Now after about a year, without much effort i can bend over and put my entire palm on the floor. I can do a backbend now (though its very ugly). I rarely get injuries anymore.

How has this translated into my aikido? Well, I've noticed it takes people a lot more effort to get me to tap out when they pin me, especially the sankyo and nikkyo ground pins. I love those pins because they help me stretch out my shoulder even more. Most joint lock techniques don't quite have much oomph to me anymore, which makes me a better uke: I don't fall just because of application of pain anymore, the nage really has to lock out my musculature and take my balance to get me down.

But the key to all this was steady, consistent progression, pushing yourself just a little bit each week, and listening to your body.

Good luck!


---------------------------------
train as if the tengu will never visit, execute as if they already have
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
Tinyboy344
 
Tinyboy344's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 114
United_States
Offline
Re: Improving Flexibility

yep yep just keep stretching and push your limit a little bit everytime then eventually...... unless you're asian then that $#!t just comes naturally ;-)
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 07:14 AM   #5
CarrieP
 
CarrieP's Avatar
Location: Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 100
United_States
Offline
Re: Improving Flexibility

Doing some kind of stretching regimen on a regular basis is one of the better ways to improve flexibility, whether that is yoga, "warm-up" stretches, or something else.

I'm not as flexible as I'd like to be and there are places where I'm very tight. When I started, I could not touch my toes either standing or sitting. That was 10 months ago. Now I can, so my new goal is to be able to touch my toes while bending at the waist.

I've found that even 5-10 minutes of stretching at lunchtime, on the day of my aikido class, makes a big difference on how much I can stretch during class. I also try to stretch on off days when possible.

I was at a long seminar this past weekend, and noticed that I was much more flexible at the end of the day than I was at the start of the day. I think this was partly because I stretched several times during the seminar, and partly because my muscles were warmed up and limber from doing aikido all day.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 10:07 AM   #6
Noah Stacy
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4
United_States
Offline
Re: Improving Flexibility

Thanks all! I'll take a look at the flexibilty FAQ--it looks like it has very good info. I'd love to add yoga, but I don't think it would fit into my schedule on top of aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 11:31 AM   #7
mwible
Dojo: Aikido of Suenaka-Ha in Greater Richmond
Location: virginia, U.S.A.
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 136
United_States
Offline
Re: Improving Flexibility

Quote:
Noah Stacy wrote: View Post
Having just returned to aikido after a few years away, I was reminded in my first trip back to the mat yesterday of my rather limited flexibility. This has always been the case for me--even as a kid, I could never touch my toes; I still can't now. Sitting with my legs spread, I can probably get to something rather less than a ninety-degree angle (and certainly can't touch my toes that way either).

I'd love to improve on this. My current exercise, outside of aikido, consists of riding my bicycle to/from school each day, weather and light permitting. It's about a 12 mile round trip. I'll be transitioning to swimming soon, in anticipation of my eventual relocation to Manhattan, where I wouldn't dream of setting wheels to pavement.

Any advice folks might offer would be appreciated!
(PS: Apologies if this is off-topic for the General forum, since it's tangential to aikido; feel free to move if it would be happier elsewhere.)
So you said that you ride your bike every day, but you didn't mention stretching. So my advice is slow deliberate stretch's before and after every bike-ride.

-morgan

"When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back; when you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you." - O' sensei
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



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
Training over 50 Alec Corper Training 37 03-21-2006 09:46 AM
Poll: How important is facing your own aggression in improving your aikido? AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 17 09-03-2005 04:57 PM
improving reflexes/w rubber ball. Christian Orderud Training 10 01-30-2005 07:29 PM
Flexibility Training Kyle Training 26 08-11-2003 05:47 PM
technique flexibility ian Techniques 2 05-01-2003 10:28 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:18 PM.



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