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Old 08-09-2009, 04:45 PM   #1
RED
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Flexibility

My left side is super flexible in comparison to my right side. This is becoming progressively more of a problem as I progress. I used to be able to compensate, but now I'm at the point where there is no getting around it, I need more flexibility period!

I'm trying stretching, things seem wrong though.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Flexibility

Just getting into this some. Rob Liberti can probably tell you more.

http://www.stretchingusa.com/

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Old 08-09-2009, 05:10 PM   #3
RED
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Re: Flexibility

thanks!
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:16 PM   #4
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Flexibility

Make sure you warm up before you stretch, as this makes it easier and will allow your body to go further. Something we do in our dojo: Sit next to a wall with your legs stretched out beside the wall (one side of your body will be touching the wall. Then lay down and swing your legs up towards the ceiling. Your back is on the floor, your legs are on the wall straight up. Make sure your butt is as close to the wall as possible. Then, spread your legs wide. Allow gravity to pull your legs down towards the floor. You can stay here as long as you want. You can pull your legs down for more of a stretch or you can tilt your pelvis more towards the floor to get a better stretch.

Another thing you can do, which hurts a bit more depending on the flexibility of your hips: lap on your belly on the floor with your feet towards a wall. Spread your legs open and push yourself back towards the wall. The wall will spread your legs open and help open up your hips. Take this one easy though if your hips aren't that flexible!

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
Sy Labthavikul
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Re: Flexibility

I agree with Kevin, activated isolated stretching is a great, effective stretching modality because you can do it solo.

This is a pretty good full body regimen, with the key being gradual progression without forcing anything, trying to actively stretch as far as possible before assisting with hands/rope/etc., only holding the stretch for about 2 seconds per rep, and fully relaxing in a neutral position in between each rep:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWwu5x8jeKg (for part 1, I trust you can find the other parts easily)

With a partner, I find PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretching to be the most efficient method, but with PNF its easy to overdo it. WIth PNF, and any kind of stretching, you should never feel sore afterward or the next day; you're overdoing it if you are and its very counterproductive.

Here's one way to do PNF:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=791XXiYzNbE

I also highly recommend yoga as a lifetime activity: this is one of the best ways to gain full body coordination, and along the way (as a byproduct), get pretty damn flexible in a very balanced way. AIS and PNF can all be overdone and lead to overflexibility which can lead to injury; with yoga with a good instructor, its impossible to become imbalanced.


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Old 08-09-2009, 06:38 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Flexibility

Another thought: if you have too much flexibility on one side of your body, the laxness around the joints can predispose to injury, in which case muscle strengthening is indicated.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
RED
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Re: Flexibility

Ah, yeah. One side I can like collapse in half, the other is stiff in the hips and ankles...it makes backwards suwari waza more difficult than it should be. I have to take it slow to have any form what-so-ever.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:24 PM   #8
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Re: Flexibility

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Another thought: if you have too much flexibility on one side of your body, the laxness around the joints can predispose to injury.
I have to agree with Janet here. One of my ankles is more flexible then the other and I have to be careful of it. I have learned that when it "gives out" I just have to relax and go with it. I am not sure why or how this ankle got this way as I have never had an ankle injury to cause this.

Strange how you can be too flexible...

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
tim evans
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Re: Flexibility

What exercises are good for loosening your shoulders for kotegaeshi pins ect.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:38 AM   #10
rob_liberti
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Re: Flexibility

Active isolated stretching is awesome in that you develop flexibility. Once you get the level of flexibility you want, you can switch from assisting those stretches (reaches) to opposing them which turns the whole experience into active isolated strengthening.

PNF is awesome too, but I would say (meaning only in my opinion) that it is better for a newbie to start with AIS and get to the strengthening aspect first, and then graduate to PNF and/or yoga. Now which yoga is best... For me, a person with injuries is going to be very happy with Forrest yoga. A person looking to do internal martial arts (like AIKI) may find the structure of para yoga to be desirable. Then, there are, of course, personal preferences with the teacher(s) and the areas of focus.

Tim, stretching a shoulder out is an entire protocol. You can get a lot out of rolfing and/or st. john's method neuromuscular therapy for shoulders (and everything else) if you are not going to try to do it yourself - or just want a jump start.

Rob

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:55 AM   #11
phitruong
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Re: Flexibility

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Ah, yeah. One side I can like collapse in half, the other is stiff in the hips and ankles...it makes backwards suwari waza more difficult than it should be. I have to take it slow to have any form what-so-ever.
it could be that your hips are out of alignment or tight lower back or one leg is shorter than the other or one shoulder is tighter than the other or all of the above. you ended up with one side of your body where all the muscle tightened up to compensate for the other side. those things happened to me (actually there were a lot more than that which included youth and a sense of indestructible and a pair of ski). a chiropractor might be able to pinpoint the problem.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #12
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Flexibility

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
You can get a lot out of rolfing for shoulders (and everything else)
Rolfing is a bit painful, but it worked for my shoulder. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to commit to regular sessions, but once I can, I am going back. It isn't for everyone though, but it could be worth a shot for you.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:49 AM   #13
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Flexibility

Having one side of your body a bit more flexible than the other is very common, but when it gets bad enough to be a nuisance, I agree with Phi, maybe you should see a chiropractor. Several years ago, I stopped training for a few weeks because of surgery, and when I resumed my training, I found that my right side had gotten from being a bit less flexible than my left side to being fairly less flexible. I just stretched my right side more than my left - I held the stretch a bit longer, but without torturing myself - and things got a lot better. Try that, and also seek professional advice.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:02 PM   #14
RED
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Re: Flexibility

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
it could be that your hips are out of alignment or tight lower back or one leg is shorter than the other or one shoulder is tighter than the other or all of the above. you ended up with one side of your body where all the muscle tightened up to compensate for the other side. those things happened to me (actually there were a lot more than that which included youth and a sense of indestructible and a pair of ski). a chiropractor might be able to pinpoint the problem.
Actually makes sense. I have a chronic back ache from my work, maybe the muscles are compensating on one side ??
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