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StretchingAndExercises

Page history last edited by maxntropy@... 11 years, 8 months ago

There are a vast range of stretches and exercies that one can perform off-the-field regularly and on-the-field prior to combat to help specifically develop your capabilities in regards to combat and to best prepare you to fight.  Any and all cardiovascular ("cardio") exercise will help develop your stamina (by which a surprising number of fights are won) and improve your ability to breathe on the field.  Stretches and exercises that enhance the wrist flexors, elbow tendons and ligaments, triceps and biceps, shoulders, and chest will help improve your swordwork capabilities by improving the range and power of your Virtuous Wrist and Virtuous Extension.  Stretches and exercises that enhance the hip flexors, Illiotibial bands, quadruceps, adductors, piriformis (hip rotator), gluteus and hamstrings help improve the range and power of blows by enhancing Virtuous Rotation.  Stretches and Exercises that help enhance the calves (Gastrocnemius) and the Achilles Tendon also help significantly improve the range and power of blows by enhancing Virtuous Turn.  Finally, core and balance exercises help with Virtuous Stance and maneuver and with blow development and recovery throughout.  Good resources to have with you include The Stretch Deck (Olivia H. Miller, Chronicle Books) and The Strength and Toning Deck (Shirley Archer, Chronicle Books) which provides some of the material provided below and whose cards can be kept with you in your gear.

 

Exercise Equipment

 

Wrist and Hand Equipment

 

There a number of tools for improving grip strength and wrist flexor strength which will improve the power of Virtuous Wrist and Virtuous Extension.  These include the Gripmaster series of Hand Exercisers which allow one to train each finger with Extra Light 3-Pound, Light 5-Pound, Medium 7-Pound, Heavy 9-Pound versions.  Dyna-Flex offers their Powerball gyro exercisers that are offered in 25lb, 30lb, 35lb, and 40lb versions and for which you can buy a Docking Station to get the balls started.  They are used in hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow strength conditioning.  Many exercises can be done using small weight dumbbells with varying weights for different exercies.  Individual dumbbells or various types of dumbbell sets (one example) prove helpful for such exercises.

 

Elbow and Arm Equipment

 

If you are experiencing elbow problems, significant relief can be gained by bands which change the lever point and reduce the pressure on the elbow joint such as the widely popular Aircast and the things like the Gel Band Arm Band (same idea, but the gel can be iced to reduce inflammation).  Ice is strongly advised for lowering inflammation for problem areas, and easy-to-use and easy-to-wear velcro gel wrap products like the Cold One Elbow Ice Wrap are great aids in this regard.  Many people are now familiar with Tiger Balm -- a menthol-based oriental analgesic that help relieve pain and loosen muscles that is now widely available at commercial drugstores, but there are much more powerful versions of oriental analgesics available, such as White Flower Oil (beware... this is Tiger Balm on Nuclear Steroids).

 

 

Core and Balance Equipoment

 

There are a number of tools for improving core strength and balance.  There are balance ball chairs (alternative version) in which one can sit at one's desk improving core strength as one works.  There are balance trainers including the Bosu Balance Trainer or a wide-range of different type of wobble boards (remember the wider, the easier) -- many of which come with instructional DVDs to help guide you through the exercises.  For further guidance (and perhaps more fun), the Nintendo Wii Fit has a range of balance game/exercises that can help develop your balance and core strength.

 

Stretches

 

 

 

PHYS ED

Stretching: The Truth

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/sports/playmagazine/112pewarm.html?_r=1&em
Published: October 31, 2008

WHEN DUANE KNUDSON, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, Chico, looks around campus at athletes warming up before practice, he sees one dangerous mistake after another. “They’re stretching, touching their toes. . . . ” He sighs. “It’s discouraging.”

 

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/10/27/sports/playmagazine/02physed2_190.jpg

STRAIGHT-LEG MARCH (for the hamstrings and gluteus muscles)Kick one leg straight out in front of you, with your toes flexed toward the sky. Reach your opposite arm to the upturned toes. Drop the leg and repeat with the opposite limbs. Continue the sequence for at least six or seven repetitions.
 
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/10/27/sports/playmagazine/02physed3_190.jpg
SCORPION (for the lower back, hip flexors and gluteus muscles) Lie on your stomach, with your arms outstretched and your feet flexed so that only your toes are touching the ground. Kick your right foot toward your left arm, then kick your left foot toward your right arm. Since this is an advanced exercise, begin slowly, and repeat up to 12 times.
 
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/10/27/sports/playmagazine/02physed4_190.jpg
HANDWALKS (for the shoulders, core muscles and hamstrings) Stand straight, with your legs together. Bend over until both hands are flat on the ground. ‘‘Walk’’ your hands forward until your back is almost extended. Keeping your legs straight, inch your feet toward your hands, then walk your hands forward again. Repeat five or six times.

If you’re like most of us, you were taught the importance of warm-up exercises back in grade school, and you’ve likely continued with pretty much the same routine ever since. Science, however, has moved on. Researchers now believe thatsome of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at theUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg’s muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements.

 

 

“There is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching,” says Malachy McHugh, the director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The straining muscle becomes less responsive and stays weakened for up to 30 minutes after stretching, which is not how an athlete wants to begin a workout.

 

 

THE RIGHT WARM-UP should do two things: loosen muscles and tendons to increase the range of motion of various joints, and literally warm up the body. When you’re at rest, there’s less blood flow to muscles and tendons, and they stiffen. “You need to make tissues and tendons compliant before beginning exercise,” Knudson says.

 

 

A well-designed warm-up starts by increasing body heat and blood flow. Warm muscles and dilated blood vessels pull oxygen from the bloodstream more efficiently and use stored muscle fuel more effectively. They also withstand loads better. One significant if gruesome study found that the leg-muscle tissue of laboratory rabbits could be stretched farther before ripping if it had been electronically stimulated — that is, warmed up.

 

 

To raise the body’s temperature, a warm-up must begin with aerobic activity, usually light jogging. Most coaches and athletes have known this for years. That’s why tennis players run around the court four or five times before a match and marathoners stride in front of the starting line. But many athletes do this portion of their warm-up too intensely or too early. A 2002 study of collegiate volleyball players found that those who’d warmed up and then sat on the bench for 30 minutes had lower backs that were stiffer than they had been before the warm-up. And a number of recent studies have demonstrated that an overly vigorous aerobic warm-up simply makes you tired. Most experts advise starting your warm-up jog at about 40 percent of your maximum heart rate (a very easy pace) and progressing to about 60 percent. The aerobic warm-up should take only 5 to 10 minutes, with a 5-minute recovery. (Sprinters require longer warm-ups, because the loads exerted on their muscles are so extreme.) Then it’s time for the most important and unorthodox part of a proper warm-up regimen, the Spider-Man and its counterparts.

 

 

“TOWARDS THE end of my playing career, in about 2000, I started seeing some of the other guys out on the court doing these strange things before a match and thinking, What in the world is that?” says Mark Merklein, 36, once a highly ranked tennis player and now a national coach for the United States Tennis Association. The players were lunging, kicking and occasionally skittering, spider-like, along the sidelines. They were early adopters of a new approach to stretching.

 

 

While static stretching is still almost universally practiced among amateur athletes — watch your child’s soccer team next weekend — it doesn’t improve the muscles’ ability to perform with more power, physiologists now agree. “You may feel as if you’re able to stretch farther after holding a stretch for 30 seconds,” McHugh says, “so you think you’ve increased that muscle’s readiness.” But typically you’ve increased only your mental tolerance for the discomfort of the stretch. The muscle is actually weaker.

 

 

Stretching muscles while moving, on the other hand, a technique known as dynamic stretching or dynamic warm-ups, increases power, flexibility and range of motion. Muscles in motion don’t experience that insidious inhibitory response. They instead get what McHugh calls “an excitatory message” to perform.

 

 

Dynamic stretching is at its most effective when it’s relatively sports specific. “You need range-of-motion exercises that activate all of the joints and connective tissue that will be needed for the task ahead,” says Terrence Mahon, a coach with Team Running USA, home to the Olympic marathoners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor. For runners, an ideal warm-up might include squats, lunges and “form drills” like kicking your buttocks with your heels. Athletes who need to move rapidly in different directions, like soccer, tennis or basketball players, should do dynamic stretches that involve many parts of the body. “Spider-Man” is a particularly good drill: drop onto all fours and crawl the width of the court, as if you were climbing a wall. (For other dynamic stretches, see the sidebar below.)

 

 

Even golfers, notoriously nonchalant about warming up (a recent survey of 304 recreational golfers found that two-thirds seldom or never bother), would benefit from exerting themselves a bit before teeing off. In one 2004 study, golfers who did dynamic warm- up exercises and practice swings increased their clubhead speed and were projected to have dropped their handicaps by seven strokes over seven weeks.

 

 

Controversy remains about the extent to which dynamic warm-ups prevent injury. But studies have been increasingly clear that static stretching alone before exercise does little or nothing to help. The largest study has been done on military recruits; results showed that an almost equal number of subjects developed lower-limb injuries (shin splints, stress fractures, etc.), regardless of whether they had performed static stretches before training sessions. A major study published earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control, on the other hand, found that knee injuries were cut nearly in half among female collegiate soccer players who followed a warm-up program that included both dynamic warm-up exercises and static stretching. (For a sample routine, visitwww.aclprevent.com/pepprogram.htm.) And in golf, new research by Andrea Fradkin, an assistant professor of exercise science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, suggests that those who warm up are nine times less likely to be injured.

“It was eye-opening,” says Fradkin, formerly a feckless golfer herself. “I used to not really warm up. I do now.”

 

 

You’re Getting Warmer: The Best Dynamic Stretches

These exercises- as taught by the United States Tennis Association’s player-development program – are good for many athletes, even golfers. Do them immediately after your aerobic warm-up and as soon as possible before your workout.

 

 

STRAIGHT-LEG MARCH

(for the hamstrings and gluteus muscles)

Kick one leg straight out in front of you, with your toes flexed toward the sky. Reach your opposite arm to the upturned toes. Drop the leg and repeat with the opposite limbs. Continue the sequence for at least six or seven repetitions.

 

 

SCORPION

(for the lower back, hip flexors and gluteus muscles)

Lie on your stomach, with your arms outstretched and your feet flexed so that only your toes are touching the ground. Kick your right foot toward your left arm, then kick your leftfoot toward your right arm. Since this is an advanced exercise, begin slowly, and repeat up to 12 times.

 

 

HANDWALKS

(for the shoulders, core muscles, and hamstrings)

Stand straight, with your legs together. Bend over until both hands are flat on the ground. “Walk” with your hands forward until your back is almost extended. Keeping your legs straight, inch your feet toward your hands, then walk your hands forward again. Repeat five or six times. G.R.

 

 

 

 

 

Wrist Stretches

 

 

 

 

 

Elbow Stretches

 

 

Shoulder/Arm/Chest Stretches

 

 

 

Hip Stretches

 

 

 

Leg Stretches

 

 

 

 

Exercises

 

Wrist Exercises

 

 

 

Elbow Exercises

 

 

 

Shoulder/Arm/Chest Exercises

 

 

 

Hip Exercises

 

 

 

Leg Exercises

 

 

 

Core/Balance Exercises

 

 

 

 

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