New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Exercises for Preventing Ski Injuries

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Common sense tells me that a stronger skier and better conditioned skier will be less injury prone. Does anyone know of any studies to substantiate this?

Which (if any) of the following are the most important factors in preventing injury?

-Absolute strength
-Anerobic conditioning
-Aerobic conditioning
-Core stability
-Others

As an example, I recall that hamstrings are important to preventing ACL injuries. Toward this end, should a skier work on absolute strength (e.g., leg curls or similar) as opposed to other exercises (e.g., lunges/walking lunges) that may better improve the functional capacity of the muscle?
post #2 of 29
Hi Snomore. My files on this subject are on my home PC, which I will get back to later and post some links. But studies have shown that absolute strength in itself plays only a small part in injury prevention. I know plenty of body builders who suffer from chronic injury, as soon as they begin to play a dynamic sport.
It's not so much about how strong you are , it's the recruitment patterns of the particular muscle group that protect you from injury. A strong muscle does nothing for you if its firing pattern is delayed.
A program that integrates all aspects of fitness is most beneficial for preventing injuries. More later.
post #3 of 29
To expand on what Lm just said, (hope you don't mind LM), is that leg curls are building strength in that one muscle, but it isn't training that muscle to respond with that strength in concert with other muscles to a disiturbing force or to achieve a movement choreography so to speak. Also, much of our staility in our lower body joints come from smaller stabilizing muscles (hard or impossible to isolate) and joint ligaments all of which need to be trained with exercises that utilize multiple joints working in concert with the feet being the anchor. Training this way enables the stabilizing recruitment patterns LM speaks of that protect from injury and enable sport specific recruitment. It can also keep you fit as grow older, keeping your age as young as possible, and help protect from wear and tear problems.

what you mentioned, lunges, walking lunges, squats, weighted squats, ect.
martial arts, in particular soft arts as in Tai chi, chi kung and qigong (my favorites)
pilates
well instructed yoga
You probably already knew this though. Later, RicB.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoWonder
Common sense tells me that a stronger skier and better conditioned skier will be less injury prone. Does anyone know of any studies to substantiate this?

Which (if any) of the following are the most important factors in preventing injury?

-Absolute strength
-Anerobic conditioning
-Aerobic conditioning
-Core stability
-Others

As an example, I recall that hamstrings are important to preventing ACL injuries. Toward this end, should a skier work on absolute strength (e.g., leg curls or similar) as opposed to other exercises (e.g., lunges/walking lunges) that may better improve the functional capacity of the muscle?
If I was to choose from this list, it would be core stability first. A close second would be endurance. Anerobic vs Aerobic conditioning depends on what you are lacking -- I'm thinking that anerobic implies speedy recovery?

Others: No muscular imbalance. This is more important than folks realize. For example, a muscular imbalance in the knee can be caused by weaken inner quads and strong outer quads. This is also commonly referred to as "hockey knee".

In "hockey knee" the stronger outer quad pulls the pattella to one side of it's track. This causes irritation and swelling, which changes the geometry of the knee joint, weakening it and leaving it open to injury. See http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/Quadriceps.html, externus and internus. And see http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Weaknesse...#anchor2775611
for the exercises needed to address this and other common issues related to muscle weakness. (quad imbalance at the bottom of page.)

As the latter page shows, hamstring weakness involves problems when the knee is flexed OVER 90 degrees. So, if you can avoid the deep squat position while skiing, then by all means do. Same with the 90 degree flexion.

Which brings me to my pet peeve: Deep Squats. Hate them, they are dangerous. They can be responsible for meniscus tears if you squat below parallel. There is NO reason to go below parallel, unless you are a competitive power lifter.

Also, since parallel is where the knee is at maximal instability, changing direction at that point is also quite risky. Do NOT squat deeply, especially important if you are bowlegged!!! The benefits to your skiing are far outweighed by the risks.
post #5 of 29
Great stuff, Ric and Big E. Sorry I didn't get back to this. I've been working on deadlines for othe stuff. Big E posted the exernet site. If you search for the Ultimate Ski Conditioning program, I have a link to exercises from that site, that are super settted with exercises that work the same muscle group, but are performed on balance equipment. This is becoming a popular training method. It's called Integrated Training.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
Great stuff, Ric and Big E. Sorry I didn't get back to this. I've been working on deadlines for othe stuff. Big E posted the exernet site. If you search for the Ultimate Ski Conditioning program, I have a link to exercises from that site, that are super settted with exercises that work the same muscle group, but are performed on balance equipment. This is becoming a popular training method. It's called Integrated Training.
LM, can you please post a link? My search turns up only this thread!
post #7 of 29
BigE I agree with your cautions about weighted deep squats and certainly one shouldn't force or try to go beyond parallel in an unweighted squat until you are ready, but a deep squat is a very good indicator of range of motion and flexibilty. A majority of the world sits in a deep squat and in those societies there is a very small incidence of wear and tear injuries proportionaly speaking. I do them almost daily in my qigong and tai chi exercises. As you also pointed out alignment is also important, especialy keeping the knee at or behind the toe, and in alignment side to side with the hip and toe.

Never the less, to say that a person should never go beyond parallel, while being safe, isn't nessasarily true. What is true is that one should understand what they are doing, and should never stretch and exercise through pain. Reduce the weight, the leverage, or range of motion, and see a doctor or physical therapist if the pain persists. It should also be pointed out that range of motion is something that should be worked on over a period of time and is not something to be forced. It is dangerous for those who haven't developed the range of motion to suddenly do a full squat. With good functional fitness and flexibility a person should be able to do one controled full squat. You will lose the range of motion you never use.

Basicaly, Aerobic is with oxygen, meaning our body is using oxygen to metabolize our glycogen (carbs) and anaerobic is without oxygen, meaning that our body is using energy faster than oxygen can be delivered, so it is converting substances for use within the muscles. We use both in skiing, depending on what we are doing and how hard and quickly we are moving. Aerobic is long term endurance, while anaerobic is short power. This is simplified but I think it is basicaly true. Later, Ric B.
post #8 of 29
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=13460
I think there's something wrong with the search function. I couldn't find it either.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
BigE I agree with your cautions about weighted deep squats and certainly one shouldn't force or try to go beyond parallel in an unweighted squat until you are ready, but a deep squat is a very good indicator of range of motion and flexibilty. A majority of the world sits in a deep squat and in those societies there is a very small incidence of wear and tear injuries proportionaly speaking. I do them almost daily in my qigong and tai chi exercises. As you also pointed out alignment is also important, especialy keeping the knee at or behind the toe, and in alignment side to side with the hip and toe. .
Unweighted Sqauts are FAR different than what I'm talking about, but only in scale, not physical pressure location. Which is why they are FAR safer. To clarify my point further:

I am referring to Deep Squats with a barball across the shoulders, heels firmly planted on the ground -- the classic weight room exercise. I am not talking about ligament problems. They are not an issue below parallel -- the knee is stable there.

The issue with this move is that when the femur goes below parallel, ALL of the weight is borne by the rear of the meniscus in the knees. The head of the femur pressures two minute points of contact on the meniscus holding the entire weight. The warning for bowlegs is that the two pressure points are reduced to 1 point of contact in the medial compartment each knee.

So imagine that you've got 1 point of contact on each knee, and have deep squatted 305 lbs. What was normally borne by the whole donut shaped meniscus now is hung up on the back of the meniscus on 2 points of contact. Bear in mind that the head of the femur is rounded, like a ball-peen hammer, so the contact points are really quite small. (Think about 2 metal cylinders bar holding 305 on two ball bearings sitting in wooden donuts. The wood will be crushed as you shift the weight to press on less and less of the donut -- imagine now the state of your meniscus, as squatting lower and lower makes the contact points on the head of the femur and meniscus smaller and smaller.)

If at this point in your squat, you feel pain in the knee joint, rest assured it is the meniscus being crushed and quite possibly squeezed apart. Going to a doctor may result in the advice to have surgery. The bad thing about tears to the rear of the meniscus is that they don't heal by themselves.

This is an EXTREMELY common injury amongs weight lifters/body builders. The champion of safe lifting of freeweights (Stuart McRoberts) has injured himself quite often doing precisely that exercise, and now must use a machine to do it as he writes in his most excellent work http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...54262?v=glance. Everyone that lifts should have this book!

Be very very careful with weighted squats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
Never the less, to say that a person should never go beyond parallel, while being safe, isn't nessasarily true. What is true is that one should understand what they are doing, and should never stretch and exercise through pain. Reduce the weight, the leverage, or range of motion, and see a doctor or physical therapist if the pain persists. It should also be pointed out that range of motion is something that should be worked on over a period of time and is not something to be forced. It is dangerous for those who haven't developed the range of motion to suddenly do a full squat. With good functional fitness and flexibility a person should be able to do one controled full squat. You will lose the range of motion you never use. .
You are right, it is not necessarily true that all people should not go below parallel unweighted, but since it only takes one tear to ruin and otherwise good knee I'd be careful there too.... The range of motion argument was the one I'd make myself before feeling the pain that almost never goes away. Believe me, it's not worth it -- I am saddened that running with my kids is not possible.

Still, when would you ski with both knees bent below parallel supporting your entire weight, and requiring a weighted squat like effort to maintain this position?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
Basicaly, Aerobic is with oxygen, meaning our body is using oxygen to metabolize our glycogen (carbs) and anaerobic is without oxygen, meaning that our body is using energy faster than oxygen can be delivered, so it is converting substances for use within the muscles. We use both in skiing, depending on what we are doing and how hard and quickly we are moving. Aerobic is long term endurance, while anaerobic is short power. This is simplified but I think it is basicaly true. Later, Ric B.
I am aware of the difference, and it is still unclear if the poster means anaerobic conditioning as generating power, or quick recovery from energy expenditure. Hockey is primarily anaerobic, and in that context anearobic conditioning means recovery, not explosive power. It is ability to work hard in many short shifts, with little time spent recovering on the bench; which is the source of my confusion for such a need whilst skiing.

And as for pure power, IMO you need just enough to maintain form at the speeds you wish to ski and turn shapes you use. More power also means faster and tighter, and more stressful to the body. Beware that muscle growth can outstrip the ability for the tendons/ligaments to manage all that extra strength.

To add another "Others" point to reduce injury, I'd say "get lean". Every extra pound of fat you carry adds nothing but stress to the body.

Sorry for being so long winded, but I am concerned about these easily avoidable injuries that affect much more than just skiing. My passion for skiing is only exceed by the passion to ski again; staying injury free is a requirement. If you are in the free-weight room you need the Stuart McRoberts book!

Hope this helps clear things up!
post #10 of 29
Great points BigE. The funny thing is that I ended up on the path I'm on because of knee pain, wear and tear injury, and a pearl in my right knee. I started training at a gym 7 years ago, but my knee problems really didn't go away. In fact, they were sometimes worse because of the exercises I was doing. I was even told not to go backing. I saw doctors, trainers and such but I was still living on aleve. What happened was I started tai chi, and before I knew it I could stop taking aleve, the pain started going away, and I got curious. Just what was going on here? I started reading everything I could and talking to people, and so started studying.

I guess for me it was the success of following the form work that really finally helped me understand what I needed to do to work into the functional fitness I had 20+ years ago (not there yet). Now the only time I start my knee hurting is when I start doing something that is wrong for it like kneeling on my knees for long periods. I bought some used carpet from Nolo this sumer for one of my rentals and damn near crippled myself istalling it. I learn slow sometimes. I'm just now getting back to my previous normal.

I really am not in disagreement with you BigE, but I would caution against sayng never. If we want to increase our range of motion we have to at some time simply imcrease our range of motion. Tai chi si so effective because it does build balanced strength as it increases range of motion. because it requires such slow, controled, deliberate gentle motion along with structural awareness. Will everyone experience the same improvement? No, but they will experience safe balanced improvement if they adhere to the forms and exercises.

Personaly I'm not into weights much anymore. I have lifted moderate weights in the past, but find now that I'm much more productive using gravity and my body weight. There are still some things I do with weights, but few. Another interesting thing I expereinced when I started tai chi was that I was startng the season in much better functional shape than I ever did when I was just going to the gym. Last season I had hardly touched a weight for the off season and I started off in my best functional shape ever. Tai chi has done for me what doctors and trainers never seemed to be able to do. Doctors all seemed to say stop doing things that hurt and take pills, the trainers just wanted to work me out on machines. So I'm on the road to certifying myself.

I think any soft martial art would have the same results.

Yes core strength is a big one. Ball work, tai chi, yoga and pilates will all help here. I am trying try to mix up this so I'm not stuck with certain movement patterns.

Aerobic work is always important. all the functional strength in the world won't help if you can't deliver enough oxygen to the muscles. I've been trying to ride alot this summer, either at the gym or out the door. High RPM's keeps the elasticity in the quads and hams and is easier on the knees.

Plyometrics, and knee problems usually don't go hand in hand, but I have very slowly and deliberately started working into jumping rope, with proper technique it has been improving my quickness and explosive power with out hurting my knees. Jumping rope is also a good core workout. It doesn't work without a sold sore.

Someone really interested in funtional fitness for skiing should have all of these in their regimen in some form or another. You seem very knowledgable BigE, care to share your regimen with us. Later, RicB.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
Personaly I'm not into weights much anymore. I have lifted moderate weights in the past, but find now that I'm much more productive using gravity and my body weight. There are still some things I do with weights, but few. Another interesting thing I expereinced when I started tai chi was that I was startng the season in much better functional shape than I ever did when I was just going to the gym. Last season I had hardly touched a weight for the off season and I started off in my best functional shape ever. Tai chi has done for me what doctors and trainers never seemed to be able to do. Doctors all seemed to say stop doing things that hurt and take pills, the trainers just wanted to work me out on machines. So I'm on the road to certifying myself.

I think any soft martial art would have the same results.

Yes core strength is a big one. Ball work, tai chi, yoga and pilates will all help here. I am trying try to mix up this so I'm not stuck with certain movement patterns.

Someone really interested in funtional fitness for skiing should have all of these in their regimen in some form or another. You seem very knowledgable BigE, care to share your regimen with us. Later, RicB.
I'm also past the weights -- for now. There may be a few machines in my distant future.... Core work and stationary biking make up my entire training regimen. I'm inlining with the kids ever so carefully -- cross-overs make my knees swell up. You are making me interested in picking up a soft martial art. It's something I could do with my kids too. I love playing with them!

Here's my reasoning as to why core strength is so important:

Strength of the prime movers becomes functional ONLY when the stabilizer muscles are capable of providing a stable platform for the prime movers to function. eg. The reason that many lifts are aborted is not because of lack of strength of the prime movers, but due to a lack of stabilty in the weight being lifted. The body senses that a catastriphic event is about to happen ( the weight bobbles ever so slightly), and the body aborts the lift dropping the weight. In short, the bobble signifies stabilizer failure, and the body realizes it's out of control and has to remove the danger. (Note: always lift with collars on.) Self preservation is hard wired.

So if functional strength is that closely tied to stabilization, then it is critical that the stabilizers are fully functional. Many things then happen with good stabilizers -- you know how strong you really are, you can better sense what your COM is doing, you can control the position of the CoM with less effort, balance is easier.

The reasons why compound exercises like the squat/lunge are so good in the first place is that they involve coordination, full ROM, and demand that the stabilizers are working. So, when you squat, as your coordination goes up, so does the weight. As the stabilizers improve their function, the weight goes up. As you learn to recruit more muscle fibres each contraction, the weight goes up. Eventually, the prime movers are actually get overloaded enough to grow. But not much happens with the prime movers until that point -- which is 6-12 weeks after starting the program!

So, if the main focus of development via compound weight bearing exercises is that the stabilizers and coordination get strengthened, why not do something less risky that focusses precisely on stabilizers and coordination?

I've been doing the workout I posted in another thread, and the results in my capacity to move under control are nothing less than remarkable. Better posture too....

That explains why you're in your best functional shape ever -- your stabilizers are working well.

For me, aerobics is essential -- I have had chronic lung issues - COPD. Thankfully no asthma. There is nothing like stress to motivate: imagine being told -- in your thirties -- that you were going to die soon if you did not quit smoking, and that an O2 tank was in the very near future. Then being told that the test results showed improvement after aerobic exercise, and you don't notice severity of the problem because you are so very strong.

You exercise. Alot. Intense aerobics and strength training. The COPD has been cleared up with great effort, over a span of 7 dedicated years by quitting cigarettes, allergy control (shots and avoidance), and aerobics. Allergy control was the critical feature -- quitting smoking and aerobics alone were NOT enough.

I primarily used weight training to make sure I would not notice the COPD, and also for raising the metabolism during my incessant diet phases. I really loved lifting..... unfortunately I got hurt deep squatting during a modified ketogenic diet -- the dehydrating effects of such a diet compromise the elasticity of soft tissue and the dehydrated cartileges tore easily. I was not even lifting heavy that day -- 50% of Max.

Take that as a warning to those that are lo-carbing and lifting. And it does not matter how much water you drink. Low carbing reduces glycogen to which water binds. Less and less glycogen => less and less water storage capacity => more and more dehydration. Trying to refill water supplies while low-carbing by chugging water is like trying to keep a collander filled -- the water won't stick.

This made me very depressed, I stopped working out and got really fat. Given that I know enough about how the body works, and how to train, it is surprising the effect of this injury is so very intense, and has had such a deep impact. It's very tough to get to the gym, even with the noticeable improvements of my current program.

Maybe Tai Chi with the kids could do the trick! It's always about the kids.
post #12 of 29
No need to elaborate, because Ric and Big E have covered this well.

Just one point. Bob Barnes lives across the street from the local gym, but has never darkened its doors. But he lives a year round lifestyle, between skiing and bike riding, that involves core strength. Is Bob a less proficient skier because he doesn't use Nautilus? I think not.
post #13 of 29

Flexibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoWonder
Which (if any) of the following are the most important factors in preventing injury?

-Absolute strength
-Anerobic conditioning
-Aerobic conditioning
-Core stability
-Others
-Others
The most overlooked factor in injury prevention, (in my opinion) is our flexibility. Not token warm-up / cool down movements but actively dedicating a large percentage of our workouts with flexibility/stretching as the focus.

Comments?
post #14 of 29
Hmm. Tricky. This is not always true Some recent studies have shown that static flexibility has little to do with injury prevention. For some women, too much flexibility can be deadly.
post #15 of 29
Sorry to hear about your knee BigE.

I think you are right on in your take on our core muscles and their stabilizing influence. I have heard this refered to as "guarding your centerland" in tai chi. Maintaining the relationship of your body centerline, your torso, (abdomen, waist and, Dan Tien), and our gravityline. It's not hard to see how those subtle movements away from our gravity line will cause the stabilizing muscles to be overpowered which will trigger reflexes that cause the body to release the weight, or in a martial or skiing situation cause the unrooting (loss of connection and power) of our body. It's the difference between our skeleton or our muscles bearing the force or weight.

One way to get a quicker response from exercises like lunges and squats is to slow down the eccentric phase, or the gravity phase to 5 or 6 count. Keep the concentric phase to a normal 2 count or so, but slowing the eccentric phase stesses the muscles more and forces adaption by building more sarcomeres, adding length to the muscle, which means more gripper units in our muscles spaced closer together, which translates to greater contration power over a longer range. I think this is one of the reasons tai chi works so well at conditioning. The slow deliberate movements through a range of motion keep the opposing muscles working together and results in both getting a concentric and eccentric workout. If you also add in some chi kung, or Zhan Zhuang, you will get an isometric workout in many different positions.

This ties in with LM's warning about stactic strecthes. We need to stretch our muscles, but more importantly, we need to increase our range of motion dunring our movements and exercises, then when we cool down we can stretch to maintain our gains. This brings up your cautions about the elasticity of our muscles and tendons. From what I've been reading, much of our elasticity is in our tendons and not just in our muscles, and glycogen being a big part of that elasticity, it is important that we maintain our glycogen stores. Here again, gaining elasticty will only come from stressing our body and forcing a response, but it is important that we do this through safe controled movements, and not by overpowering with heavy loads or by forcefully streching staticaly, both of which can "overstess" the connective tissues and muscles. Good conversation, thanks everyone. Later, RicB.


P.S. I could recomend a good tape for tai chi that would give you a good sample and get you started if you want Big E.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info everyone. It seems that the prevailing thoughts are that functional exercises that activate multiple muscle groups and "the Core" will help prevent ski injury. This is what I wanted to confirm. I think it will also make you a better skier, which will also in turn help prevent injury.

Some have questioned what I meant by my use of "anaerobic" training. I view skiing as more anaerobic than aerobic since each run or segment of run lasts only a short time and the anaerobic mechanism is the first to activate. As far as training goes in my humble opinion, I think we're better served increasing the intensity by doing hill profiles on stationary bikes/stairclimbers and doing sprints if on flat land in inline skates, bikes, or running. Besides for me, using thse short bursts of higher intensity keeps the cardio work more interesting than climbing on a stationary bike and peddling the same speed for half-hour or more.

Another exercise I like to do, more related to stability, is to use a Stairmaster and absolutely not hold on and even closing my eyes for periods of time.
post #17 of 29
Being in great physical condition will help prevent the little nagging injuries and may help you survive a tumble. It will make it easier for you to pick yourself up or wade through chest deep pow going back up looking for your skis but more importantly keeping your equipment in good condition, your skis sharpened and waxed and a periodically release check of your bindings as well as keeping them clean will do more for your healthy ski season than all the situps and pushups you can do,
post #18 of 29
I saw a clip of the US Ski Team usng the stairmaster backwards in a tuck position! As far as anaerobic training goes, there have been many protocols established for anaerobic threshold training for skiers, and it seems to be effective.

My only concern is for recreational skiers who are much younger than I am, who seem to have a hard time keeping their energy up for a full day ski camp. These folks need some basic aerobic conditioning.
post #19 of 29
At altitude especially huh?

I've seen some good skiers in good physical condition go to Vail for the first time and absolutely be done by noon.

You know, I've also seen some great atheletes in great shape fall and still get hurt,

I know being in super shape has got to help but i don't think it will really prevent injuries from falls.

On the other hand, I know some real slobs that atre fantastic skiers. Go figure!
post #20 of 29

Exercises to prevent injury

There are now a number of studies correlating plyometric (jumping) exercises with reducing the incidence of serious ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears among athletes, especially female atheletes, who tear their ACLs at 3 times the rate of male athletes.

The theory is that plyometric exercises both (a) strengthen the muscles around the knee, and (b) teach the athelete how to land, without locking out the knee, and how to recruit muscle fibers in an eccentric fashion, braking impact gradually. I think that ski academies and ski teams have shown drastic improvement on the number of ACL tears by a combination of plyometric exercises and teaching techniques on how to avoid the classic "phantom foot" ACL tears in falls. (e.g., keep hands forward, etc.)

The other suggestion for avoiding injury is to avoid muscle imbalances (i.e., very strong quads, weak hamstrings).
post #21 of 29
I also remember as part of our training every year was a clinic on how to fall, and not trying to recover while falling to prevent ACL and shoulder injuries.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean
There are now a number of studies correlating plyometric (jumping) exercises with reducing the incidence of serious ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears among athletes, especially female atheletes, who tear their ACLs at 3 times the rate of male athletes.

The theory is that plyometric exercises both (a) strengthen the muscles around the knee, and (b) teach the athelete how to land, without locking out the knee, and how to recruit muscle fibers in an eccentric fashion, braking impact gradually. I think that ski academies and ski teams have shown drastic improvement on the number of ACL tears by a combination of plyometric exercises and teaching techniques on how to avoid the classic "phantom foot" ACL tears in falls. (e.g., keep hands forward, etc.)


The other suggestion for avoiding injury is to avoid muscle imbalances (i.e., very strong quads, weak hamstrings).
Somewhere deep in this forum, I posted that study, Unfortunately, the Search Function has become dysfunctional, so unless you have the time to dig deep, it may be hard to find. Hamstring strength is imperative. All over this forum I have pictures of the stability ball hamstring curl. this is probably one of the best exercises for core strength, alignment and eccentric and concentric hamstring strength. IMHO, its the best preventative exercise for acl injury.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

Follow-up

LM and SFDean (and Others)

This might be the link you were looking for Hamstring and ACL Info


http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=13189
post #24 of 29
Praise Be! Thanks Snowonder!
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB

One way to get a quicker response from exercises like lunges and squats is to slow down the eccentric phase, or the gravity phase to 5 or 6 count. Keep the concentric phase to a normal 2 count or so, but slowing the eccentric phase stesses the muscles more and forces adaption by building more sarcomeres, adding length to the muscle, which means more gripper units in our muscles spaced closer together, which translates to greater contration power over a longer range. I think this is one of the reasons tai chi works so well at conditioning. The slow deliberate movements through a range of motion keep the opposing muscles working together and results in both getting a concentric and eccentric workout. If you also add in some chi kung, or Zhan Zhuang, you will get an isometric workout in many different positions.

This ties in with LM's warning about stactic strecthes. We need to stretch our muscles, but more importantly, we need to increase our range of motion dunring our movements and exercises, then when we cool down we can stretch to maintain our gains. This brings up your cautions about the elasticity of our muscles and tendons. From what I've been reading, much of our elasticity is in our tendons and not just in our muscles, and glycogen being a big part of that elasticity, it is important that we maintain our glycogen stores. Here again, gaining elasticty will only come from stressing our body and forcing a response, but it is important that we do this through safe controled movements, and not by overpowering with heavy loads or by forcefully streching staticaly, both of which can "overstess" the connective tissues and muscles. Good conversation, thanks everyone. Later, RicB.


P.S. I could recomend a good tape for tai chi that would give you a good sample and get you started if you want Big E.
Good points RicB. There is only 1 minor quibble -- your muscle length is genetically determined and cannot be increased. The insertion points on the skeleton are the define the length.

I'd love to see a good tape.

Here's an interesting non-technical article on the problems of stretching before exercise:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/ar...5/Feature1.asp
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Good points RicB. There is only 1 minor quibble -- your muscle length is genetically determined and cannot be increased. The insertion points on the skeleton are the define the length.

I'd love to see a good tape.

Here's an interesting non-technical article on the problems of stretching before exercise:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/ar...5/Feature1.asp
You're right about the insertion points, they are a given, but our ability to use this entire length for work doesn't stay the same throughout life. I should have just said that we can increase the usable length of our muscles, or rather we can increase the range of motion over which our muscle can do work for us, through conditioning.

for those interested in Tai Chi, I would recomend this tape for starters, "Tai Chi for Health" Yang Short Form with Terence Dunn from Healing Arts, and the book "Tai Chi, the Supreme Ultimate" by Lawrence Galante. The tape will actually get you going if you are a self starter, while the book gives the history and philosophy of tai chi along with a pictorial of each form and it's martial application. Later, RicB.
post #27 of 29
Thank you for the tape! I will hunt them down. I find it odd that all the studios I've spoken to won't let kids into tai chi. Looks like I'll have to become the master....

Added: Found both at the same place. I'll have them today!
post #28 of 29
That's interesting. The only thing I could speculate is that tai chi is slow and deliberate at times and so they may have trouble with kids wanting to be too active. I do know that in china tai chi is part of their physical education. The communists tried outlawing it at first, it was considered elitist and religious, but found out that this didn't work and so incorporated it into the school system.

I think that if you stay true to the principles any speed and dynamics will be okay. In fact different speeds are encouraged as long as slow is one of the ones that are practiced.

I am fortunate to take it through adult ed. My teacher has been teaching for 22 years, and he was telling our advanced class the other night, that there are some who are ready to move on to the distant masters who give week long retreats ect. He said for some of us his job was done.

Just remind your kids that it is a form of Kung Fu, in fact it is one of the oldest, and has roots that go back to India and the roots of yoga eccept that a different path was taken, and it was developed as a fighting art that evoled into a very holistic and soft art. Keep me posted, later, RicB.
post #29 of 29
I came across a tape by Dr. Paul Lam especially for young people. It's supposed have a faster tempo and more direct martial applications. Don't anything about it other than Dr. Lam is a gold medal winner in china now teaching in the US. Call 1-800-888-9119 and ask for # 1384. It's $24.95. Might find it elsewhere also. keep me posted. Later, RicB.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: