Saturday, April 24, 2010

A comment on the kicking video

The purpose of the video below is to use a karate technique to help you improve your stretch. I got a bunch of emails and comments asking about the tearing of muscle that I speak about in the video. To clarify, you microtear your muscle fibers every time you exercise and are sore. So, if you take a run a little faster than normal, and your quads hurt a bit the next day, guess what? There are some microtears in the fibers of your quad.. Now, when your body repairs it when you rest, the quad will be stronger and able to do more work.

I am not suggesting that one RIPS the muscle. Not at all. I think this is a misunderstanding on the part of some. Again, my reference to tear is to ask a little more of the muscle in a stretching condition to allow your muscle fibers to repair themselves into a longer, more flexible state. To accomplish this task with the hamstrings, the video below using a front stretch kick will help. Be careful, don't do this wearing socks on a tile floor. Go easy, follow my directions. Hold onto a wall, chair, desk, kitchen counter (which was my favorite when I was a kid practicing karate, I was real close to the 'fridge :0)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Torn Muscle? Pulled muscle?

One of the problems with language is what means one thing to someone means something else to another person. I used the term "pulled muscle" in a previous post, but really, it is not an accurate description of the actual injury. Every time we use a muscle we use a pulling force as we contract it. We could technically call any muscle movement, a pull. In common usage, however, the term "pulled muscle" is used to describe an injury.

Torn muscle is a better description of this type of injury. In reality, when we contract a muscle violently (an Olympic sprinter jumping out of the start blocks in a race), there is the risk of a tear. Muscle fibers tear all the time, and our bodies are constantly repairing them. All body builders train to tear their muscles so when the body repairs the muscle it is larger and stronger. Only when we tear a great number of muscle fibers, to the point of pain (pain beyond just being sore), do we have an injury.

Most people do not use the term "torn muscle" because it sounds so absolute, so severe, so complete. In reality, only a few muscle fibers were torn. We are left with the common term
"pulled muscle" because it seems more descriptive of the injury in regard to how it feels.

In reality, there are tears in the muscle fibers and the body is working to repair it. I will go over some of the ways I deal with this type of injury.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stretching for Pole Dancing

A few months ago I was asked to write a guest blog for Pole Skivvies, a source of clothing and information for pole dancers. Watching a few of the videos on the site I could see the need for stretching and injury prevention. Pole dancing is an intense physical activity!

Some of the info in the guest blog may be helpful to you, you can read my post if you click here

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I pulled a muscle !!!!!

I can't believe it, but it shows you cannot take your fitness and flexibility for granted. It is the first time I pulled a muscle in about 3 decades, maybe more.

My day goes like this: I usually get up, walk the dog for a half hour, do 30 to 60 min tai chi (whatever my schedule permits) then go to work. My job as a chiropractor is pretty physical, so I am up and down all day. At lunch, I go out for a bike ride of 15 to 25 miles, which is my cardiovascular workout. At night, if energy permits, I will stretch. Sometimes I stretch while watching TV or reading. This is what I do seven days a week (the tai chi, cycling, stretching). I used to lift weights once or twice a week but stopped when I broke my arm. I tried it once after my surgery, way too soon, and it hurt the plate/screws, so I stopped. I have not tried it since, I am sure I can easily do the weight routine I used to do.

I do take my stretching for granted. One of my goals when I first began serious flexibility training as a teen was to have all my flexibility available at any time. Why? I grew up in NY, and often got in situations where I might have had to use my martial arts to defend myself. I couldn't exactly say to a few guys that wanted to kick my butt, "Excuse me, could you wait a second while I stretch out?"

I achieved my goal, and it has worked for me for decades. I lengthened my muscles to the point where being stretched was my default physical condition.

About a month ago, I started running with my dog. He needed more exercise, so running has become our daily routine. One and a half to one and 3/4 miles a day, every day for the past month. I have not been stretching before we go out, and that is where I have been taking my flexibility for granted. I pulled a deep groin muscle on my right leg (between adductor magnus and gracillus, for the anatomically inclined). I can get into all kinds of stretches EXCEPT splits.

I will detail how I will fix this issue and do a short video on the topic.

You just never know :0)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

DVD for Sale!

You can purchase my new How To Stretch Vol. 1 here

The cost is $25 plus $6 shipping and handling, payment thru Paypal by either Paypal or major credit card. Thanks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The DVD's just arrived

Yes, it is true! My new DVD How To Stretch, Vol. 1, has arrived. I will post info on purchase later today (Thursday)

The cost will be $25 plus shipping. You can pay with paypal or any major credit card, and yes, international shipping is available :0)