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Jen >> All this talk about basics.....

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6/30/09 6:13 PM
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Edited: 06/30/09 6:14 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
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From my experience, random stretching does increase postural imbalances and does increase your chances of injury. When it comes to stretching, most people are making one area appear better, while making another worse. But keep in mind that I am not just talking about how some people stretch in order to do rubber guard, but rather any and all stretching that is done randomly. What I mean by random is stretching that is not done according to a postural analysis.

For example, my wife had very tight hamstrings. Most people would have her do hamstring stretches in which she locks her legs out as straight as she can. This would be terrible for her. Why? Because she had hyperextension in her knees. In trying to get her hamstrings more flexible anyone who would tell her that she needs to do that type of stretch would be making her dysfunction even worse.

As far as knee injuries with rubber guard, in my opinion, the main problem is not the rubber guard itself or even their stretching method, but rather certain individuals ignoring the limits of their own body. On a scale of 1 - 10, if the rubber guard requires a flexibility level of 7, you better have a flexibility level of 10. If it requires a 7 and you only have level 7 flexibility, then all you or your opponent has to do is to push your flexibility just a hair past 7 and then you are going to get injured.

What laqueus says is also correct. For example, in the past, I had very poor flexilbity in my entire spine when it came to extension. I tried to get more flexible with my bridging by doing stretches that would bend by body like the bridge. I was so "locked up" in many places in my spine, so what appeared like an increase in flexibility was actually an increase in the anterior tilt of my pelvis. The anterior tilt of my pelvis was already at an angle that was too high for a male, so I was making that dysfunction worse. On top of that I had an incongruency between the angle of my pelvis and my lumbar. My low back was flat, yet my pelvic tilt was too high. So my stretching attempting made that incongruency worse.
7/1/09 9:59 AM
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Member Since: 3/12/02
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I knew you would have the answer to that. Thanks

7/1/09 11:15 PM
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Hunter V
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so Bolo, you have any suggestions on ways to increase flexibility and not screw up our posture?
7/2/09 3:53 AM
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Edited: 07/02/09 4:00 AM
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If you look at the average adult in modern society, most of them are far from being as flexible as they were when they were young children. For most people, as they got older, the muscular balance in their bodies have become more and more imbalanced. for many people, these imbalances have led to a tremendous decrease in flexibility. In my opinion, a person's body was flexible by default and through the things we did and did not do, we made it inflexible.

So for most people, since inflexibility is due to imbalance, then is should make sense that restoring balance will increase flexibility.

There are ways to eventually increase flexibility beyond the default level of flexibility that we had when we were children, but that should only be done once a certain level of muscular balance has been achieved.

I am working on being able to do the sideways splits now. However, my body was not ready for this kind of program 1 or 2 years ago. The thing with paying attention to your posture is that you can't do whatever you want whenever you want. I find that message is not something that people like to hear.

By the way, when I hosted a seminar for Eddie Bravo many years ago, he did tell me that his back had been messed up and that he eventually needed to seek out therapeutic exercises to counteract the imbalance he had created.
7/2/09 4:25 AM
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A flip side to paying attention to your posture is it lets you do things you couldn't do before, despite not necessarily being able to get what you wanted - you're still making some very quick progress. As an example, I've been able to stand on exercise balls for over a year now, and could hold it doing squats for 15 minutes. I couldn't however do it on a ball that was under-inflated. Since doing Yoga with Tracy Groshak, who's also MBF certified, I've been doing heavy modifications to the postures everyone else is doing to keep from creating an imbalance or getting out of alignment, but I've also been able to focus on creating a centred connection. Using that principle, I was able to go from squatting and using my hands for balance on an under inflated ball to standing and able to do squats.

I can't fool myself into thinking I've acquired a certain improvement in flexibility, but the trade off is that I now have much better balance and control of my body than I did before.
7/2/09 12:20 PM
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Edited: 07/02/09 4:00 PM
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We can start another thread on this subject if you want. But anyway...

I believe your improvement in balance on the ball has to do with, as you said, a greater awareness of your center of gravity and improvement in the mind/body connection.

If you are truly decreasing muscular imbalances and improving your alignment, that absolutely should be coinciding with an increase in flexibility. I have seen this with all my MBF clients who have stuck with the program, even the stiffest, most inflexible person.

However, there are times in which flexibility/range of motion can hit a plateau and that can be caused by something else that is creating an imbalance. For example, in the past, I felt like I had plateaued in flexibility/range of motion on certain parts of my body in certain directions. Eventually, I went to see a NUCCA chiro and he adjusted my C1 vertebrae into place (when misaligned, the C1 cannot be put back into place by exercises). Once my C1 was back into place, I felt an immediate jump in flexibility in those areas which I had plateaued.

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