I really appreciate the information and reassurance that I am not too old. I have been doing MMA for just over 1 year. Started late in life because I thought it would force me to stretch everyday or be more conscious of stretching every day. It has helped remendously.
Your right about extreme flexibility and joit problems. I have degenerative joint disease in my right hip and really have to pay attention to the signs of over doing it.
I don't try to keep up with the younger people - - - hopefully they are trying to keep up with me - - - it has definitly gave me a positive view of younger people - - - keep it up you guys.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in touch.
Most of these exercises I learned in 1963 from a
Shotokan Karate Instructor named James Arwood. The
reason for doing these exercises is to warm up and get
the juices flowing to your joints when you first get up
and before you exercise if you have been inactive for
any period of time. Do 5 or 10 in each direction of
swing or rotation, don't try to go as far as you can,
go to the point of being slightly stretched but still
comfortable. The loosening up exercises can all be done
from the standing position.
(1) Nod your chin down to your chest and then tip your
head toward your back .
(2) Lean your ear down toward your shoulder and then
toward the other one.
(3) Look first to one side and then the other.
Arms and Shoulders:
(1) With your elbows at your sides make circles in each
direction with your hands.
(2) Same position, make circles with your forearms.
(3) Rotate your shoulders in both directions.
(4) Extend your arms out to the side and rotate them in
(5) Now swing your arms horizontally across your chest
and back out.
(6) Put one hand above your head and the other at your
side, swing them vertically.
(7) Hold your upper arm out to the side with your
forearm hanging down, swing your forearm vertically up
(8) Hold a cloth or stick with one hand in the small of
your back and the other hand behind your head, now move
the stick or cloth up and down. Change hands.
Ankles and knees:
(1) Extend your foot slightly in front of you and
rotate your foot.
(2) Put your hands on your hips, feet together, squat
very slightly and rotate your knees.
(1) Extend your arms above your head and lean to each
(2) Put your thumbs on your shoulders and twist to each
(3) Put your hands on your hips and swing your hips in
Hold on to something for balance when you do these and
remember you are just loosening up, only swing to the
point of a slight stretch, keep your foot at 90 degrees
to your lower leg.
(1) Swing your foot straight up in front of you.
(2) Swing your foot straight out to the side.
next will be the
Stretching is to stretch the muscle, increase blood
flow to the area, and hopefully prevent injury. It is
never to stretch the joint. Any time that you are
stretching you should feel the stretch in the muscle,
not in the joint. Only stretch to the point of slight
discomfort, never to the feeling of pain. Hold each
stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
Place one hand in the upper center of your back just
below your neck, use your other hand to grasp the elbow
and pull downwards sliding the your hand farther down
your back. You should feel a stretch in your triceps.
Repeat with the other arm.
Reach both hands back and upwards behind you, touch
your fingertips on something to stabilize you. I do
this standing in front of my refrigerator, or kneeling
with a chair back behind me. Now keep your fingertips
in place and lower yourself slightly. You should feel
the stretch in your biceps.
Stand at a doorway with your hands in a sort of "I
surrender" position with your elbows bent at 90 degrees
and resting against the doorway. Now lean forward and
you should feel the stretch in your pectoral muscles.
Grab onto each side of the doorway and lean back. You
should feel a slight stretch in your upper back
muscles. It feels even better if you use a stick held
on the other side of the doorway, or just grab the
doorknobs on each side of thedoor.
Side to Side
Hold your hands straight above your head and lean to
one side, then the other. Feel the stretch in the sides
of your abdomen.
Lay on your back, wrap your arms around your lower
thighs at the back of your knees. Now tug your legs in
even closer to your chest. You should feel the stretch
in your lower back.
Lay flat on the mat face up, shoulders touching the
mat. Now draw your right leg up until your foot is by
your left knee. Keep your shoulders as flat as possible
and twist your right knee until it is almost touching
the mat, you can use your left hand to help keep it in
place. Your should feel the stretch in your lower back
and butt. Now repeat on the opposite side.
Knee Up Seated Reach
Sit on the floor so your heels and butt are touching
the floor but your knees are about four inches or so
off of the floor. Now reach forward and grasp your
heels, you should feel the stretch in your lower back.
Lay face up on the floor with both legs flat, now raise
one leg and while keeping it straight grasp your thigh
just above the knee and pull it toward your chest. You
should feel the stretch in your hamstring muscles.
Repeat with the other leg.
Sit up on the floor and place the soled of your feet
together, hold them together with your hands and use
your elbows to push your knees toward the floor. You
should feel the stretch in your inner thighs.
Knee Flat Seated Reach
Sit flat on the floor with your feet stretched straight
out in front of you, feet at 90 degrees to your legs.
Now, lean forward and reach as far past your toes as
you. If you cannot reach past your toes then loop a
towel or such around your feet and try to pull your
chest toward your knees. You should feel the stretch in
your legs and middle back.
Lie face down on the mat. Use your arms to push your
upper body upwards while leaving your hips on the mat.
Try to get your arms to full extension. You should feel
this stretch in your lower and middle back.
Stand up and hold on to something for support with your
left hand, grasp your right instep with your right hand
and pull your foot up toward your butt. You should feel
the stretch in your quadriceps. Now stretch the other
Stand with your feet about 8 inches apart. Move your
right foot about 2 1/2 feet to the rear and keep the
soles of both feet on the floor. Now sort of lower
yourself and you should feel the stretch in your right
calf. Now stretch the other calf.
Now assume the same position as the Calf Stretch and
raise your right heel off of the floor. Sink down lower
and you will feel the stretch in your upper thigh and
groin. Now stretch the other side.
I hope some of this will be beneficial. That is the end of the stretching stuff.
Nutrishadow, you asked about how I maintain or improve flexibility on the thread "tips on eating", I apologize for not getting back to you sooner (that was almost a week ago). I guess I had my head where the sun don't shine and didn't recheck the thread until today. Since I started practicing yoga in 1958 I have tried to maintain some sort of flexibility program in my workouts. I don't really consider myself to be practicing yoga, as such, anymore I just do deep breathing, conscious relaxation, and follow two types of flexibility programs. Every morning when I get up I do a series of joint rotation and dynamic stretches that are very similar to what Pavel Tsatouline recommends in his book on stretching, I learned most of them from James Arwood, a Shotokan instructor in 1963. You really can't go wrong with Pavel's book. When I finish working out I do static stretches (Pavel says these belong on the junk pile). I do not try to gain extreme flexibility because I believe that you can damage your joints that way, I just try to stay flexible enough to spar and rock climb. When it comes to the high kicks and keeping up with the young bucks I don't. Kicking over groin high is a pretty dangerous thing unless you are a truly superb kicker and I will never be one because I don't even practice for that. Occasionally my Kenpo/JuJutsu instructor will have us kick focus mitts held eye high, and while I can do it then I never try it when sparring. I am in the process of writing a book that I hope to get published one day and have more or less finished the sections on Loosening Up and Stretching. If you want a copy of those sections post your email address and I will shoot you a copy, if several people ask for a copy I will just post it on this thread in two or three installments. Hope this helped.
ttt, great post. I would like to read the sections you have written if you wouldn't mind :)