(Hella Long) Once and for all, stress on connective tissue, good or bad?
WARNING: Extremely Long
I am very confused in this subject. I've heard different answers from many different sources of information and divided them up slightly in this topic. I have multiple questions/concerns numbered, and I would grealy appreciate it if anyone took a look at any of them. Thanks in advance.
Stress on tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, etc is good.
First off, I have heard that placing stress on connective tissue and bone creates microtears in them. However, they grow back, stronger than before.
(All of the examples here are assuming the stress/resistance/weight is regulated, and they are well rested. Just normal and smart exercise. Also, all examples assume that the person is a normal healthy being.)
For instance, I've read that people who engage in weightlifting and regular exercise have shown to have higher bone density, and thus stronger bones. The elbows of people that can bench in the upper hundreds don't collapse and 'break'. Their tendons aren't torn, and ligaments hold up fine. This is because the connective tissue in the joints have become stronger; as a result of their training, and have gradually strengthened along with the muscle. Most people that squat in the upper hundreds don't have screwed up legs. They aren't "messed up" due to all that heavy weight compressing the knee; because like in the previous example, the tendons, ligaments, and bone have strengthened along with the muscle, due to those years of training.
1. Correct me if any of the above is wrong. Basically, connective tissue and bone can be strengthened by exercise.
Stress on tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, etc is bad.
However, secondly, many sources have said to avoid stressing the joints, bones, and the connective tissue. To start off, I have heard some people say that even running is bad for the knees. I personally think that is bull, and would only be bad if the person doing so already has weak joints; or if their connective tissue just heal slower than normal.
2. Any thoughts about "running = bad for knees"? Do you agree with what I say above?
Well, going on to some arguments for this side, that I agree with: Ankle weights are bad for the knees, and perhaps other joints. The reasons I get for this are usually very very vague, "They put unneccesary strain on your knee". The most logical reason I've heard is that they pull the bone/joint/etc away from a person's center of gravity. So they pull the femur and tibula + fibula apart, thus screwing up the knee.
3. One thing I don't understand.. If 'stressing connective tissue is good', why isn't it in this case? Completely Hypothetical: As long as the weight isn't too much, and you don't do it everyday, wouldn't it even make the tendons/ligaments/joints be stronger? If running with ankle weights was closely regulated, and you had the perfect amount of rest time for your knee (though not likely at all for the normal person), couldn't it help?
Moving on to more examples against stress on these things. Finger pushups.. Most people I've noticed, especially martial artists, don't think too highly of them. Reasons? Places unneccesary stress on them and compression directed at many joints.
Well, I was watching Discovery Channel, and they were talking about Shaolin Monks, one of the stunts they pulled was doing finger pushups. Oh no, not normal finger pushups. An index finger from each hand, going up to a handstand, supporting the entire body, and doing pushups like that. The fingers were bent backwards, as if about to be hyperextended, but for some reason, it held the weight of the whole body, and the joints didn't give away. Well, Discovery's team was pretty vague, and said, "They have strong fingers".. Yeah, no ****. Anyway, they took a little x-ray or something on a couple of the monks, and they showed no signs of any damage on their fingers. And not on their head either (where they broked bars of iron on...)
4. Once again, if regulated extremely well, would finger pushups help strengthen the connective tissue and bone, in the hand and fingers? Or if they started training very young, (where these tissue healed much faster, than for an older person) would it help in any way?
A. If you say finger pushups are bad, why isn't rock climbing (which places great stress on the fingers)?
B.Why isn't deadlifting hundreds of pounds bad; seeing how holding the bar and having such a grip, places much stress on the connective tissue in the fingers as well?
C.If you say the compression is the harmful part.. well, almost any exercise, there is compression. When you bench, and extend your arms. A lot of pressue is being compressed, and focused on your elbow. People that bench in the upper hundreds must have a stronger "something" (tendons, ligaments, etc) so their elbows don't get jacked. Or squatting, all that weight placed on your knee. These people that squat so much, they must have had something figured out, eh? What's the difference that makes squatting hundreds of pounds not cause a single problem for some? But doing simple finger pushups will cause "too much compression"?
And that, is all. At least for now. Yes, I know its freaking long, but whoever responds and shares any good information, will definetely have my thanks.
Nowhere in your musings do you take proper technique or the time for adaptation into account. The body can adapt to certain things over time, whereas it simply doesn't do so well with others.
For example, you've said that many people who squat a lot of weight don't have screwed up legs . . . While injuries may be more prevalent than you think, that's not the issue here. The squatters who maintain happy caps are the ones who understand that the knee can support tremendous weight when it's positioned directly above it, but that shearing forces, i.e. pressure from the sides, can turn you into a weeping mess relatively quickly.
You can't apply stress to random areas in your body and expect to see the same type -- or speed -- of adaptation. That's just the way it is, baby.
You also need to distinguish between tendons and ligaments, on the one hand, and cartilage, on the other.
Firstly, thanks for the comments both of you.
I believe I did take most of that into consideration. I didn't specify on technique (though I guess I should have). But I did say to gradually increase the weight/resistance; which would mean to give time for adaptation.
Originally Posted by Repulsive Monkey
Ah, I see your point. However, you talk about shear stress to be able to cause much damage to the joints. Well, when you're standing up, legs extended, with the weight on your upper back, yes, the pressure is being supported pretty well. I've heard that bones and joints can support a great deal of compression (correct me if thats wrong). But, when you bend your knees and go down, and also when you extend and lift up, the weight is not positioned directly on top. Though its not complete shear stress, it still puts a great deal of stress on the knees.
Originally Posted by Repulsive Monkey
My point is, given proper technique, time, and you gradually increase the weight of your squat (or any exercise), do the connective tissue and bone adapt to become stronger?
Once again, thanks for your reply.
Tendons and ligaments are very similiar, thus I felt they didn't need too much of a seperation. According to ABCBodybuilding.com, both normally (on a healthy average person), have a tensile strength equal to that of steel. On the same site, it says that when they're stretched out and strained, they will quickly regain at least 94% of their original shape.
Originally Posted by lawdog
Cartilage on the other hand, there are many types of. Then again, I don't know too much about them either.
My point was that you can strengthen tendons and ligaments on the one hand, while simultaneously damaging cartilage on the other. A joint is a complex mechanism. You seem confused by conflicting advice regarding what's good and what's bad for your joints. Part of the reason for this conflicting advice is because many physical activities are both good and bad for your joints at the same time. Good for one physical structure, while simultaneously being bad for another physical structure.
Originally Posted by Varangian Guard
You mentioned running, so lets look at running. Running will, over time damage the cartilage in your knees, while simultaneously strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding that joint. I believe that cartilage can re-generate itself over time given a chance, but it's an extremely slow process and it does not "grow back stronger" so to speak, the way muscle, tendon and ligament will. So, while running does increase joint stability as well as bone density, it may also lead to osteo-arthritis due to the break down of cartilage.
Ah, I never knew that. Then again, I don't know much about cartilage in the first place; I guess I should do some research on that. From my little knowledge of it, cartilage is just what 'grows' on the end of bones, to provide cushioning for it in the joint. I have heard that it does grow; just like normal bone, but I may definetely be wrong.
About running, then are you saying that someone who does so frequently (i.e. every other day), will over a period of time (say 5 years), have "cartilage problems"? If so, I'll assume that everyone is different; thus and one person may be fine, while the other person who did the exact same thing, may be having some bad joint problems, yeah?
Yes, there are going to be a lot of hypotheticals here, and some of it may be related to genetics. That's how most health **** is though, so don't get discouraged.