on sunday i plan to do some cardio (sprints n stairs) and maybe swimming? what do u think of swimming? lol.
Originally Posted by Khun Kao
Swimmings very good. Total body workout. Excellent cardio.
One of the problems I have with swimming is that it is EXTREMELY low impact, and you are training for a high impact sport. Its excellent cross training and also a very good option when you need some recovery time but still need to train (if that made sense?).
While I'm not an expert on cross training and the like, my personal thought process is that I *do* like swimming as cross training, but you should not let swimming REPLACE any of your training regimen. Conditioning such as running is absolutely necessary due to the constant impact of "pounding the pavement" is one of the ways to continually strengthen your bones.
However, you should ask someone who really knows. My opinion (which I have applied to my own training) is in actuality just an educated guess....
Okay, I'm assuming that you've not only gotten yourself warm & sweaty first, but also have light stretching and "dynamics" or w/e other people call them (rotate this joint, reverse, rotate this joint, reverse, twist this, twist that, etc. etc.) covered during your main practice time. You definitely want to loosen up the knees, ankles, and hips before this.
If you want some different options for variety (partner stretches? stretches using a belt?), let me know. I like this as a basic, functional routine though.
I. Side Split (Knees)
1) Get on your knees with your hands on the floor in front of you like a pushup, work those knees apart. 2) Once you're down low where it's nice and uncomfortable, walk your hands back and gradually ease the weight off your hands and onto your legs, putting your hands on your hips when the transfer of weight is complete. Squeeze your legs against the floor like a scissor to hold yourself up. Don't sit back on your legs, rather push your hips foward like you're fucking something in front of you. Whenever you're doing any kind of split, you always want your weight directly on top of the split. 3) Slowly relax the tension in your legs, letting gravity stretch you out.
When this becomes more comfortable, put your hands back on the floor, work those knees further apart, and repeat. Don't rush the steps. Spend plenty of time transferring the weight as well as holding yourself up without your hands. If you find it too difficult to hold yourself up without your hands at first (no shame, often people don't use those muscles much), just hold yourself up with one hand flat on the floor (or holding a chair) and gradually reduce your dependency on it.
II. Side Split (Proper)
If you're too stiff to do this properly, don't even bother for now and spend double time doing the previous side split on your knees.
1) Hands flat on floor (hold yourself up on a chair if you're inflexible to the point of not being able to get those hands on the floor), push-up position, spread your legs out like two side kicks to the left and right. Start off slow, go halfway (your personal halfway, not halfway to a full split) and work it lower. Knees are straight throughout. 2) Feet pointed towards the ceiling, slide out on your heels. When you're done sliding out, switch to toes/knees pointing forward (feet are like side kicks but without the blade edge turned out) and hold the position. 3) When you've held that awhile, walk yourself forward on your hands, hips pushing towards the floor (open up those hip joints!). It sort-of looks like you're doing a "Hindu push-up", but instead of bending the arms to get your chest to the floor, you're leading with the hips.
Then walk yourself back, feet pointed up again as you come back to your original spot. (Try to retain as much of your new lower level as your walk yourself back. What I mean is: you were just pushing your hips towards the floor, so you were lower than when you were on top of the split. As you walk back, try to keep as much of that newly found lowness, so when you come back to being on top of your split, you're lower than before. Rinse & repeat.
Side note: a lot of people will practice a portion of this by holding this split with their leg muscles, no hands on the floor. I can do it np, but it has nothing to do with flexibility (just leg strength) and puts a lot of stress on your knees. I don't suggest doing that. You can, however, squeeze your legs against the floor (similar to part I) if your feet are sliding out more than you want and you need some help holding yourself up.
III. Sitting Side Split:
Right from the previous stretch, when you've reached your lowest point and you're finished stretching...put on hand in front of you, one hand behind you, and sit down. Keep the knees straight, feet and knees are pointing straight up.
1) Slide yourself out further, pushing one hand in front and one hand behind your body. 2) Reach to the front. Walk your hands out as far as they will go. Reach your nose towards the floor. Push your hips out against the floor (again, loosen those hips). 3) Reach towards the left, hand on either side of the leg, body square, walk the hands out as far as they will, nose towards your knee. 4) Same thing on the right side. 5) Slide out further, rinse and repeat.
IV. Front split:
Front leg is straight, front foot resting on the heel (toes up). Hands on either side of the front leg, body square. Back leg is turned over completely on the shin/instep. Contrary to what I used to believe years ago, it's perfectly fine if the back knee is resting on the floor. As you manage work your front heel out further, your back leg will straighten out more (culminating in a perfectly straight leg when you've got a full split). Try to touch your front knee with your nose. Hold the stretch, work it lower, rinse & repeat.
General rules of thumb/tips:
1. If a knee that is supposed to be straight is bending you're going down too far. Come up higher and chill out till you can get down that low without "cheating" by bending your knee.
2. When you want to push yourself to go lower try this: take a breath and breath out as you push down.
3. Hold all your stretches for a good long time. There's no definite number, but 99.99% of the time you will never see people spending enough time holding any stretch in a class situation, due to time constraints--no one wants to spend 20 minutes stretching in a martial arts class. Let your muscles adjust and get (almost) comfortable before pushing lower. Put your mind someplace else while stretching; it will make the discomfort easier to bear.
4. Your groin muscles are going to feel like sore spaghetti after some of these. A good way to relieve that (inbetween stretches) is to spread your feet apart (1.5x shoulder width about), hands on the hips, and rotate your hips in wide circles. Really push the hips out as you rotate. If you've been doing good stretching the first few couple of rotations will be...quite uncomfortable. You'll quickly feel the pain leaking away though as you continue to rotate.
5. Maintainance of good flexibility requires much less work/time than achieving it in the first place.
Good luck with your fights. Hopefully you'll post a picture of yourself 12 mos. from now doing a split between two chairs.
Last edited by maofas; 3/21/2008 5:17am at .
I may be able to dig up a source later but because I swam for years I did some research on bone density when I first started Muay Thai. Although gravity and the physical stress of running can contribute to skeletal adaptation the stress of the muscles pulling on the bones in swimming can also trigger similar adaptation. The research I found called it a wash with no bone density loss from swimming as compared to running and of course swimming has a greater whole body muscular effect.
EDIT: Actually all the information i found contradicts this! I swear a few years ago when I looke dinto it the research claimed that the muscular excercise was increasing bone density. Now all the research is saying load bearing exercise only... still looking.
EDIT2: As usual there are conflicitng reports. unfortunately most studies are on lumbar density in 50 year + subjects due to concern about Osteoporosis. The concensus seems to be don't stop swimming because any excercise improves bone density. But there are very few direct comparisons between running and swimming. I am however seeing a trend that implies the popular perception about weight bearing exercise being far and away better is exagerated.
Last edited by WhiteShark; 3/21/2008 9:00am at .
Whiteshark.... THANKS! I appreciate you looking that up and sharing! Awesome stuff!
thanks so much maofas! i m gonna print it out and work on it! rly hope i can get alot more flexible....
stonekoh, you should really consider your form. That is why Omega mentioned getting video of you kick including footwork. For example, I can't do a split but I can kick the head even when I'm not warmed up.
Omega is right about that.... I'm *far* from able to do splits, but I, too, can kick someone taller than myself in the head without warming up. It's all in the technique....
If your muscles are loose and flexible, your kick will be faster and require less effort to lift. Stiffness in the muscles creates additional inertia.
The only good argument, that I see, against increasing your flexibility is that time is limited and you'd prefer to spend that time working on something else.
good job though
Originally Posted by stonekoh
# 1) the fact that your even competing is awesome. in my opinion actual competition is a good way to judge ones growth in muay thai (as stated, just my opinion).
but in all honesty if i were you (which im not) i would not go through with the next match until you have worked a little more. i say this because i have taken fights on short notice and when your not properly prepared mentally or physically it can really have an effect on fighting. keep in mind that if you plan to take your fighting somewhere you need to bust your hump as much as possible. youll see that thai fighters train hard year round and continuosly so thatb if a short notice fight happens, they will be ready. i would recomend doing the same. and dont forget its ok to have a day off to heal as well.
as far as training, you need good coaches to help you. im am in no way saying leave your current coach, but look for help elsewhere also, you need good quality people to help yopu push through what can sometimes be a rigorous training regimine. having these people will help you get through workouts and alot more.
as stated just my opinion. but i think the fact you fought to test yourself is awesome