TENDON STRENGTH MONTH

A car is powered by its engine and fuel but the transmission carries the power to where it is manifested.

Let’s focus also on our transmission which is our joints and connective tissue.

Here is a three month plan to build up the the tendon mind health and connection. Tendons take longer than muscle to grow and change so take care to listen to your body and never play the music out of tune. Practice the holds and movements below in an alternating manner where you spread them. Do each one three times a week to let the body build itself and come together in a new way of locomotion.

Three times a week:

  1. LOWER BODY – Bend at the ankles, knees and hips till you reach a ninety degree angle at the knees and the feet are under the hips. Walk 120 breaths forward and the same backwards, sideways and turning. Keep your back upright at all times and allow yourself to relax your face and neck.
  2. LOWER BODY – Place your feet on a sliding surface ( a sock on a stone floor or smooth plastic on a rug) as you lie face up on the ground. Inhale and lift the hips up by pressing one foot backwards and repeat 60 times per side and alternate with each step.
  3. SPINE – Lie on your back and arch to for a full body arch with all limbs joining the arch. Breath and rock forward and back for 120 breaths. Repeat while on your stomach and on each side. Allow one arm on the ground when you are doing the sides to ease into the movement. Keep the arch alive instead of stiff and move from your breath.
  4. UPPER BODY – Hang on the bar and sway forward and back for 120 breaths. Avoid straining yourself in the beginning and build to a full 120 breath of swinging forward and back. Once you can do it in one go, advance to playing and swaying in different directions and heights. Swaying is much more taxing than static holds so progress with care.
  5. UPPER BODY – Hang on the parallel bars for a 120 breaths. Sway the body forward and back and again, take your time in getting to doing this in one set. Make sure your shoulders do not sag and on the other hand are not tense and your entire body moves as one.

Enjoy the movement.

The 4 pull up challenge

There is no perfect plan. Each fits the bill for a situation.

This plan aims to build stamina and healthy connective tissue and joints.

Do this once each morning and don’t confine yourself to pull ups.

We begin with doing 4 pull ups where we inhale on the upwards motion and exhale on the downward motion.

Next we progress to talking a full relaxed inhale and an exhale on both the upward and downward parts of each motion.

Now we add an inhale and an exhale to each part of the motion once we feel comfortable with the current pace and add a few breaths in between if need be. Mind to count the rest breaths if needed and keep them consistent or lowering in numbers.

Once you can do 4 consecutive pull ups with 10 relaxed breaths going up and the same going down, you will have a better foundation of connective tissue and lasting strength in your upper body and again, do this in the appropriate numbers for other movements such as the squat, pushup and the bridge.

A breath in between

Time is going by us all the time 🙂

To make ourselves more resilient and mobile at the same time, we can choose to take a simple breath in between to make things last longer.

Examples:

Start doing pushups. Pause for one breath on the top position between each push up and gain more awareness and time in the plank. Pause in the middle or bottom (without touching the body to the ground) and you will gain more lasting power and stability within movement.

Start standing and transition between standing and laying down with your arms not touching the ground at all. Pause for one breath and relax what does not need tension first in the up and down moments (when you are standing and when you are laying down) and then pause twice in between these two positions and again take a full breath to relax what does need tension and you will be teaching yourself the delta of need and exists in a very wide arch of positions. It is also fun to transition between muscle and structure power. It saves energy and gives us more ability at the same time.

Start climbing a rope or doing pull ups. First pause in the low and high positions and allow the body to maintain only the needed tension to preserve the position and then twice in between. The learning will be more intense as if is a power movement but you will be able with time to transition some of the tension from the active parts of the arms back and shoulders to the body and maintain a lower level of activation with the same work done.

Keep breathing and see you in class 🙂



The doorframe workout

I have lived a few years in a tent. It made me appreciate buildings all the more 🙂

The door frame is a great tool for movement, tension exploration and fun. It can be used to ease into new movement and develop power within holds.

Here are a few examples of movements to build both power and freedom of movement:

  1. Stand in the doorframe and press your arms straight outward so they press against the doorframe. Keep the pressure for a few breaths while you keep your joints from locking and as you release your back and shoulders will release tension and build power over time. Play with the angle of your shoulders so the palms, backs and sides of the hand are against the doorframe every time. It works different parts of the shoulder, chest and back.
  2. Stand a step in front of behind the door frame. Place your forearms on the sides of the doorframes and do pushups or dips as you maintain the tension. This will strengthen your arms and your entire upper back in different angles as you place your body in angles to the doorframe.
  3. Stand a step or more away from the doorframe. Place your hands to grab the insides of the frame and lean on it. Walk up and down with your hands holding onto the doorframe insides and do it facing down and up. For a greater challenge, Place a sturdy piece of furniture to give your legs a boost and perform the walk with the elevation.
  4. Stand inside the doorframe and place your back against one side. Bring your clean feet and hands against the other side and brace yourself in the air for a few breaths. Mind to spread the force over your spine and avoid arching your bones against it.
  5. Stand inside the doorframe and place one hand and one opposing side leg on the other side. Breathe and lift yourself to get all four limbs in the air and hold with non-locked joints for a few breaths. Place with hand and leg placements and see if you can climb up within the tension. Mind your head J
  6. Place yourself in the push up position with your feet within the doorframe. Press them against the doorframe in the air and balance on fists on the ground and feet against the doorframe sides. Now bend your knees and bring your behind to the doorframe line and back while in the air. Repeat it while facing upwards and enjoy the movement.

Everything is your playground with a child mindset. Just do it at the right time J

Move under pressure – wisely

Here are ten suggestion to increase the pressure we place on ourselves while working on our health and ability.

Principle – example:

  1. Height – raise your legs to differnet heights as you do push ups.
  2. Stability – Do push ups on two hanging ropes.
  3. Surface – Walk on your fists and feet outside and choose your placing wisely.
  4. Speed– Slow down or speed up your sit ups and leg raises to spend more time on the movement and give your mind more time to understand how you move.
  5. Breath – Dictate how many breaths you have per movement or give yourself no breath at all to perform a task.
  6. Sight – Close your eyes and do one legged squats.
  7. Position – Place your fists/hands in different angles as you do push ups.
  8. Tension – Keep your arms tense as you climb a rope.
  9. Tempo – Set a time and perform differnet counts of a movement during it.
  10. Movement – Change the movement itself. Do a turkish get up without placing a hand on the ground, do a snatch with the KB on the side of the hip.

There is endless variation. Be free in your mind first and enjoy each day of movement.

Do not take things for granted. Learn something by making small changes every time.

Notes from Class: levers holds And joint manipulation

There are countless holds levers and ways to manipulate the joints. There are however a few ways to play with the body to bring our  innate knowledge into awareness. That way we are able to create those on the move and without trying to force one way over the other.

Principles for the play:

  1. Our bodies and movement are not perfect – there are always openings and vectors unnoticed and unmanaged in any given moment. Use what is there instead of trying to force a method you envision in your mind.
  2. Keep the far away goal in mind instead of the pathway you see in your mind. Your thoughts are possibilities. Let them go if they do not serve the moment.
  3. Placing a focus on the contact dissolves the connection to self. Move yourself from the center outward and each part freely and avoid using the contact as support. Each time we push and pull, we lean and remove our freedom of movement.
  4. See yourself and see your contact as one. We have the same body with little changes here and there. We work the same way and what is comfortable or uncomfortable to you is mostly the same to others. Know yourself and you know the other.
  5. Keep in mind that we do not know everything. Is there a knife ? Are there others in the engagement ? When is it over ? Ask yourself questions and know the value beyond looking for the answer.

Games to bring the natural awareness to the surface:

  1. Hold each others wrist and transition continuously from the ground to standing and back. Change who leads the movement and after a while have one move to get up as the other moves to go down.  This game with changing holding locations on the body or with the use of rope or stick will teach a lot of fluidity in getting somewhere without fighting over position.
  2. Hold a hand or fist on your partner and have them tense a part of their bodies away from the contact. Push or pull and have them relax that pat and keep moving. Place with your hand placement and body part tensed to bring to the forefront the awareness to tension release freedom and continuous motion. You must play your own game within the whole.
  3. Hold your partners wrist and start turning your own body. let your movement transfer to your partner without relying on twisting the contact point to allow whole movement to manifest. Repeat the game for the ankle and move up the limbs with care to keep learning and avoid trying to succeed.
  4. Hold your partners wrist and move your body up and down and turning to use it as the second point of contact to change the angles and press/twist of the joints. Make sure you are seeing the complete person and move with them instead of trying to control them. Go up and down all limbs with this game and see how you fare both on the ground and off.
  5. Have your partner hold you tight. Breathe and release the natural resistance to the hold and move your entire frame to use the others hold on you to play on your terms.

Avoid fast movement when not needed. Learning is about understanding and knowing, not about posturing as something we are not. Let the speed come to you.