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 Post subject: Tendons vs Muscles
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:48 am 
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Muscles develop more quickly than tendons. To properly train Uechi-Ryu you must develop both - while at the same time stretching the tendons.
This is the slow "muscle changing" "tendon changing" bone changing" that is discussed in the classical chinese literature.

Muscles are fun to train - they get bigger, firmer, make nice lines on the body etc. Tendon and bone changing exercises are not visually gratifying. This is the "internal" work of our external style.

The isotonic contractions of a dynamic tension sanchin build both at the same time. The jar grip work does the same. Lots of air time is given to the idea of fast and slow twitch muscles - but not so much to the tendon and bone changing. I think this is because they're still not as clearly understood. I know my own knowledge is pretty limited and mostly anecdotal.

I know there is a set of tendon changing exercises in classical Tai Chi - I've seen them done. It involves putting various limbs on full stretch and the slowing doing very prescribed isotonic movements. (Mini-Sanchin training at each joint)

What I'm not sure about is how long this training takes to be fully effective or how often you have to do it. My guess is daily to build and three times a week to maintain for tendons. Though dancers say you have to stretch every day to keep it. But bones...I don't know...

However I have observed that young men in the dojo can get very very good conditioning within six months if they go at it. But they can't be too young. They need to be at least 22-25.

Anyway...late night rambles.
Dana

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:04 pm 
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source:http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson18.htm

Why The Importance Of Tendons & Ligaments?

Tendons and ligaments are essential in terms of weight training. They are very similar in composition, serve different functions and significantly assist with the process of muscular extension and contraction. Both are designed to passively stabilize joints. A tendon connects the ends of a muscle belly to bone tissue and can be likened to a tough strap-like cord.

When properly developed, a tendon has good elasticity and is strong and capable of great power. Tendons essentially cause the bone to move as they transmit tensile load produced by the muscles. A tendon will strengthen concurrently with the muscle usually but if great increases in weight are desired they need to be targeted separately. Tendon injuries are relatively common in those who use anabolic steroids and increase muscle, but not tendon, strength at a phenomenal rate.


A look at the glenohumeral joint (Shoulder).

This illustrates the need to train them independent of muscle under these circumstances. On the other hand, tendons can become stronger than muscles and muscle ruptures can result. This is why it is important, when looking to increase weight lifted, to incorporate specific tendon training power assistance exercises) into an established muscle training routine rather than training exclusively with heavy weights or with power assistance exercises or weights that can be handled with ease.

With either approach tendon or muscle ruptures could occur and, besides, massive increases in weight will not be realised if these approaches are not used concurrently. Tendon ruptures are very serious, with a 50 week full recovery rate being about average.

Ligaments are tougher cord-like fibres with greater flexibility. They tie, or bind, bones together at joints and allow for movement in a specific direction.

Tendons & Ligaments Are Composed Of Two Fibre Types:

* Collagen
* Elastin

Collagen provides strength and stiffness while elastin allows the joint to extend. Given the vitalness of tendons and ligaments in terms of training with maximal weights, it is important to strengthen them in preparation for unprecedentedly heavy weight training sessions - the kind of sessions that take muscle-building to the next level.

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 Post subject: Woman Power Lifter
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:14 pm 
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source: http://outside.away.com/outside/magazin ... body1.html

Tendon training is pushing (and pulling) athletes to bold new heights

By Alisa Smith

Clay Mcbride
NOI PHUMCHAONA WEIGHS 116 pounds but she can lift 911. At last year's U.S. All-Round Weightlifting National Championships, the flyweight from Thailand (by way of Cleveland, Ohio) lifted eight times her body weight, clinching her 12th consecutive gold-medal in the women's hip lift by hoisting almost a thousand pounds suspended on a waist belt, outclassing many male competitors. So what does Phumchaona have that her competitors—and most likely you—don't? Read her hips: tendons of steel.

Tendons, those firm elastin and collagen fibers that connect muscle to bone—along with ligaments, which hold joints together— are the secret behind impressive feats like Phumchaona's. But they also help empower elite rock climbers like the late Wolfgang Gullich, whose one-finger pull-up training helped him ascend Frankenjura, Germany's finger-flaying Action Directe (5.14d)—one of the world's most difficult climbs—in 1991. Of course, this same connective tissue is also one of the most injury-prone parts of your physical architecture, often sidelining pro and amateur athletes alike.

Now tendons and ligaments, long neglected in training regimens, may at last get their due. "There is not a lot of science right now on the effects of resistance training on tendons," says William Kraemer, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University in Indiana. "But you'll be hearing about it over the next five years." While in the past tendon research was conducted on animals, advances in computer imaging technology allow scientists to analyze human tendon physiology—a subject Kraemer is currently planning to examine during an 18-month study.

Plenty of athletes are already ahead of the curve. The NFL's Cincinnati Bengals have recently made such conditioning, sometimes called "deep-strength training," a regular component of their workouts. And Dale Goddard, former captain of the U.S. climbing team and author of Performance Rock Climbing, claims it's one of the keys to tackling tough rock routes. Put simply, deep-strength training entails lifting heavy weights with few repetitions. Devotees combine explosive moves like an Olympic-style clean and jerk with "negatives," which focus on the downward, or gravity-assisted, component of a lift. Deep-strength regimens also prescribe restricted "partials," motions that cover only a few inches. Some tendon builders also train by carrying heavy, awkward objects around. (You can now buy rocklike, 60- to 330-pound granite spheres from Pennsylvania-based Atomic Athletic, www.atomicathletic.com). So how will this help you? Mountain bikers can improve wrist and knee strength, hikers and backpackers can stabilize wobbly ankles, and skiers will be able to conquer the most joint-wrenching bump runs with knees intact.

Building better tendons ideally requires a minimum of six months of conditioning, {emphasis mine - Dana}...In other words, think of tendon strength as catastrophic insurance for your joints.

Tendon training starts with good base fitness—and serious caution: Go slow. "Rapid muscle development," says Ronald Zernicke, dean of kinesiology and a joint-injury researcher at the University of Calgary, "is a recipe for tendon rupture." Gradually build up to sessions during which you'll lift heavy weights only a few times—maybe just once. Always be sure to include at least a ten-minute warm-up like high-rep, low-weight sets or a quick run; cold tendons and ligaments, like cold muscles, are susceptible to damage. Also, deep-strength workouts should be done less frequently than cardio or strength training; fold them in only once every one or two weeks and you'll soon reap the benefits. "It's the Holy Grail of training," says Kim Wood, assistant coach and strength trainer for the Bengals. "I started with some outstanding athletes, and they've all improved."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:40 pm 
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Excellent topic, Dana. I've been discussing this elsewhere where Jeff started a discussion on makiwara. Tendon strength is extremely important in Uechi Ryu.

A few quick clarifications...

iso*tonic means same force. Generally we think of classic weight training as being isotonic training.

iso*metric means same position. The Bullworker was a device used to develop strength via this method - maximal contraction of a muscle locked at a specific length.

iso*kinetic means same speed. Dynamic tension exercises in Goju Sanchin (or other martial forms) and The Charles Atlas Method are two good examples.

Also... I'm not entirely convinced one tries to stretch tendons when doing flexibility exercises. It's really the muscle you are trying to lengthen. That happens via a process where more sarcomeres - the fundamental unit of contraction - are created along the length of a muscle fiber.

Tendons attach muscle to bone. That's the primary function. Tendons also have several other important roles to play. Because of their viscoelastic properties (from the collagen and elastin), they act as low pass filters (a.k.a. shock absorbers) to violent impulses given to the muscles.

Tendons also contain the Golgi tendon organs, which help monitor muscle tension (as opposed to muscle length, which is monitored by the muscle spindle fibers.) One use of a well-developed Golgi tendon organ for the karateka is to keep him/her from hyperextending the arm in Sanchin. As the biceps tendon is "twanged", it sends an inhibitory signal to the extensor muscle (triceps) which stops additional movement. It's also involved in the sudden contraction of the biceps.

Martial artists can use these reflexes in several ways. Like a doctor, you can whack a tendon and get a response. Doctors often whack the patellar tendon to observe the functional integrity of the stretch reflex in the quadriceps. But we martial artists can put a shuto (a.k.a "knife-hand block") right on the biceps tendon of someone throwing a looping punch at the head. It's easy to hit, and causes a remarkable response. And whether or not you realize it, Dana, you are developing these reflexes in complex ways when you do your Nakamatsu-inspired Sanchin "wave" thrusts.

It absolutely is true that muscles can be developed much faster than tendons - particularly where modern pharmacology is brought in (anabolic steroids). In a gym where I used to train, one well-known strength coach and author (someone whose name I've never mentioned) was getting so big so fast that he started looking like a freak. I wonder how... :roll: One day he was doing curls, and he snapped his biceps tendon in half. The biceps just popped up in his arm like an old-fashioned window shade. Talk about needing rehab.. 8O

As the TV commercial used to say, It's not nice to fool mother nature.

Mostly we need to give our tendons TIME to develop. Their blood supply is very poor compared to muscle, so development takes longer. But just like muscle, you need rest in-between the hard training days. One step back on the training days, and two steps forwards on the rest days.

By the way, your "tendon changing exercises of Tai Chi" sound a little bit like the modern method of PNF stretching. (PNF = proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Don't ask... :lol: )

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:08 pm 
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Bill I'm familiar with PNF stretching. The tendon changing I have observed by Tai Chi practitioners involved stretching the arms way above the head palms up and then very slowly flexing and moving each of the fingers.

It is very very similar to the movements I see my cats do when they stretch after a nap. They reach their front legs out and then their paws seem to almost vibrate as they flatten their paws and reach out with their toes (not claws.)

Interestingly when I first started the Nakamatsu shuto training I would get little bruises on the insides of my elbows. Those have gone away over time but will come back if I spend too many hours doing the training with too little rest.

By the was Gushi? Talk about a man with core and tendon strength!!! 8O

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:25 pm 
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Hi,

I usually "lurk" as I am quite new to the forums and just getting back into Uechi after a long absence. However I just wanted to add something to this thread as I find it quite interesting.

Sensei Glasheen wrote...
"Also... I'm not entirely convinced one tries to stretch tendons when doing flexibility exercises. It's really the muscle you are trying to lengthen."

This may be inconsequential, but it may also help people in their training so I would like to share a passage from the National Strength and Conditioning Association Essentials of Personal Training on flexibility :

"Flexibility training targets two different tissue adaptations, elastic and plastic. Elasticity refers to the ability to return to original resting length after a passive stretch. As a result, elasticity provides a temporary change in length. In contrast, plasticity refers to the tendency to assume a new and greater length after a passive stretch, even after the load is removed.
Muscle has elastic properties only. However, ligaments and tendons have both plastic and elastic properties. When connective tissue is stretched, some of the elongation occurs in the elastic tissue elements and some occurs in the plastic elements. When the stretch is removed, the elastic deformation recovers, but the plastic deformation remains."

Therefore, it appears that it is indeed the connective tissue that lends itself to increasing range of motion.

Adam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:37 pm 
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Adam

I read that passage 3 or 4 times, and it's extremely confusing to me. I disagree with muscle having elastic properties only, and tendons/ligaments having elastic and plastic properties - as defined here. I sure would like to know who wrote that piece. Some of the confusion here could be with short-term vs. long-term characteristics of flexibility training. My point above is that the primary LONG TERM goal of stretching is NOT to get longer tendons.

For a better, more detailed view of the mechanisms involved, here is a start. This part of Brad Appleton's article focuses mostly on the shorter-term mechanisms of stretching. As you can see, it gets complex.

Stretching and Flexibility - Physiology of Stretching

It's worth reading the whole of Brad Appleton's work. He's the man here, and describes many techniques of stretching. Brad is both a dancer and a martial artist.

I'll see if I can dig up some more good physiology references.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:43 pm 
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Hi Mr Glasheen,

Thanks for the link I will definitely follow up on it. BTW the name of the fellow who wrote that chapter in the NSCA Essentials is Allen Hedrick, MA, CSCS, *D from the US Air Force Academy, Colorado. I have not heard anything else about him.

Thanks again,
Adam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:29 pm 
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Hi Adam. Welcome and thanks for sharing.

Actually I've heard what you quoted recently and that was part of my reasoning for bringing up the discussion. My understanding is that right now the medical and phisology communities are in a bit of a flux on what they thought they knew about muscles , ligaments and tendons.

Cheers,
Dana

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:20 pm 
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http://www.petalia.com.au/Templates/Sto ... ry_no=1551
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Why are tendons and ligaments so susceptible to injury? Top
The main action of tendons is to transmit muscle power to the lower leg, and healthy tendons are able to bear extreme stretching forces. Tendons also have elastic properties, allowing them to store 'energy' and absorb minor overloads during exercise. However, any sudden overload exceeding the limits of their ability to stretch can result in tearing of the tendon structure.

Studies have shown that the 'safe' working elastic stretch in a warmed up tendon is about 3%. However, if strain is excessive the tendon fibres behave in a 'plastic' manner, and can be safely stretched up to 8% of their length until their 'elastic' limit is reached. If loading increases, the maximum 'strain' limit is exceeded and the tendon fibres and blood vessels will begin to rupture, beginning within the central core of the tendon. The end result is the inflammation, pain and swelling characteristic of a 'bowed' tendon.


Though this article is about horses. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:21 pm 
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Specific nutrients may improve the elasticity of tendons, which not only helps to reduce the incidence of tendon problems, but also encourages the repair of damaged tendon tissue. Daily supplementation with Vitamin A, Vitamin D, selenium, copper, zinc and manganese is recommended. All of these nutrients are provided by a daily dose of Feramo-H. In addition a supplement of good quality protein such as 2 cups per day of soyabean, canola or lupin meal is recommended to provide amino acid building blocks for tendon repair.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:29 pm 
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This is a tad frustrating. There's a bazillion sites on making bigger, better, stronger, flatter, tighter, you name it muscles. But there only relatively easy to find information on tendons is how to rehabilitate them when they're swollen or ruptured.

What good is a muscle without a tendon?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:22 am 
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Put simply, deep-strength training entails lifting heavy weights with few repetitions. Devotees combine explosive moves like an Olympic-style clean and jerk with "negatives," which focus on the downward, or gravity-assisted, component of a lift. Deep-strength regimens also prescribe restricted "partials," motions that cover only a few inches.


awesome stuff , exactly my kind of routine at the moment .

my base is 5 sets of 5 , but do lower and higher reps to shock the body .

partials are great , just getting into heavy Rack pulls .


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:13 pm 
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source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson18.htm

Quote:
Tendons and ligaments are essential in terms of weight training. They are very similar in composition, serve different functions and significantly assist with the process of muscular extension and contraction. Both are designed to passively stabilize joints. A tendon connects the ends of a muscle belly to bone tissue and can be likened to a tough strap-like cord.

When properly developed, a tendon has good elasticity and is strong and capable of great power. Tendons essentially cause the bone to move as they transmit tensile load produced by the muscles. A tendon will strengthen concurrently with the muscle usually but if great increases in weight are desired they need to be targeted separately. Tendon injuries are relatively common in those who use anabolic steroids and increase muscle, but not tendon, strength at a phenomenal rate.

This illustrates the need to train them independent of muscle under these circumstances. On the other hand, tendons can become stronger than muscles and muscle ruptures can result. This is why it is important, when looking to increase weight lifted, to incorporate specific tendon training power assistance exercises) into an established muscle training routine rather than training exclusively with heavy weights or with power assistance exercises or weights that can be handled with ease.

With either approach tendon or muscle ruptures could occur and, besides, massive increases in weight will not be realised if these approaches are not used concurrently. Tendon ruptures are very serious, with a 50 week full recovery rate being about average.

Ligaments are tougher cord-like fibres with greater flexibility. They tie, or bind, bones together at joints and allow for movement in a specific direction.

Tendons & Ligaments Are Composed Of Two Fibre Types:

* Collagen
* Elastin

Collagen provides strength and stiffness while elastin allows the joint to extend. Given the vitalness of tendons and ligaments in terms of training with maximal weights...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:38 pm 
Interestingly enough (at least to me...), I just picked up an excellent book (so far...) called "Tendon & Ligament Healing", by William Weintraub ISBN: 0912111739. It has some really good background on ligaments and tendons in relation to their healthy states and injuries. It's a really interesting approach to manual therapy healing of these structures as well. It was recommended to me by a friend who is also a body-worker and so far it's fantastic....

-wes tasker


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