Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm just a spaz

While this will not sound like a TKD posting at first, trust me, it will be.

First, thought I would share that if you want to see some adorable photos of my kid (and why wouldn't you want to see them?), check out my regular blog here.

OK, that aside now, let's talk about swimming. What is that you say? This is a martial arts blog? I know. Just bear with me.

As some of you may or may not know, the home we moved into has its own in-ground swimming pool. It's taken us literally WEEKS-- almost a month, in fact-- for us to get it clear enough to start swimming. It was a total swamp when we opened it Memorial Day weekend. Now, Drew and JC (my DH) would be going into the pool a little more in the last week, at least on the shallow side, because Drew loves to swim, and JC's reasoning was that while we've dumped what seems like a literal ton of chemicals in the pool and filtered it regularly, whatever's left that needs filtering is still not as bad as going in the ocean. He has a point. So tonight, being that it was a hot day, and I hadn't gone swimming in quite a while, I figuratively and literally took the plunge. It was actually a little warmer in the pool than it was outside, as it was early evening/dusk time. We played with Drew, and I did get some swimming in. My nickname now is The Mermaid, as I was the one who had to go dive down to the bottom of the pool at least a few times to get things, and Drew thought that was cool.

In the process of playing and diving and swimming, there were some occasions that I would feel something cramp or I'd pull some muscle. OUCH! Well, I know swimming works every muscle, but man, I didn't think that under the circumstances that I'd be hurting in a few places. If anything, I thought being in the water would make some things easier. I did try to work on my form in the water (water resistance, after all, to help build up strength, etc.), but I couldn't remember it all (gotta work on that memorization). I will say that my breathing was better than I expected, but then again, I was pacing myself. Even diving down to the bottom of the pool wasn't bad, due to breath control. (No wonder I liked diving better than laps even as a kid!)

So here's the question that I'd like to throw out to my fellow martial artists: whether on land or "sea", what are some good stretches or exercises that can help me gain some more flexibility, especially in my hip rotators/joints? I feel like that's a big weakness for me now. And of course, the knee problems, etc. But the knees are a whole different ball of wax. I think if I can gain some more hip flexibility, in addition to working on stretching and strengthening my ham strings, my kicking would be much more fluid, stronger, and FIERCE! ;-)

Well, weather permitting, I'm going to try to get some more swimming in too. Helps with endurance if I can try to get laps in. And I'll continue to do my form in the pool still, so in case I come across any underwater Bionicles or other sea creatures, I'm ready! :-P


John Vesia said...

Side-splits are a good one. They're especially effective if you're working with a partner. Sitting on the floor, you grasp each others forearms while the other gently pushes the inside of your calves outward with her/his feet. Another good routine is to stand sideways against a wall and hold a sidekick on top of your training partner's shoulder while (s)he elevates your foot position into a good stretch.

[Mat] said...

Here is the best streching faq online (IMO)