kurz's program and its relation to children

Post questions and tips on stretching for children and for the elderly.

kurz's program and its relation to children

Postby FutureProdigy » Dec 31, 2008 17:11

After reading some of the column literature and watching the dvd i am still confused. Heres where I'm a bit confused. I see pictures of kids doing splits in the testimonial section and i know all kinds of kids that take gymnastics and can do full splits, yet i also know that these same people would not have followed the routine given (in relation to preparatory exercises). These children would not have been doing squats, deadlifts, goodmornings and adductor pulldowns; yet they were still able to achieve the full splits. Must we really wait till we can lift the given weights before we start the isometric stretching? I dont imagine a child was lifting 1.5-2x their weight before they started their respective stretching routines.
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Re: kurz's program and its relation to children

Postby CSta » Jan 02, 2009 10:54

FutureProdigy wrote:These children would not have been doing squats, deadlifts, goodmornings and adductor pulldowns . . .


The short answer is to read Józef Drabik's book Children and Sports Training: How Your Future Champions Should Exercise to Be Healthy, Fit, and Happy.

Based upon the following two paragraphs taken from Article 18, I believe your first statement is incorrect:

"10. Beginners should use the smallest resistance that still increases strength. With beginners (either young athletes or adults who never did serious strength training), the strength increase does not depend on the amount of resistance as long as that resistance is more than the minimum required for the training effect (Pawluk 1985). For beginners that minimum may start at more than 20% of their personal best (Zatsiorsky 1995). McArdle, Katch, and Katch (1996) recommend resistance that permits completing 12–15 repetitions. (Such resistance can be used by children as young as 7 or 8 years [Drabik 1996].) In isometric exercises that minimum is 35% of your isometric 1RM, according to Wathen (1994).

12. Do not work on anaerobic endurance with children below puberty. Do not develop maximal strength and do not apply periodization with children and youth younger than 15 (Jagiello 1993; Lammi 1982; Pawluk 1970). The reasons for not doing strenuous training for anaerobic endurance and strength with children, and what types of strength and endurance exercises to do before puberty, are explained in Józef Drabik's book Children and Sports Training: How Your Future Champions Should Exercise to Be Healthy, Fit, and Happy. Why periodization is not done with children I have explained in chapter 16, “Long-Term Planning” of the book Science of Sports Training: How to Plan and Control Training for Peak Performance."

Those statements indicate to me that children may lift weights so long as the load permits no less than 12 repetitions. I recall reading a statement regarding children and isometric contractions (either in the Articles or in the Science of Sports Training), but I need some time to find it.
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Re: kurz's program and its relation to children

Postby FutureProdigy » Jan 02, 2009 13:03

I'm not arguing that scientifically they can't. I'm saying simply that they don't. These children which i am talking about, are ones i know personally by the way, do not lift weights at all - thus have not done the preparatory exercises - yet have still worked to achieve the full splits. This then makes me wonder how important the preparatory exercises are before one may start the isometric stretching routine. If these kids could start doing stretching routines before they could lift 1.5-2x their body weight then why should we not as well?
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Re: kurz's program and its relation to children

Postby CSta » Jan 02, 2009 15:17

So, your question is, why are the preparation exercises necessary; why can't one jump right to the isometric contractions? We're beginning to leave the realm of my knowledge, but here's at least one answer.

If you are out of shape and you perform only the isometric contractions, you will wind up with a strength imbalance in your legs. As stated in Article 9, strength imbalances around a joint (e.g., your knee) can cause injuries: "So what can prevent injuries? Rational strength training that balances strength of opposing muscle groups . . .. Research shows that great differences in strength between two opposing muscle groups, for example, having a hamstring-quadriceps ratio lower than 61%, as well as a strength imbalance of 8–10% between right and left hamstrings, are the main causes of hamstring injuries (Orchard et al. 1997, Burkett 1970)." (If you're curious to see what a strength imbalance can look like, go to any rock climbing gym and look at the guys in the bouldering pit. They look like cobras.) There is undoubtedly more to be said about this.

Another answer relates to your tendons. Read the article on tendons in the Stadion Newsletter (Spring 2008), particularly on page 3 where there is a specific reference to one of the DVD exercises.
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Re: kurz's program and its relation to children

Postby tyciol » Jun 01, 2009 03:06

Being able to achieve something one way does not mean it is the best way. I think the reason these exercises are recommended is that it gives you a lot of safety room and strength and stuff.

Children can (sometimes!) get by without this because they may be naturally strong from doing and adapting to a lot of ballistic stuff (always running around, etc) and they tend to heal faster and be more adaptable to stuff. This is why in a lot of martial arts or contortion schools in the east you see abusive teachers really hurting them (sometimes jumping on them I think) but they do manage to adapt.

The problem is, besides being very circumstantial (genetics, etc) they tend to toss out those who do not adapt, and that's not an option you want to consider for yourself or even your own children.

Another thing is, when in full split you do not need to bear any way. Especially with dancers, they sometimes stretch standing with a bar so they don't need muscles strong enough to hold themselves in suspension.

I sort of thing Kurz' methods are aimed at having the strength to do suspended splits, eventually. Like in the picture on the upper left there (or like Rob Van Dam madness). It is the safer and more functional form of flexibility to have because you can actually prevent entering the RoM if gravity is bringing you there and you don't want to be there.
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