Serious flexability problems

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Serious flexability problems

Postby mongrol » Jun 15, 2009 21:09

Hi there folks,
I'm 38 and been doing traditional Shaolin wushu for 3 years. Since i've been driving a desk around for 20 years I've never been very flexible and when I started my side split when sitting was about 90 degrees. Fairly average for newbies of my age. I managed to increase this to around 100 degrees after about a year when the pains started and this split started shrinking to a now miserable 70 degrees! My wushu consists of lots of horse, front and slant standing so this and the ability to smoothly move between each and the shrinking flex problem is seriously starting to impact my ability to practise.

Other points;
  • Last year I had an arthoscopy on my right knee to repair damaged cartilage on the fumur end.
  • I also get pain from likely cartilage damage under my left kneecap. I can live with this.
  • In side splits I get pain in the inner thigh (abductor group?)
  • Most pain in side splits is on the outside of the hip joint and also in knees.
  • Front splits are not bad. I can kick roughly to face height. But this imbalance means moving from one split to the other shows a "lump" in rotation.
  • I have chronic flat feet and wear fancy arthotics (probably the root of my problem)

Is there anything I can do to stop the rot here? I weight train my quads to improve my knee alignment and assist jumps but I don't particular do any weights to assist in stretching.

Any advice gratefully appreciated.
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Joined: Jun 11, 2009 21:22

Re: Serious flexability problems

Postby SimonG » Jun 16, 2009 03:06

Hello Mongrol,

I am in a similar situation to you, having taken up karate at 37 (I am now 40). I have been reading Mr Kurz's material for some time and hopefully I can provide some insights based on his recommendations and my own experiences. My initial side split flexibility was not much different to yours, about 90 degrees. A number of years ago I had a hip arthroscopy and one of the reasons I took up karate to begin with was to try and regain some of my former flexibility.

Ist point - pain is bad. If you suspect you may have cartilage problems get it checked by a medical professional. I have been taking glucosamine for a few years which seems to help with cartilage problems.

The pain you are feeling in your inner thigh during side splits (adductor group, the abductors are on the outside of the hip) is possibly due to a lack of appropriate preparation of your adductor muscles for splits. Mr Kurz's DVD program and a number of the articles within this website can assist you in preparing your muscles. Exercises such as adductor flies leading up to adductor pull downs should assist here.

The pain in the hip is possibly due to not tilting your pelvis forward enough when performing the splits. See Article 2 in this website from Mr Kurz for a full description.

The pain you are experiencing in the knees can be addressed by strengthening your legs - Mr Kurz advocates Hindu squats to reduce the amount of knee pain - See Article 61 for a video of Mr Kurz performing these. Also, if you are performing any isometric stretches to improve your splits, do them in a kiba dachi stance (horse riding stance). This allows you to strenthen the correct muscles without placing stress on the medial ligaments of your knee (the one on the inside of the joint).

Can't comment on the orthotics or the flat feet - way beyond my level of expertise.

I highly recommend reading Mr Kurz's articles within this website, as there is a wealth of information available. Also, I would check the Q & A sections as a number of specific questions people have asked and Mr Kurz's responses can be very helpful. This forum also has a good amount of information readily available, if you have the time to peruse the history within it.

Good luck.
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Joined: Mar 23, 2008 05:03

Re: Serious flexability problems

Postby CSta » Jun 16, 2009 09:04

mongrol wrote:Is there anything I can do to stop the rot here?

When things started to fall apart for me, I stopped what I was doing and saw a professional who could evaluate my entire body to see which parts were working correctly, and which weren't. See
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Joined: Sep 05, 2008 14:54
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Serious flexability problems

Postby mongrol » Aug 09, 2009 22:08

Thanks for the input folks. I've taken on advice and tracked down an AK specialist in my area. He's diagnosed a sacroiliac strain and discouraged me from doing Shaolin altogether as ligaments can take 12 months to 2 years to heal properly and he's also saying I'm probably just not built for it anyway.

I've also read Stretching Scientifically to get a better idea on exactly what is going on, why it happened, and to see if there is any hope at all. Since seeing the chiropractor I've been feeling much better but had a relapse last week which makes me think the road back isn't just a matter of not doing anything.

I've realised that my initial injury, probably over a year ago, which I've been stupidly training with is down to very poor strength in my stabilising structure. My adductors are shockingly weak and it's no surprise that the wrong turn or twist just when walking around causes pain in the groin, hip and left knee. My legs shake when using about 30kg's on an adductor machine at the gym. The chiro also mentioned weakness in the glutes as well.

The tricky thing now is to get the strength into these areas without doing further damage.
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Joined: Jun 11, 2009 21:22

Re: Serious flexability problems

Postby rojbanks » Nov 07, 2009 06:36

Thanks for these information folks , it is really helpful me to cop with my problem..
i have a serious flexibility problem to...but now i have manage it slowly by doing
regular exercise like stretching yr body slowly, taking a daily walk....
i do not have many decease,only in pain in backside....
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Joined: Oct 31, 2009 01:01

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