Sunday, October 2, 2011

relaxing quads in bendover

continuing with relaxing the quads in bendover.  i think the reason they do that is to guard the ligaments in the back of the knee.  that's great but we learn to fearfully overguard and it holds us back, largest muscles in the body bumping around, trying to be helpful.

in side-reach bendover i found there is a front leg and back leg, the front leg quad wanted to tighten as i bent over and fully extended the knee.  i spent the last year learning how to do the move without engaging the forward quad.  now i want to do other things without engaging the quad.  pivoting for example.

pivoting on the ball of the foot turned out to be no problem, quad stayed relaxed.  pivoting on the heel turned out to be difficult.  had to move the center of gravity around, had to try manual gentling, had to back off & try again.  i think though that i have established that the quads are not required to make that move.  can learn how to save energy.

this a continuation of what i did yesterday, when i researched unnecessary recruitment of the quad in side leg stretch: the application of gentling, etc.  the progression was: ordinary side leg stretch with foot flat on floor keep quad relaxed, at any point of the stretch (trunk moves away from that leg), rotate on heel, allow toes up in air. quad really wants to tighten up & guard.  multiple failed attempts.  gentling, etc.  fail and partial fail. 

toes, legs

today some minutes with heels off floor.  it is not standing on toes, it is balls of feet with toes stretched out relaxed for stability.  if the toes grab everything else wants to grab too.  if toes stay relaxed then a stable platform can be made on which the rest of the body can be draped.  after some small amount of time in bent-over-backwards the muscles of the anterior compartment of my left lower leg started to burn, so once again a tightness in that leg has been revealed, another one to work one.  in aikido we are always wanting to keep as much of the foot on the floor as possible, so is this toe stuff non-aiki?  don't think so.  any more than bendover in warmup is.  bendover is an exquisitely exposed position for the head based body: the butt becomes the most important mediator with the "rest of it" while the head & its sensors can't see what's going on.  bendover in aikido is a split second thing & rare.  all the more reason to do it in warmup.  it has endless things to tell about the hamstrings & low back.

fall.  i've returned to working in the downlow zone, exaggerated knee bends, walking around down there like groucho marx with a sword.  quads burn down near the knee.

legs have biggest muscles in boday but they are attached to the "nether regions" where the boday maintenance stuff is as the arms are connected to the "higher regions" where the desire functions are processed.  using the leg muscles inevitably reminds us of our bodily functions because every leg movement rubs stuff in the digestive/reproductive zone (while the arms just pull on the head).  so they thought let's immobilize the legs so they won't think about that stuff, more time for upstairs work.  thus we spend our days in chairs, the leg muscles are the biggest.

ways of throwing acorns at a tree:
1. left hand / right hand
2. throwing side foot forward / throwing side foot back
3. stepping forward with throwing side foot / stepping back with throwing side foot
4. stepping forward with other foot / stepping back with other foot
5. oh, and chucking it backward using a mirror, haha.

a lot to play with, starting with my left hand throw was always sucky, still is, but much better.

going back out again to do more balance on one leg stuff.

~2 years of almost daily morning workouts.

one leg stuff with a sword to keep the arms occupied.  lots of wobble.  long way to go.