Monday, March 17, 2008

Muscle Mechanics

I didn't post the last few times I trained because I was in a lot of pain (thank you, head-flip), and I didn't want to spend a lot of blogspace complaining about my feeble climbing up stairs. However, today I was feeling almost normal again and except for going into mabu during zuopan, (something I've never done before, yikes!) I didn't struggle too much with any moves.

What it did get me to thinking about was the subtleties of move mechanics. Firstly, the thing that hurt from the headflip was not my head or neck but my legs. (Ok and eventually my shoulders.... :P) I found it curious that headflips would result in persistent, unbearable soreness in my outer quads. Heng Mo says she got the same pain when she started kip ups, and has concluded it is a result of using the strength your thighs to pull you up out of the headflip/kip up when you don't get enough push from your arms. Whether or not we ought to be experiencing this pain at all (I'm thinking the mechanics require more from my arms than I currently and exerting) is still under debate...

What also struck me was that, with this "injury," I found many moves challenging that I would not have suspected I needed my quads for so much. I knew zuopans and gongbus were going to be killer, but so were cetituis and strangely, gouquan. I have been musing on how quickly our bodies get accustomed to a move to where we don't even recognize all the muscles we are engaging. In gouquan I focus on my hip and never think about the fact that my quads are also working for me. It's good to be reminded that you need muscles for each move beyond what is obvious. And just maybe, sometimes, we are using the wrong ones without knowing it.. :) Either way, I can't wait until they all are working together 100% so that I can land the headflip again.

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