Archive for soccer
The word exercise often connotes sweat and hard work. Movement on the other hand is about changing a position.
So many people in the gym are exercising and are still in pain rather than being able to move freely and comfortably. Are their exercise programs serving them?
When it comes to exercise vs movement to get us out pain, I’m going to have to side with movement at this point in my 50 year old life.
The other side of exercise programs
Somatics exercises which are often the reverse of most exercise programs out there, changes pain and discomfort levels using the brain rather than the brawn of exercise. This can be a challenge when we’ve accustomed our self to pushing, straining and over efforting.
Without sufficient awareness, the simple somatics movements can become exertion and exercise and not bring about the change we want away from pain.
So in both types of exercise programs, problems can occur not because of exercise itself but how we move our self in this ever present field of gravity. After all, you don’t need a weight to cramp yourself.
A learning process to move more comfortably is highly involved, though anyone can do it when we are mindful and not rushed. This lazy approach appears on the surface to be too simple, yet is complex in terms of feeling our way through the various connections and sensations we can perceive.
These sense perceptions lead us to move more comfortably so that it’s possible you’ll never have to go through arduous exercise programs again.
After all, I can go play soccer, ski, ride a bike, and walk comfortably along a trail without the uncomfortable strain, stress and high tension levels I used to live with while living with fibromyalgia.
Of course there is a debate whether the condition even exists yet there are many millions of people with inexplicable pain. But some of us no longer have the pains which racked our nervous system to pieces where a good nights sleep is so sought after.
The treasure of sleeping well comes to us more easily when we are relaxed enough, namely the tension levels which can lower themselves either by the thought of a breath or the ability to let go – which for many, many, many folks no longer is the case.
So naturally we attempt to use exercise programs to exercise stress away. I’m not opposed to exercise yet as I said, when I play a 90 minute game of soccer, it’s all about the movement, the dance on the field, being able to avoid getting crunched and being able to take a hit and recovery quickly… but these are the games I play. What’s yours?
Exercise Programs – An Alternative Choice
Each week I offer online somatics exercise – using simple movement which can be thought of like as the reverse of an ab crunch or inner thigh lift for strengthening.
To come through the looking glass of exercise vs. movement is a novel way to experience what a difference a change of position can foster rather than forcing or pushing our self.
You can use this learning, then do your exercise in a reverse manner and discover for yourself if alternative exercise programs like somatics may be one of the missing links.
When you go out to do whatever physical activity you engage in and over exert yourself, what form of recuperation do you use?
Do you use a hot tub? Do you use ice or ibuprofen to soothe your muscles?
Laurie and myself thought we were going to play in an over 45 co-ed soccer tournament last past weekend and found out it was over 40 instead. What are you going to do at our age?
Preparation & Recuperation
Good thing we both practiced our somatics exercises in preparation. We also did them in between and after the games all weekend.
This method of preparation and recuperation allows us to move more freely after engaging our bodies in an activity that is not normal in terms of our human development. All the cutting back and forth while wearing cleats is not what the natural design of the body has been used for over time.
Wearing our joints down with this un-natural and at times risky movement activity can exact a price. We’ve watched over time how many people struggle.
Even this weekend, we are watching how teenagers are barely making it through one game of soccer, in spite of all the training they are receiving.
Makes you wonder how much knowledge is applied when it comes to recuperation even at this young age.
In our age group, while others were doing some stretching, using tiger balm and downing ibuprofens… I kept a keen eye on who would make it through all the games without hearing the usual complaints of stiffness, soreness, aches, and over exertion that is very common not only in playing in adult leagues but the extra level it sometimes takes to make it through an entire weekend-warrior competition.
With our gray hairs, we both comfortably walked away with a 3rd place trophy. We were both happy how our bodies held up in the 90°+ heat in Yakima, WA at the aptly named Sunburn Tournament.
Our Preferred Method of Recuperation
Our preferred method of recuperation, using somatics exercises, allows us to be able to successfully compete and not have any of the usual stiffness afterwards. We had other weekend plans in store for the drive back.
The fresh air felt incredibly well to breathe. It was odd that only a couple of hours before we played in the heat of eastern Washington.
We didn’t have to traipse around at some 5400 feet, instead we comfortably ambled about enjoying the 5th National Park in the U.S.
Nature has a way of restoring one’s health even after grinding it out on the playing field. It’s as if our recuperation was fostered by hiking in the clean mountain air full of alpine flowers and snow in August.
The following night we headed over to our usual over 50 fun league to play a more recreational level of soccer and once again our bodies were well recuperated so that we could enjoy playing at the indoor arena.
The indoor game is a different type of game than the outdoor version. The movements are shorter and sometime quicker on account of the ball bouncing quickly off the boards and glass. Our quick reactions and the ability to respond without being hung-up is vital.
Laurie’s son accompanied us. He also got to play in a game. As we were leaving, all 3 of us were asked to just stay one more game, so we played with the younger 20’s somethings.
Now in between games, I thought I was done for the evening and would enjoy one of those malt filled beverages that many people use as a form of recuperation. Little did I know that I was about to play once again.
On our ride back, our teenager complained of being tired. Both Laurie and I heartily laughed as we compared the number of games we all had played. The old folks had him 5 to 2 (and 98 years to 15) and neither of one of us were sore, stiff, or aching as a result.
Even Grandma knows how to wield recuperation
I cannot rave enough about how amazing our recuperation powers are when we use the brain using the simple somatic movements.
While it’s of great help to have a positive mind-set, it’s fun to see how the body just keeps moving well along for the ride.
Even grandma, who missed the last step of getting off of the boat on their boating excursion to Canada, twisted her knee and asked Grandpa to show her some of those somatics exercises he diligently practices.
Grandma, like the rest of us, found how quickly her own powers of recuperation came to the fore when she used the somatics exercises which gets the brain to release held states of contraction while improving muscular function.
Brain based exercises like somatics take the edge off of the muscular tension, stiffness, and the stress we accumulate. Now had I only known this when I was living with fibromyalgia, I might have spared myself the many years of chronic pain.
No matter, to move well… can happen at least at age 50 and beyond for others. I’ll let you how it goes when I get to 60.
My hunch is… in the next decade I’ll probably learn a little more on re-balancing the nervous system and refreshing the body with somatics exercises.
All it takes is simple, easy movements which remind the nervous system to calm things down a notch. The powers of recuperation and moving comfortably lie well within us.
Exercises for lower body can come in handy when you’re a senior athlete.
Instead of preparing to run or lift weights for this past weekend’s Washington State Senior Games, I chose to do some un-conventional exercises for lower body.
Exercises for lower body. The other side of the coin.
As a senior athlete, I’m very interested in how my muscles can return to function as quickly as possible. By working with the space between our ears, namely the brain’s cortex, we can reset the muscles back to a comfortable resting place so they won’t ache, complain and need any ibuprofen.
Rewiring the brain with exercises for lower body using somatics exercises takes out any compensations and substitution patterns.
Since many of us substitute or compensate with our muscles, to regain better function through a re-wiring process with our given structure… takes time.
It is in the very time of now, we can observe how we can change our self.
Taking steps to increase our function with exercises for lower body even during an event can allow us to move well especially after the competition is over.
Limping to the car and looking forwards to the hot tub is what some people will do.
Athletes who struggle with compensations are like the many people who have to be athletic just to move their body around by pulling themselves or trying to move rather than it being more effortless, easy and comfortable.
Undo the compensations with exercises for lower body
Are we all so far away from graceful movements? Hardly, if only we were to re-program the muscles, then we’d get to experience that youthful wonderful movement we once had or were denied.
By working with the brain, we can lessen the negative output to the muscles. We can take out the stress and excessive tension.
What I mean is the excessive tension and holding patterns that muscles will do based on habits, shortening of our muscles and even things like dietary issues and medications which compound how we can effectively move.
Exercises for lower body can be done with the least effort when our brain organizes movement in an efficient manner. We can regulate this time and time again.
To manipulate ourself well in space, to move as well as you can… doesn’t require hard work, just focused attention on how well you can move.
As we become consistent, then we restore our natural ability to do what all healthy vertebrate animals do which is moving with awareness.
The quieter we become in ourselves, the more we’ll notice… and there’s a lot beneath the surface if we dare to venture inwards. We can sense how our compensations can unwind with unique exercises for lower body.
Unlike stretching or strengthening, with somatics exercises you are engaging the brain’s motor cortex where the learning of movement occurs as well as the resetting of the muscle’s length.
Exercises for lower body to un-lock muscles
With the number of substitution patterns and compensations we’ve created, we can still unlock and unlearn those so we can improve our movement patterns which is vital to moving well for the long run.
Even certain training habits and the usual exercises for lower body where we’ve been cued a certain way may have fostered a furthering of compensations unless we took the time to release those compensatory habits.
Moving with natural patterns rather than conditioned patterns allows us to return to moving freely. Then, we use those conditioned patterns in the games and activities we enjoy.
With our 600 muscles and 17 layers of muscles, it’s no wonder some of the aches and concerns we have remain a mystery or are left un-resolved.
We can help resolve things with unusual exercises for lower body. We can go back into our sense of movement and notice the adjustments which take place.
By noticing our own self-adjustments, we can master the art of moving well before, during and after our competitions, games and dances.
Becoming aware of how we hold ourself, we can truly let go and return to moving effortlessly and easily with some unusual exercises for lower body known as somatics.
Want to change the quads, psoas, and other leg muscles in a very different and easy way?
Join us this week, Friday August 5th for an online class on exercises for lower body.
Somatics exercise is an exercise approach where you learn how to release tight, stiff, sore muscles which may have taken us off track.
Jonathan Hunt who played soccer professionally in England is a bud of mine. He left football, that’s soccer to us…
on account of back pain and eventually found his way to Somatics which helped him get out of his back pain where many other approaches failed him.
Get this, he actually discovered it moments before he was leaving from vacation. He was visiting Thailand for some r & r… He knew the plane ride would be a killer on his back.
How many people hurt just sitting in car or being on a plane?
He eventually became a fellow Hanna Somatic Educator himself and now can enjoy the games of his youth as he continues to play today.
If you’re in London, you can always check him out for a hands-on session. You’ll be in good hands.
Mail Online in the UK just posted an article in their health notes sections on Jonathan. See getting your back on track.
The very exercise for back pain which is described in the article is one in which many somatics educators teach people to have a healthy, flexible spine.
If you’d like an audio version, you can listen to several exercises for back pain and find out for yourself what somatics is all about.
A kick in the grass (turf) doesn’t have to be a kick in the $ss or tight hamstrings or pulled muscles…
Somatics is coming to the…
2011 Winter Chill Soccer Tournament at the Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila, WA on February 26th-27th.
This 7 vs 7 event held by the Washington State Womens Soccer Association will have women competing in the open, over 30 and over 40 categories.
For those of you attending, you can discover an entirely new way to get those muscles ready to play before, after and in between your games.
Animals naturally lengthen their muscles by pandiculating. Say what?
They are not stretching contrary to popular belief. There doing a whole ‘nother thing which you’ll get to experience at the tournament.
If you’re a player, coach, or physical trainer, come find out why you never need to stretch. That’s right, in fact it’s bad for you… according to the research.
When you get your muscles ready in the ways animals do… you just might move like a healthy animal again and stop limping your way back to the car when the games are done.
We’ll meet at 10am, 1pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
We’ll probably find a comfortable place to unwind indoors at the complex.
If you’re team wants its own session, just let the guy with the funny shoes know.
Get ready to get those hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, and inner leg muscles looser, more relaxed and in your control so you can keep on playing and playing…
or at least make it to the end of the day… and play the next if you’re one of the lucky ones.