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  1. How GB is HELPING me with Chronic Knee Pain I have struggled with chronic knee pain for over a year. I don’t have a definite diagnosis. I am making this post because I want to share with others how radically helpful the use of Gymnastic Bodies exercises have been for me. Just in a few weeks, pain has radically reduced and I have a much greater range of motion. Ironically, I have put off doing this course for ages, partly because of the trouble I have been having with my knee. I am glad that I have finally bit the bullet, because the results so far have been almost magical. Firstly, I want to say that the knee can go wrong in a host of ways, and what helps one person and one condition, may well not help another. I’ve had recommendations thrown my way which have been the opposite of helpful. But with me, and with whatever I’ve got, certain things have been helpful, and I want to share this experience with people. Briefly, I'll explain my own condition, and then I'll get onto the gymnastic bodies exercises that have helped me! I’ve experienced chronic knee pain for about 15 months (although I have had some good periods in this time, when I thought it was all over). But in the bad periods I have had pain walking, and pain cycling (which I have had to stop), and have lived in fear of stairs, steps, and kerbs, and, well, sloping surfaces. Getting in and out of Ford Transit vans at work has been agony. Carrying weight (shopping bags, for example) has brought added pain. Squatting (in general life, I mean) assuredly brought pain, unless I put all my weight on the good leg, which I came to do automatically out of habit. I’ve seen three physiotherapists and one orthopaedic surgeon. Their diagnoses differ. Here is one physio’s findings at a time when the knee was actually pretty good, although her testing of my knee had me squealing : “In prone he had pain on full flexion with tibial internal rotation, this pain reduced on tibial external rotation. Meniscal testing was mildly uncomfortable only. All other ligaments were sound.” My first physiotherapist found irritation in the patella-femoral joint and of the medial meniscus. I saw an orthopaedic surgeon recently and he ordered an MRI, and this indicated a possible horizontal meniscal tear (which was unexpected, as the possibility of a tear had previously been played down.) But that is not definite either. He’d actually have to go in and look to confirm yes or no. He did say that if it were a tear it couldn’t be stitched together, and the procedure they offer is pulling the surfaces of the shear apart and then roughening them up with the intent of helping them stick together by friction! (I find this alarming, and I don’t want to hastily do anything that is irreversible). A week or so before my consultation with the surgeon where we discussed the MRI results and the treatment options, I had started the GB work, and already my knee had radically improved, and my symptoms were minor. He agreed that carrying on with the rehab exercises was a good idea, and said that he wouldn’t want to operate without symptoms. And also, if I do go ahead with an op, it is best to have the knee in as best condition as possible going in, as the aids in recovery and healing. So that’s the situation now. I am carrying on with a rehab program that includes GB exercises, and my knee is much better that it has been in a long, long while, and I will see the surgeon in a couple of weeks to re-assess, and perhaps decide on an exploratory op. I have had pain or discomfort getting in and out of Ford Transit vans at work for years, but there was an incident one and a half years ago where my knee got suddenly worse. It was the day after doing some barbell squats, I suddenly had pain in my knee that wouldn’t go. (That’s the last time I did barbell squats by the way!). I had been going to adult gymnastics classes two or three times a week, and suddenly things were awkward and difficult. In their stretching routine they do a hamstring stretch where you sit on one folded knee and stretch the other leg out and lean over it to stretch. This had not been a problem before, but suddenly it was agony sitting on my left knee. It was a total no go! Well enough of the pain and problems, I want to tell you WHAT HAS HELPED! The help I got from physiotherapy made me think that GYMNASTIC BODIES EXERCISES would also help my knee. The first thing that suggested to me that GB exercises would be helpful was the help the physio’s own mobilisations gave my knee (where the physio manipulates the knee to improve range of motion). Secondly the exercises and stretches physios gave me to do, suggested to me that further exercises which further pushed mobility would help me yet more. Physiotherapists taught me to do lunges and wall-squats-with -a-ball, and these took me from being painful with only a slight bend of the knee, to being able to do full crouches without pain. Stretches really helped (once I’d mastered the basic skills of stretching, at least!). One physio showed me the prone quads stretch, which was very helpful. I still had pain on kneeling, and so I began to practise kneeling whilst relaxing the knee (on a nice soft gymnastics mat!). This helped, and I turned this into a mobilisation, starting with my weight forward (where it was easiest), and then gradually shifting my weight back (putting a greater stretch and pressure on the knee) whilst continuing to order the knee to relax. I made clear progress between sessions, with pain reducing and range increasing each time. So then I added shifting the weight of my torso around in circles, gently approaching the range of pain, and relaxing the muscles as I did so. Again, this clearly helped, as coming back to the next session, the pain had almost vanished. And then I added tilting the knees over to the mobilisation (like skiing whilst kneeling) and this helped too. ALL THIS REDUCED MY PAIN AND DISCOMFORT IN GENERAL LIFE. [Later, when the GB stretch courses debuted, I was amused to see that kneeling is one of the stretches]. All these experiences made me think that if I approached the GYMNASTIC BODIES LEG AND KNEE EXERCISES in the same way (gradually increasing the range of motion, whilst relaxing the pain away) that I might be able to do the GB exercises and gain real benefit from them as well. It turned out that I was right about this! I have approached all these GB leg exercises as rehabilitation, not as a strength conditioning program. I am not following a program of reps and sets. I am doing what I can reasonably think will help my condition, and I am doing low reps, going only so far as I sensibly dare, and gradually increasing range and control. I skipped deck squats as they were way too kinetic for my purposes, although I can now do them (which is awesome) thanks to the progress my other exercises have given me. I don’t go by numbers, I go moment by moment and use my head, and take stock of the feedback my body is giving me. I was attracted to trying TWISTING SQUATS, because I knew that they were something my knee would have BIG issues with (I couldn’t sit cross-legged without pain, let alone stand up cross-legged!), as I thought, well that’s where I can really make gains! But how could I make it possible for me to do it? Doing them from a step stool proved possible, and yes I felt some pain doing them, but also it felt like it was doing me some real good doing them, and the extraordinary thing was, that when I walked away from doing that first session of twisting squats from a stool, my knee was instantly “better”. I should have had some discomfort walking (as at that stage I normally did have discomfort walking), but walking away from doing those twisting squats that was all gone, and my knee was fine! That was an extraordinary experience for me, which made me think “Hey! There is something really valuable here for me!” I did have some delayed pain and discomfort later, that night and over the next few days, so I did not return to doing the twisting squats until a week had passed. And then, when I got back to them, I was thrilled to find they were easier, and I was doing them with remarkably less pain. And so it has continued. Yesterday I did them practically pain free, and with my knee completely fine afterwards, and I am thinking now of working on reducing the stool height. Also, during this period I have worked on COSSACK SQUATS. These are, again, something my knee was clearly going to have issues with, especially going right down on the calf at the bottom of the squat. But going real slow and gentle, session by session, the pain has become vanishing, and my movement deeper, AND IN GENERAL LIFE MY KNEE HAS BECOME BETTER AND BETTER!! When I came to try INSIDE SQUATS, I could do them just like that, which was a thrill. So I am working simultaneously with all these exercises, gently, at low reps, and it has done me wonders. I have no doubt that I will gradually build up the number of reps, and I will eventually be able to get to “mastery” and be able to tackle and complete the rest of the GB legs course. At the same time I am regularly tackling the rest of Foundation One, which is of course helping my all-round condition! And many of these exercises too have a direct effect on my leg functioning. The improvement in hip flexibility with SWIVEL HIPS for example, has been remarkable, and an improved hip function directly helps knee function. And I am now starting on the Stretch courses too, and working on the flexibility elements of Handstand. I am so thrilled about the improvement in my knee. I didn’t think it was possible. I had to stop doing gymnastics classes (which I totally love) over a year ago, and felt I would never be able to do it again, which devastated me. Now I think, I will get back to do what I love, but I am in no hurry. I will complete Foundation before I return. And I will surprise a few people I think with the good condition that I will be in then! Perhaps I will have exploratory surgery sometime soon, or perhaps my knee will be so much improved it will not be deemed appropriate. We shall see. It’s entirely possible that there is more than one thing wrong my knee, and that the exercises are helping the ligament and muscle and coordination side, and the cartilage is damaged all the same. However that may be, if I do have surgery, I will be in a much better condition going in, and will have a much better chance of a good recovery. So THANK YOU to COACH SOMMER and the GYMNASTIC BODIES TEAM for bringing these exercises to the public, and helping me solve my chronic knee pain! THANK YOU!!
  2. Is F1 even suitable for me? Hey there, I have a few concerns and questions regarding the GB online courses ( Foundation 1, first and foremost, as this is the starters-course). 1. Structural Integrity - Is variablility possible? Ive been having several issues or injuries with my body, that has to be continously be treated via exercises(Strengthening of stabilizing muscles, as well as the weakened musclew and specific stretching) that improve my structural integrity. Namely, the ones that i think would be affected most by exercises that arent tailored to my conditions would be shoulder issues( that are only coming when my push-pull ratio is out of order: i generally have to pull more than i push to remain healthy. ( and of course i have to do mobility as well as strengthening the shoulder-stabilzing muscles, like e rotator cuff e.g.). That appears to me is coming from my predisposition that my pec muscles are ( mostly determined by looks ) /appear larger than my back muscles, hence i have slightly winged scapula as well as slighty forward pushed shoulders. Quote of coach sommer: "Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:45 PM While some do indeed insist on such a ratio, GB does not. Yours in Fitness, Coach Sommer " Since this ratio ( of more pulling)! isnt used here, im worried that ill develop shoulder issues on the way. So: is it possible to adjust the program to the point that im more pulling? Im also wondering on the WAY: The program is tailored to the common guy that has the common postural prepositions: slouched shoulders/ kyphosis and anterior pelvic tilt/ weak glutes/ weak hamstrings, tight quads. How then is this program then fixing those imbalances. Heavy pike-stretching seems to be involved, more pushing than pulling etc.Im not trying to "hate" here, im just trying to understand how this program works. There might be some clues i dont get yet.... Maybe this program fixes those problems just in a different way i dont understand? If you do, please help me out! Returning to my personal issue: After all: To me, this program looks very fixed...or are there was given to address personal imbalances? The second problem im facing is the one with my patella tendinosis. Treatment that im following involves strengthening of the glutes, stretching of the anterior hip, quads etc. - basically fixing muscular imbalances that are caused by the sedentary lives nowadays. So basically: stretching the muscles that overtighten in modern sedentary lifestyle, and strengthening the "posterior muscular chain". And I dont see that f1 would do that for me: pike stretch for the manna: stretching the already weak hamstrings, Single Leg squat progressions without being coupled by posterior chain work ( for the lower body). This gives me the question: while this program may be great for people without any injuries or imbalances, im asking myself: is it even suitable for me? And if not: is it allowed/ does it make sense to chance it to my needs? Or would it then rather make much more sense to do a whole another program, suited towards my issues? As said:. I am worried that this program will help me with those progressions, but will worsen my knee condition by imterfering in the structural integrity of my lower limbs here. Also, another question: How would that extreme hamstring flexibility (build up in manna progr.) be influencing overall sportivity and danger of injury in track and field sports? I am, in school, in an intensive sport course, where we are doing some of the popular sports, also im a tennis player. I heard that extreme hamstring flexibility increases injury risk in such sports because of increased instability in those sports.. Also, several PTs tolr me that i am hypermobile and should stop stretching so much.i should focus more on stability work to stabilize respective joints. I hope youre seeing my dilemma... Looking forward to your input! Yours, Jonas
  3. Hey there, Ive been having elbow problems since late January 2014. The trigger of my problem was probably(!) a combination of those two exercises: -Swedish Bars Front Support ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvuWwMcwRXM ) -Swedish Bars Back Support ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDCr_lXDd64&list=UUPCiBMarvDiTx-lknzt934g ) I combined them into following interval sequence: D1. Swedish Bars Front Support 10-30 sec D2. Swedish Bars Back Support 10-30 sec -Repeat D1, D2 for a total of 5 sets, resting 45-90 sec between exercises *I found this whole sequence on Ido Portal's blog and youtube account. However, i had basically no experience before in straight arm strength or support exercises ( maybe done L-sits some times before, however nothing structured). Means, my elbows weren't prepared at all for this stress, and of course, it resulted in injury. Around the same time, i messed around with tucked front lever and back lever tucks,-probably progressed too quick here too- that may have contributed to the paint injury symptoms I've been having since then. However, i did a heck lot of unstructured strength training, skill work , played more tennis than usual at that time, so it could also be some "collective injury/pain trigger". Basically: I was totally retarded. ​When Im looking back, Im thinking like " wtf did you do to your body?- injury out of what you did was a certainty". This was in late January 2014. ​So , please don't tell me this was dumb. Much rather, Id appreciate any input what you would do in my situation. What I did so far: Since then, Ive been to 2 doctors, and 3 physios.- Yet, nothing great has changed. 1 doctor and 1 physio was shit, ( diagnosis of them: tendonitis or bursitis, advice: rest and it will go away. also: never extend your elbows fully!! - "yes for sure, i thought",- and went. The other sports orthopedist and physio ( and osteopath ) both diagnosed me ( independently of each other) with some kind of ulnar irritation.- this made perfect sense, as my pain was in that funny bone- area, and when i accidentally would bump my elbow against something- it would hurt as well. So: DIAGNOSIS: Some kind of Ulnar Nerve Irritation. However, its very local and ISN’T radiating down the arm, and also ISN’T initiating some tingling sensations in my pinky. The sports orthopedist also found out ( via x-ray and visual inspection) that my elbows are having some slight valgus deformity- means their angles isn't around 180 degrees, but more about 168 degrees. Hence- he said- i ve been predisposed to those problems,and this external stress triggered my injury. He prescribed me physiotherapy for strengthening and stabilizing the elbow joint as well as ultrasonic therapy and cryotherapy. Im doing ultrasonic 2 x a week, each arm 10 min. , right after it cryotherapy 1 min. i think, also both elbows. Then, last week, my phyio added a new thing to this Diagnosis: He said he thinks my ulnar nerve isn’t really lying inside the cubital tunnel properly, it is more like slid up ( the medial epycondile i guess). Hence, increased friction ( because of that improper alignment) to my ulnar nerve could be the reason why my elbow still is doing trouble to me. ( Considering i stopped doing all sports since i found out this could be something severe ( around the beginning of March 2014, maybe even earlier). Supplements: Im also taking the following supplements (as advised my 2 good(!) physios:) Vitamin B complexVitamin Dliquid fish oil, 2 teaspoons a dayExercises: Those exercises have been prescribed to me recently: side-lying external rotation with 1kg dumbbell ( 3 x ~20, daily) Sitting/Standing External Rotation with 2 kg in each hand (3x ~20, daily). ( heres a photo of this so we both talk about the same: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/articleimages/884/External-Rotation-Standing2.jpg So im doing those exercises daily, and also go to the physio about 2 times a week, where he does some manual manipulation. He said my ulnar nerve isn’t really in its "cubital tunnel" and IF its in,it always tends to hop out again , so he tries to bring it back in its groove permanently via some nerve mobility manipulation. The given exercises should reinforce so much stability to it, so it will hold the nerve stable. Also he tries to get some tension out of the adjacent muscles, also out of the neck, the lats and the upper arm. ( Since the nerve is going all the way down from the neck to the pinky). Thats about what was told to me. So this is about my treatment plan, but im not very sure if it will really give me the kind of relief i was hoping for. Until now, it didn't. If you'd had any input, Id be very glad. Thank you!
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