• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Harriet

How to get bouncy for TKD

Recommended Posts

Hi all. I've been doing taekwondo for a few months now. So far, so good. My technique is improving. But I'm flat-footed and heavy, and when they ask us to do slides or to bounce on the balls of our feet when kicking, I get really tired really quickly. My calves, shins, and all the little stabilising muscles around them and around the ankle are so friggin tired. How important is the bouncing? Do these little muscles of the lower leg ever get much stronger? It kinda seems a really inefficient way to move around--I've got some big powerful muscles in my upper legs that would like to do the work instead... any insights on bouncing (how important it is, how to get better at it) would be appreciated. Cheers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 My guess is that you havn't "free played" in a while? (like playing tag or Frisbee or anything like that). When you did, you probably had shoes on. For your feet and ankles that's kind of like going through life with mittens on your hand. Kids are being raised with almost no horseplay (my son almost never does it), and that is actually pretty bad for you.

 

You can try common agility drills (https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/3782/6-exercises-to-improve-agility) 

 

but it's probably going to come naturally with training.

 

Be careful though, quickly tiring muscles lose their ability to support your weight and can lead to injuries, it's better to let your muscles develop than to push them too quickly.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 'bounce' is less about the muscle and more about the connective tissue, particularly your Achilles tendon (those things have a tensile strength of 1000+ lbs.). I'd say just by practicing more you'll get better adapted to proper technique to it. Some jumping rope barefoot would be a great developer; try adding those in as much as you can. Ultimately though you have to make it a point to be bouncy during practice. It makes you more relaxed, and the more relaxed you are, the more explosive you can be.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, TheAccountant said:

 My guess is that you havn't "free played" in a while? (like playing tag or Frisbee or anything like that). When you did, you probably had shoes on. For your feet and ankles that's kind of like going through life with mittens on your hand. Kids are being raised with almost no horseplay (my son almost never does it), and that is actually pretty bad for you.

 

You can try common agility drills (https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/3782/6-exercises-to-improve-agility) 

 

but it's probably going to come naturally with training.

 

Be careful though, quickly tiring muscles lose their ability to support your weight and can lead to injuries, it's better to let your muscles develop than to push them too quickly.


Nope, I walk and I lift. With shoes. Haven't been a kid for some time now. Yeah, we do those ladder drills sometimes. They tire out my calves/ankles quickly. You make a good point about injury. I guess I can always do as much bouncing as I manage and then do the rest of the class flat footed until I get more lower leg/ankle strength/endurance.
 

13 hours ago, Machete said:

The 'bounce' is less about the muscle and more about the connective tissue, particularly your Achilles tendon (those things have a tensile strength of 1000+ lbs.). I'd say just by practicing more you'll get better adapted to proper technique to it. Some jumping rope barefoot would be a great developer; try adding those in as much as you can. Ultimately though you have to make it a point to be bouncy during practice. It makes you more relaxed, and the more relaxed you are, the more explosive you can be.


The tendon, eh? I was wondering why my lower legs seemed so weak, because my calves are rock hard from loads of walking (I'm trying to fix my gait so I rely on them less), and I think I've improved some of the little stabilising muscles by barbell squatting. I can't jump rope though, I just can't figure it out. I keep hitting myself or the ground with the rope (while everyone else just skips effortlessly and happily... I have no idea what's wrong with me). Actually, I sprained my ankle quite badly doing this so I'm loathe to try it again. But I can definitely prioritise bounciness in my class and make it a deliberate area of focus.

 

I also didn't realise there was a relation between being relaxed and being explosive. Actually, can I ask you some more about that? I'm really slow moving. I just feel really heavy on my feet. Powerlifting has given me more strength than I used to have, but it's the kind of strength I apply slowly, over a few seconds, not explosively. Do I have to be literally lighter (i.e. lose bodyfat) to be lighter on my feet, or does it come with deliberate practice also? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎6‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 11:15 AM, Harriet said:

Do I have to be literally lighter (i.e. lose bodyfat) to be lighter on my feet, or does it come with deliberate practice also? 

 

In my experience, deliberate practice trumps bodyfat percentage. When I first started in my training (which emphasizes explosive shifts in and out of range), one of the things that we would do is practice hard shifts against a resistance band and uphill. No joke. I didn't get noticeably leaner but I got hecking explosive, and still am ten years later.

 

Bouncing's also a legit strategy for light movement. Once you get used to it, you'll find that you can dance in and out of range practically at will. I've had to spar with some TKD folk, and they're so freaking light it's ridiculous. Relaxation is a huge part of that - a tense muscle moves slow; a relaxed muscle snaps to like a whip, and that's freaking vital in striking work. You'll find that your strikes improve the looser you get.

 

If you can't skip rope, agility drills are reputedly good for bulletproofing the feet and ankles against injury. I've gotten good training off of them before, but YMMV.

 

Also, be advised that this kind of training can have a conditioning effect, which may affect your weight and which may affect your lifts in turn. Whatever changes you make, I advise they be slow and carefully considered. Maybe pick one thing that makes the most sense to you and incorporate it for a month or three. Then adjust.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Kishi said:

 

In my experience, deliberate practice trumps bodyfat percentage. When I first started in my training (which emphasizes explosive shifts in and out of range), one of the things that we would do is practice hard shifts against a resistance band and uphill. No joke. I didn't get noticeably leaner but I got hecking explosive, and still am ten years later.

 

Bouncing's also a legit strategy for light movement. Once you get used to it, you'll find that you can dance in and out of range practically at will. I've had to spar with some TKD folk, and they're so freaking light it's ridiculous. Relaxation is a huge part of that - a tense muscle moves slow; a relaxed muscle snaps to like a whip, and that's freaking vital in striking work. You'll find that your strikes improve the looser you get.

 

If you can't skip rope, agility drills are reputedly good for bulletproofing the feet and ankles against injury. I've gotten good training off of them before, but YMMV.

 

Also, be advised that this kind of training can have a conditioning effect, which may affect your weight and which may affect your lifts in turn. Whatever changes you make, I advise they be slow and carefully considered. Maybe pick one thing that makes the most sense to you and incorporate it for a month or three. Then adjust.


Cool. That's good because I have negative one thousand units of motivation left for dieting or attempting to lose weight. What do you mean by "shifts", though? 

 

I can practice bouncing. It's good to hear that the bouncy taekwondoins you know are effective. I have had two black belts tell me I'm rigid recently. I'm not sure how to apply strength without tensing up, so there's something I need to work on right there. 

We do a little conditioning and agility at the start of every class. I'm still making progress with the lifts, so all is well. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Harriet said:

Cool. That's good because I have negative one thousand units of motivation left for dieting or attempting to lose weight. What do you mean by "shifts", though? 

 

A "shift" is a movement of the stance that has a lot in common with a fencer's lunge, but it's not a lunge either. The difference is that a lunge has you lengthen out through the rear leg and land hard on the front. The shift is a move done off of the back leg - come up on the ball of your rear foot and then push forward. But it's not a lunge; you land in the same stance that you had when you started. Some other arts refer to this kind of movement as a "burst" but that's how I learned it.

 

12 hours ago, Harriet said:

I can practice bouncing. It's good to hear that the bouncy taekwondoins you know are effective. I have had two black belts tell me I'm rigid recently. I'm not sure how to apply strength without tensing up, so there's something I need to work on right there. 

 

Well, the first thing you're going to need to work on is a shift (har) in mindset. You're not trying to hit someone with strength, you're trying to hit them with mechanics and technique. Rigidity and stiffness interferes with those things, and so it's something you're going to have to learn to relax through.

 

It's really not intuitive. Hitting something with strength feels good and hard, and when you first start, punching and kicking with technique feels like a garbage thing to do. You feel like you're leaving a lot of strength on the table, when the reality is your technique is poor and needs to be developed. Which, if you stick with this long enough, you're going to find is an ongoing theme - there's always something that needs to be fixed. :D

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kishi said:

 

A "shift" is a movement of the stance that has a lot in common with a fencer's lunge, but it's not a lunge either. The difference is that a lunge has you lengthen out through the rear leg and land hard on the front. The shift is a move done off of the back leg - come up on the ball of your rear foot and then push forward. But it's not a lunge; you land in the same stance that you had when you started. Some other arts refer to this kind of movement as a "burst" but that's how I learned it.


Oh, okay. We do in fact do some footwork; different steps and slides. 

 

2 hours ago, Kishi said:

It's really not intuitive. Hitting something with strength feels good and hard


Indeed. That's what I felt.
 

2 hours ago, Kishi said:

You're not trying to hit someone with strength, you're trying to hit them with mechanics and technique. Rigidity and stiffness interferes with those things, and so it's something you're going to have to learn to relax through.


Okay, this is something I can definitely prioritise on from now on, now that I understand why. Thank you :) 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2019 at 11:15 AM, Harriet said:

The tendon, eh? I was wondering why my lower legs seemed so weak, because my calves are rock hard from loads of walking (I'm trying to fix my gait so I rely on them less), and I think I've improved some of the little stabilising muscles by barbell squatting. I can't jump rope though, I just can't figure it out. I keep hitting myself or the ground with the rope (while everyone else just skips effortlessly and happily... I have no idea what's wrong with me). Actually, I sprained my ankle quite badly doing this so I'm loathe to try it again. But I can definitely prioritise bounciness in my class and make it a deliberate area of focus.

 

I also didn't realise there was a relation between being relaxed and being explosive. Actually, can I ask you some more about that? I'm really slow moving. I just feel really heavy on my feet. Powerlifting has given me more strength than I used to have, but it's the kind of strength I apply slowly, over a few seconds, not explosively. Do I have to be literally lighter (i.e. lose bodyfat) to be lighter on my feet, or does it come with deliberate practice also? 

 

I like this one to get those ankles strong in 4 directions.

 

 

Ultimately I'd still recommend investing the time in learning how to jump rope. The relaxation that is required to do it may be what is keeping you stiff, so you could work on developing your rhythm without the pressure of the rope first. Just jump rope like one normally would, but hold both ends of the rope on one hand. Simulate jumping rope and develop the rhythm of hopping as the rope hits the floor. You won't get tangled-up since it's by your side. I'll try to do a video in this.

 

The power comes from "pulsing" at the correct times. It's like snapping a towel, or cracking a whip. You can't do do it with a stick because of how rigid it is. Not enough pulse in the first stage and it becomes a slap. Not enough pulse on the second stage and it becomes a push. (Stu McGill did a paper on this.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Machete said:

The power comes from "pulsing" at the correct times. It's like snapping a towel, or cracking a whip. You can't do do it with a stick because of how rigid it is. Not enough pulse in the first stage and it becomes a slap. Not enough pulse on the second stage and it becomes a push. (Stu McGill did a paper on this.)


Oh, that paper is amazing! It makes sense and is something I can try to practice. Thank you so much, this is really motivating. I will also do the ankle exercise because I'd like to increase my ankle strength, mobility and stability. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Harriet said:


Oh, that paper is amazing! It makes sense and is something I can try to practice. Thank you so much, this is really motivating. I will also do the ankle exercise because I'd like to increase my ankle strength, mobility and stability. 

 

Keep at it! Some of us just have tank builds and have a hard time re-adjusting to another playstyle. (I was a clumsy heavy-handed, flat-footed, head-forward puncher in boxing, but my coach was a smooth in-and-out speed guy. I had to learn how to be fast and light, and it suuuucked. I never actually became fast, but I was able to be just about as fast as the normal guys, which was a huge improvement.)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Machete said:

Keep at it! Some of us just have tank builds and have a hard time re-adjusting to another playstyle. (I was a clumsy heavy-handed, flat-footed, head-forward puncher in boxing, but my coach was a smooth in-and-out speed guy. I had to learn how to be fast and light, and it suuuucked. I never actually became fast, but I was able to be just about as fast as the normal guys, which was a huge improvement.)


I would love to be a tank. As it is, I have the perfect physique for video games. But all improvements are humbly welcomed, no matter how small. :) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2019 at 10:15 AM, Harriet said:


Nope, I walk and I lift. With shoes. Haven't been a kid for some time now. Yeah, we do those ladder drills sometimes. They tire out my calves/ankles quickly. You make a good point about injury. I guess I can always do as much bouncing as I manage and then do the rest of the class flat footed until I get more lower leg/ankle strength/endurance.
 


The tendon, eh? I was wondering why my lower legs seemed so weak, because my calves are rock hard from loads of walking (I'm trying to fix my gait so I rely on them less), and I think I've improved some of the little stabilising muscles by barbell squatting. I can't jump rope though, I just can't figure it out. I keep hitting myself or the ground with the rope (while everyone else just skips effortlessly and happily... I have no idea what's wrong with me). Actually, I sprained my ankle quite badly doing this so I'm loathe to try it again. But I can definitely prioritise bounciness in my class and make it a deliberate area of focus.

 

I also didn't realise there was a relation between being relaxed and being explosive. Actually, can I ask you some more about that? I'm really slow moving. I just feel really heavy on my feet. Powerlifting has given me more strength than I used to have, but it's the kind of strength I apply slowly, over a few seconds, not explosively. Do I have to be literally lighter (i.e. lose bodyfat) to be lighter on my feet, or does it come with deliberate practice also? 

 

I know this thread stopped about a week ago, but it's definitely something that comes with practice and development. I recently came to the realization that I'm a toe walker a lot of the time, and it makes me painfully quiet while moving.  (At work, most people are startled when I speak because they don't hear me coming and my family often doesn't hear me either).  Not that you ALWAYS want to walk that way, but I started deliberately doing so a lot more when we started having kids.  Especially with the second.  I've spent a lot of time in controlled tip toeing over the last 4 years.

 

It won't, and shouldn't come fast.  Over time and repeated stresses, your tendons will strengthen.  Even with super muscles, it's easy to overdo it and give yourself tendonitis if you don't rest enough.  So take it easy, and one thing that I found particularly helpful is eccentric stair exercise starting from the tip to and lowering yourself in a controlled manner to the bottom of your flexibility range.  You don't have to kill yourself with it, but I do a set of 15 on each foot before long walks or anytime I play a game that I plan to be on my toes with.  

 

I wish I'd discovered it when my wife and I were in regular TKD classes!  


 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

I've spent a lot of time in controlled tip toeing over the last 4 years.


Sounds exhausting! 

 

4 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

one thing that I found particularly helpful is eccentric stair exercise starting from the tip to and lowering yourself in a controlled manner to the bottom of your flexibility range.  You don't have to kill yourself with it, but I do a set of 15 on each foot before long walks or anytime I play a game that I plan to be on my toes with.  


I'll look into this, cheers! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Sounds exhausting! 

 

At first maybe. But after a while it becomes easy, as long as you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself. I’ve had Achilles tendinitis and conquering it was my first major success on these forums. 

 

 

27 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 


I'll look into this, cheers! 

 

I hope it helps!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now