Allen wrote:I'm looking for some guidance from some of the more seasoned Judoka, or anyone who knows.
What are some of the exercises / warmup activities that were widely taught and used but we now believe to be harmful? I speak for example of some of the neck exercises that might be better avoided, but really anything.
I know some dojos still keep these around from basic inertia, but I'd like to be able to identify and remove some of these activities wherever possible.
Can someone come up with some examples?
Having been in sports medicine for 3 decades and in judo much longer than that, my 2 cts on this is that ... I wouldn't express it as "exercises that we now believe to be harmful". I don't think that exercises 'ARE' necessarily harmful, but rather that they 'MAY' be harmful. One of the problems in judo training, especially high-performance training, especially in the past, was "blanket-training", I mean ... the same kind of training for everyone irrespective of gender, ethnicity, build and even age. That led to problems. What is good for one person, may not be so good for a different kind of person, but that does not necessarily makes the the exercise itself bad.
Let's take an exercise such as duck-walking. Maybe not the best exercise for a peri-pubertal female subject to large hormone changes and ensuing instability and high Q-angle of the knees, but if you happen to be an adult male with a past as a sprinter and excellent knees is the exercise bad or risky then ? Probably not.
Anyhow, to get back to my experience, I mentioned this mostly to point out how I can make comparisons between things even science. Take sit-ups. In the 1970s these has to be done with your legs stretched. Suddenly, in the 1980s this was bad because everyone supposedly would get a really bad back from it, so from that point on people had to bend their knees. But by the late 1990s some osteopaths started claiming that putting your hands in your neck was bad too because you would then pull your own neck into hernias or whatever.
It's a bit like fitness websites where someone asks how one should train and 11-30 people come back telling how this and that is all wrong and it should be then so or so. This is nonsense. Do whatever one wants, any movement is always going to be better than not doing anything. So A or B is not bad, BUT A or B might not give the MAXIMAL yield if one is trying to achieve something extreme or within the shortest possible time.
Back to the exercise I described ... doing sit-ups in whatever way will most likely still be a lot better than not doing anything at all. But yes, in the right combinations of underlying problems in select individuals who really have bad genes, have the wrong gender and have some kind of freak circumstance no doubt one way may prompt problems easier than the other.
However, if there is one thing people have become a lot wiser in, it is in loading the spine. Knowledge on back problems certainly has improved a lot thanks to the existence of CT-scas and MRIs. In the 1960s and 1970s exercise for kids often involved taking loads on the back, and it really dates from later that attention was drawn to keeping your back straight and lift with your legs. It is also from the late 1970s and early 1980s that the whole revolution in sleeping took place with development of new types of mattresses, wooden slats frames, etc, all in an effort to battle back problems which in those days were even far more difficult to treat than today and mostly involved drugs and painful injections.