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Old 08-03-2007, 01:30 PM   #1
Derek Maffett
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My dad thinks I should lay off the pull ups and such for a few weeks and thinks that I should find out about ways to exercise without stressing the joints.

I hate to be taken away from heavy exercises for so long, but my dad is the one in charge. How is it possible to work muscles without working the joints? Planche and iron cross work are of course harder on the elbows, but how can you go about isolating the muscles from the joints? It's all part of one system after all, and besides, I don't want badly conditioned joints.

On the same subject, why do pullups cause elbow inflamation for some people and why is it that one arm pullups hold such danger for tendonitis? Is it just a matter of how much weight is being suspended from the arms?

Please keep in mind that, although this might seem bad, my dad is only doing this for my own good, or at least for what he thinks is my own good.

Edit: And another thing, how might I go about keeping the strength I have gained during the next few weeks? My dad says to do cardio if I want to exercise, but I train for strength, and I don't want to lose any strength. Thanks

(Message edited by Benedict on August 03, 2007)
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Old 08-03-2007, 04:10 PM   #2
David Wood
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Derek: You should review the thread "Spouse that doesn't get it" in the community section. In particular, look at the post by Tirzah Harper that is the first post on this link:

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/3499/44915.html

It pretty much sums up what you can do . . . sit down and have an honest discussion about what he fears for you, and what compromises or adjustments you could make if and when some evidence of those fears might appear. (I don't believe that any of those fears will actually come to pass . . . you're still young enough not to face too many risks from 'old-guy' problems like tendinitis.

The rest of that thread may have some relevance for you, as well . . . but Tirzah's advice is golden.


Beyond that, about what you can do to exercise without moving your joints: well, you pretty much identified it when you mentioned planches. You can keep muscular strength doing only isometrics. They're not in favor here (for obvious reasons), but I have used them in the past, and you *can* get or keep strong using only them. You will decline significantly in "athleticism" (the art of moving gracefully with power), but you can retain plain old strength.

No, I'm not suggesting that this is a good solution (I'd rather see your father spend some time here on the boards, observe our commitment to good form, get some coaching (is there an affiliate anywhere nearby?), and understand how *un*likely this is to hurt you.)

But if all you could do was pushups and isometrics, yes, you can get very strong. You can Google "isometrics" or "isometric exercise" and find lots of stuff, or use the same search terms at Amazon for lots of books on the subject.

(One thought: Get the book "Solitary Fitness" by Charles Bronson, and he'll be glad to have you doing CrossFit.)
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Old 08-03-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
Derek Maffett
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He didn't mention not moving the joints. He simply wanted me to find some way to not stress them as much.

There is no affiliate nearby. I've checked. I live in Castle Rock, WA, so the nearest Crossfit is around Seattle (two hour drive). If there were one in longview, I might try that.

Admittedly, I have given him some reason to fear for my safety. I have gotten some injuries lately. Pained knees (not necessarily related to exercise) amongst others. He only banned me from the exercises after he saw me with an ice pack. (I wasn't injured, I was just trying to make sure that if I did overdo the exercise a little, that my workout schedule would not be sidetracked or at least not by much).

I suppose talking to him might be a good idea, though I don't want to seem defiant to him. I rather doubt I could get him to come around these boards, though.
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Old 08-03-2007, 05:18 PM   #4
David Wood
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There are 3 affiliates in Portland (not sure that that is any closer, though), and one in Tacoma. Could those help? Tacoma is run by Eugene Allen, a law enforcement officer. Perhaps that would help persuade your father to at least take a look?

Using an ice pack is evidence of smart management, not out-and-out injury.

If talking to him in the serious and respectful manner suggested by Tirzah (did you read the link?) is seen as "defiant", well, then, in all honesty, Derek, you have bigger problems than just exercising.

One last suggestion: adopt the "SimpleFit" workouts at simplefit.org. Mostly bodyweight, very minimal equipment, but they will get you in excellent shape. Try again on CrossFit in a few months or a year when you've demonstrated to him that your body can handle it.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:32 AM   #5
Craig Van De Walker
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Derek,
Are you having a lot of pain? Maybe you do need a deload week? You can do that and tell your dad it is part of the suggested program (because it is).

Pullups and especially one armed pullups are associated with strains/tendinitis. This is usually from overdoing or ramping up the volume two fast, either one. One armed pullups because they are twice as stresfull as regular pullups.

In my case I have had repeated injuries working towards a one armed pullup because it takes hard work and I tend to overdo things.

If your dad is calling the shots I would guess you are a minor. I am kind of surprised you are having joint issues at your age. You could possibly be trying to do too much too fast. I would make sure your form was correct, you might take advantage of the digital coaching if it was OK with dad.

Hopefully your joint pain is just related to normal growth issues.

I feel that when I do isometric work it is just as hard on my joints and connective tissue as kinetic stuff but that could just be me.

Many people come back stronger after a week of rest, you won't fall apart, honest.

You can certainly do cardio, I fail to see that it is any easier on the joints.

How about running, rowing, skill work, and if it is OK do one of the benchmark "girls" that are only bodyweight. It is tough cardio and no weights although they all have pullups. If you have pullup issues you could skip or scale them temporarily. Cindy, Angie, Chelsea, Barbara, Diane and Tabata something else.

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Old 08-04-2007, 09:59 AM   #6
Steven Low
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If you're training cross AND one arm pullup I would definitely suggest a rest week every 5-6 weeks if not more. Both are terribly hard on the elbow. Uhm, yeah, if you haven't taken a break in a while, then I'd say do that.

Simple stuff like pushups and air squats and easy exercises will help you maintain muscle mass and strength if you do some here if you're not doing any other exercise.

Stuff that is pretty "low impact" include rowing and swimming and things of that nature.
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Old 08-04-2007, 10:21 AM   #7
Derek Maffett
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Craig, I think you misunderstand me. I am having no joint issues with my elbows. I was only icing my elbow more in the way of preventative maintenance.

I know about the deload week. I haven't been working too many consecutive days now and have had some rest.

Steven, I am not training cross. I was just using it as an example. I am training tuck planche and OAC. Planche seems easy enough on my elbows.

I have been having some knee troubles, but of course OAC and planche are not going to bother me.

(Message edited by Benedict on August 04, 2007)
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:28 PM   #8
Corey Duvall
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It was the knee trouble that gave your father pause to begin with? The exercises on this site are complex motor skills that require strict form to properly apply the stresses to your body. I highly suggest if you are having ANY joint pain to seek some guidance. Even if you drove once or twice to a CF affiliate they could help you a great deal to learn about your form.

Also, Craig is correct about the tendonitis possibility for one arm pullups. What I would suggest is starting with two arm pullups while adding a weight vest or holding a dumbell between your ankles. This will strengthen your pullups and eventually you'll be strong enough to get one or two with one arm, then some more. I had been doing weighted pullups for a while when one day thought I'd see if I could do one with one arm, to my surprise I could. But simply transitioning from two arm to one will not be prudent, nor sufficient.

Good luck with your father.
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
Matt DeMinico
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I've got an issue with my left knee because I:

1) twisted it when the front of my 17" blade dug into the ice coming out of a corner, my knee went one way while my whole body went the other, and it wobbled/torqued back and forth on the way down.

2) twisted it again (this time mostly my ankle though) doing the same thing coming out of a corner

3) Fell and smacked the boards (my kneepad twisted to the side when I fell, leaving my knee exposed) just about 2' short of the pads that are supposed to cushion your crashing into the boards.

My left knee has noticable problems, nothing major, but if I leave it off load for a while (sitting down for a little while to type on CF for example), then get up and put most of my weight on it on the way up, there is noticable pain. But none of this is going to stop me from doing exercises, as a matter of fact, I think the exercises are helping it by allowing my muscles to hold everything in the proper position.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:47 AM   #10
Corey Duvall
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I'm glad to hear you think the workouts are helping to strengthen your knee. I have a similar story.

I had an ACL reconstruction and two meniscal operations on the same knee within a two year period in 1998-9 during the beginning of my high school basketball career. I rehabilitated (never doing proper body weight squats mind you; they put me on a bowflex machine for the strengthening routine) and was able to continue my basketball career and then played rugby in college. I continually had knee pain 1-2 times a month from working out, a brief swell up, subsequent loss of workout time, and then back. Well as a result I lost a great deal of leg strength. I'm happy to say that since starting crossfit, utilizing proper biomechanics and full ROM I have had ZERO pain, a GREAT strength improvement, have almost equal muscle bulk between both legs (the non-injured leg has grown in bulk as well, otherwise they'd be the same size today, I feel they'll eventually fully even out) and even the occasional elbow pain I would get before has disappeared. It really has to do with using your body the way it was meant to be. Find a good coach, get Starting Strength and read it three times cover to cover, watch the online videos incessantly (but understand that even on there the occasional poor form exists, learn to pick it out and it will help you even more) and just learn how to use your body. A proper training program will limit and reduce your injuries.

Work the body and the body will work.
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