Hitting Air - OUCH!

Hawke

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Has anyone heard of people over extending a joint from hitting air?

Since there is no pad or shield to hit, some people over extend their elbows on punches and their knees on kicks.

Proper execution of the kick, but leave a small gap for knee safety.

Proper execution of punch, but leave a small gap for elbow safety.

If you did leg presses to strengthen your knees will this prevent the injury or is it still better to leave that small gap when hitting air?

Any exercises to strengthen the elbow?

What do you guys think?

Coming from a dance background we were taught to be careful of over extensions. Our kicks still look straight, but there's a small gap.
 

Logan

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You can practise fully extensions if you do it really slow. Otherwise, hold back a bit.

To strengthen tendons, ligaments or whatever, current thinking is that several hundred repetitions of light weights seems to do the trick.

To put this into a workout, if you were doing a strength workout lifting heavy weights, at the end you would finish with high repetitions of low weights.
 

Hand Sword

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Has anyone heard of people over extending a joint from hitting air?

Since there is no pad or shield to hit, some people over extend their elbows on punches and their knees on kicks.

Proper execution of the kick, but leave a small gap for knee safety.

Proper execution of punch, but leave a small gap for elbow safety.

If you did leg presses to strengthen your knees will this prevent the injury or is it still better to leave that small gap when hitting air?

Any exercises to strengthen the elbow?



What do you guys think?

Coming from a dance background we were taught to be careful of over extensions. Our kicks still look straight, but there's a small gap.

I have heard of it and done so. The way we were told to strike would be not to fully extend the strikes and kicks. As for exercises, yes it will strengthen, but, injuries will still occur. Look at pro athletes. To strengthen the elbow, well, it's a joint (ball and socket) so it won't be strengthened. However, the muscle and tendons can be with weights or without, such as push ups, dynamic tension, etc...
 

shesulsa

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I've over-extended a few times and it hurts like crazy.

I do encourage folks to "put the brakes on" just before they reach full extension, or - as you say - 'leave a small gap'.


That's difficult to get into the heads of kids sometimes and has to be carefully trained to prevent joint injury.
 

King

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Oh I hate it when that happens... Sometimes you mis-judge a punch or kick and you force your limb to over exert itself. One of those comedic blunders our over confidence causes us to make. These days when I shadow box I tend to do it slower and concentrate more on form than the actual punch or kick. If I'm too tense or force myself to go too fast, that's when the hyper extension happens.
 

redantstyle

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force is stored in a curve, and an advancing base removes the need for a break.

otherwise, be sure to snap it back.
 

bushidomartialarts

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Ditto and true dat to what everyone else has said.

Remember also that it's a bad idea to extend fully even if you have a target. Anybody with skill can destroy a limb you lock out. It's best to be in the habit of stopping motion with the limb still slightly bent.
 

Aikicomp

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I have heard of it and done so. The way we were told to strike would be not to fully extend the strikes and kicks. As for exercises, yes it will strengthen, but, injuries will still occur. Look at pro athletes. To strengthen the elbow, well, it's a joint (ball and socket) so it won't be strengthened. However, the muscle and tendons can be with weights or without, such as push ups, dynamic tension, etc...

Um...no offense HS, but, you may want to look at that joint a little closer.

You should never fully extend punches or kicks because of above stated reasons.
 

seasoned

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The other reason is, your giving your opponent something easer to break. Also you lose power by locking a technique out. There is rebound to consider. :asian:
 

Xue Sheng

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Yes I have heard of people over extending and hurting themselves but why would you want to use a full extension for striking? As stated by some before me. full extension is going to hurt you if you actually do hit something and it gives your opponent something to attack
 

chrispillertkd

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I have heard of people hyper-extending their elbows and knees, but I have never done so in over 22 years of training. And, yes, I routinely punch and kick as hard as possible when doing theser types of exercises.

I don't specifically try to leave my joints partially bent or flexed when kicking or punching and have never had problems. Nor have the vast majority of the people I have trained with, including some senior members who are well above me in age.

The vast majority of injuries I have seen in my time training has, in fact, been due to someone misusing training equipment.

Pax,

Chris
 

chrispillertkd

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you lock out?

no flexion at all?

wow.

I certainly can't be the only one who does this, can I? I can't remember the last time I hyperextended an elbow or knee joint. Honestly, I don't recall ever doing so from Taekwon-Do training.

I will say, however, that "locking out" a punch (for example) isn't the same thing as over extending the elbow. If you tense the muscles of the punch when you reach the point of focus it seems to prevent your arm from over extending (I'm no sports medicine professional by any means, but that's what seems to occur). I find that leaving a flexed elbow or knee when performing hand or foot techniques leaves me with less power and slower execution of technique because of having to think to make sure I'm doing so.

Pax,

Chris
 

Phoenix44

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I wouldn't throw full out without something to contact. I see this a lot in some of the cardio kick-boxing classes. I think it's nuts.
 

girlbug2

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I was trained to never fully extend because 1, it works against me in a lot of SD techniques (by leaving my arm at the wrong angle), 2, it delays the rebound, which a) gives the opponent extra time to trap the hand and/or b), can leave me open too long to a counterpunch and most of all, 3: the real power of a strike is in the recoil. Recoil, recoil, and more recoil is drummed into us from day one, and it is harder and slower to recoil if you fully extend.

And oh yes, you might hyperextend your elbows and knees that way :).
 

geezer

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Ditto and true dat to what everyone else has said.

Remember also that it's a bad idea to extend fully even if you have a target. Anybody with skill can destroy a limb you lock out. It's best to be in the habit of stopping motion with the limb still slightly bent.

Interestingly, in the Wing Tsun system, we teach to always extend a punch 100%, locking out the elbows. My former sifu used to challenge other stylists to try and break his arm. I once saw him literally toy with a high dan aiki-jujutsu master who simply could not hurt him-- the man was that elastic... plus he moved in ways to prevent his opponent from ever fully completing his locks.

I also saw another instructor from an offshoot WT style, Emin Boztepe of EBMAS, lead students through an exersize session which included throwing 10,000 fast, fully extended "chain punches". It was brutal, but no elbow injuries were sustained.

Now I'm an older guy and consitutionally stiff jointed. So I go light on the full extention punching. I might do 500 to 1,000 once or twice a week, but if I want to use a lot of force, I work against a bag to put the brakes on my blows and take some stress off the elbows. And call me a wimp, but I sometimes wear bag gloves.
 

redantstyle

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I also saw another instructor from an offshoot WT style, Emin Boztepe of EBMAS, lead students through an exersize session which included throwing 10,000 fast, fully extended "chain punches". It was brutal, but no elbow injuries were sustained.

it was also short on power.
 

geezer

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it was also short on power.

No kidding. It was purely an endurance exercise... and not one that I myself would choose to do, but the point was that nobody's elbows were injured. I definitely wouldn't recommend doing huge numbers like that and snapping them out absolutely as hard as you can. That would be pressing your luck.
Nowadays I do more work with resistance bands. I find it both more productive and easier on the joints as well.
 
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