Kyokushin Calf Tear

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by HoneyBear, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. HoneyBear

    HoneyBear White Belt

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    Hi guys,

    Sharon from Australia - newbie to Sherdog (first post).

    Short BIO :

    Female
    42 years old
    5'3" tall
    59 kg
    18% BF
    Kyokushin Karateka - senior red belt

    I have been doing strength training for about 4 years, and took up Kyokushin Karate with my three youngest sons (aged 12, 13 & 14) in January this year. We all graded straight to senior red belt 2 months later, and are aiming to go straight to senior blue in September. It's great having 4 of us at home - we train together, and teach each other.

    I have fallen in love with Kyokushin, and have become a bit of a nutter about it, and train fairly intensely (as I do with weights). I have 2 speeds for everything - full on and stop.

    Because I had never done this sort of training before, and there was a lot of sparring involved, I stopped strength training my legs for a while so that I didn't overdo it, but kept on with upper body workouts. I substituted lower body weight training with stretching, as I found that I was very tight in the legs generally.

    Unfortunately, after a particularly enthusiastic spar with an 18 year old black belt about 5 weeks ago, I tore my right calf muscle. My physio thinks it's about a grade 2-3 tear, and I have been laying low, trying to do the right thing so I can get back to training as soon as possible. I went from crutches to high heels (that's what the doctor ordered!).

    Started back at Karate last week - sparring flat-footed (as I still can't bounce on it), and Monday night just gone, I got put off balance by a young enthusiastic white belt, and tore the muscle again. Not so bad this time, but I'm out for another week.

    Any ideas about the stretching v strength training thing? My physio is of the opinion that I had overstretched the calf before the injury, and that I should have been maintaining my weights workouts instead of concentrating on the stretching part of things, especially in light of my age (I thought I was the oldest teenager in town, but after reading some threads on Sherdog, I am not even in the same league as you guys for "teenageness".)

    It's all very confusing and frustrating. Should I do both?

    Would very much appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks

    Sharon
    :icon_chee
     
  2. BayAreaGuy

    BayAreaGuy Good Day

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    Hey mate,


    Before you spar, try doing dynamic stretching instead (do a search on that)


    And of course you should be doing lots of warm ups as well (ie a little jogging, running in place, ect...) The warmer the better, really helps to prevent injury since warm muscles mean they become more flexible amoung other things.


    After you're done do static stretching (which is where you hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds). Breath deep while you're doing it. Stretching is suppose to feel good, don't do it to hard or put a lot of unecessary pressure on it thinking you'll be become a lot more flexible overnight.


    Use this same stratigy for strength training as well with the warm ups and loostening up beforehand and stretching after.




    good luck in the future, hope you recover fast
     
  3. BayAreaGuy

    BayAreaGuy Good Day

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    Had a typo, before working out I meant to type "dynamic stretching".


    I used to overstretch before running as well. My calves would tighten up while running and I figured the solution was to stretch it even more and hader and the problem would go away, but it got worse, so don't do that.




    No reason you can't do both. Do your normal weight routine followed by your stretching routine after (not so hard of course). That's pretty much what everyone does.
     
  4. Admles

    Admles Blue Belt

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    Where abouts in Australia do you live?
     
  5. YAPUREHEAVYDAFT

    YAPUREHEAVYDAFT Orange Belt

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    Stretching proper before hand should have prevented this.
    When i lift i dont stretch but when i do any exercise were im stretching then warming up before and after is a must.
    Im surprised by your physios advice.
     
  6. ronin0352

    ronin0352 Lift, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

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    I would definitely get back to the weights when your injury allows. Simply put: The stronger you are, the less likely you are to get injured. Obviously it can still happen, but it's less likely.
     
  7. roadwarrior357

    roadwarrior357 Green Belt

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    The high heels were to prevent the calf from stretching out and help it heal properly. You went back to training too soon. With a torn calf muscle you should not do anything explosive. Any excercise you do should be slow and repetive, no sudden changes or pressure on the muscle. 5 weeks is simply not enough time for your calf to heal.

    I would not jump rope, nor jump at all, no sparring, nothing that will all of a sudden stretch the calf muscle, or put a load on it.

    The best thing to do is rub some ben gay or muscle rub into it before you start and then ice it after you are done. I would stay away from stretching it out at this point. Stretching will not help, warming it up is all you need to do.

    Really there is no need to go to a doctor. They can't do anything for you. A torn muscle must heal itself. (Unless it is so bad as to need surgery) Just take your time getting back into the karate. I would take at least 2 months off. You are at a high risk to retear the muscle doing karate. Why? Because it stretches the muscle out, it puts explosive demands on the muscle, and karate is notorious for stop and go. Standing still one second and going 100% the next second is sure to lead to another tear. You have to make sure not to overload the muscle.

    You must rehab the muscle before you go back to karate. And to rehab it, you have to do non-explosive type movements that are not stop and go.

    Good luck!!!!
     
  8. tripnastic

    tripnastic Dudeist Priest

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    +1. I just got over a grade 2 myself. The healing process was slow and frustrating. Then when I finally felt it might be safe to start doing things again, I was ridiculously nervous about tearing it again. I went back into training slowly and have made an effort to strengthen my calves more than I was before. I did it doing jumping squats and still can't bring myself to do them though.
     
  9. HoneyBear

    HoneyBear White Belt

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    Thanks heaps guys. It is so frustrating having to wait out an injury. When I was only doing weight training, I never once injured myself, no matter how intensely I worked out - always warmed up beforehand (treadmill etc plus warm-up sets), and made great gains.

    This is all new to me.

    Yes, I agree that I did try to start back too soon, but as I said, I was sparring flat-footed (no jumping, skipping, stepping etc), and thought that would be OK (at least I was getting some striking practice) - it was just a very enthusiastic little white belt who didn't quite understand "no contact", and in the blink of an eye, I was pushed backwards and saving my fall with the injured leg. So now I have to be a really good girl!

    :redface: Sucks to be me!

    BayAreaGuy - as part of karate training we do a lot of warm-ups, then stretching, and I quite often do extra warming up (like jogging on spot) even before that. I was also doing extra stretching before we started class warm-ups etc, so I was probably just doing too much of a good thing.

    Triptastic - I feel your pain! I'm a little wary of going back to training too. How long ago was your injury? How long did you take off? Have you had any niggles in the calf since?

    Admles - I'm in Tamworth NSW. Where are you?

    Thanks again guys, I really appreciate your input.

    Sharon
     
  10. tripnastic

    tripnastic Dudeist Priest

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    My injury was in January of this year. I ended up taking 6 weeks off completely and probably another 4 of working my way back in slowly. I haven't had any problems with it since...yet....cue ominous music.
    :icon_chee
     

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