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Shoulder pump

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:54 am
by Onlyethic
I've been experiencing fatigue in my shoulders during kung fu training. We keep our hands up at about shoulder height in front of us, and lots of the movements involve shoulder activation. lately the feeling of fatigue-- "pump", during which my shoulders get tired and stiff-- sets on fairly quickly.

Anyone have recommendations to combat this? Is it just a matter of doing more shoulder strengthening and endurance work (pushups-- decline, and handstand?), in addition to some general high intensity cardio?

thanks much

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:45 pm
by TimD
Just my opinion, but my guess is you need a bit more strength/endurance type of training for the shoulders. I was watching the DB/KB/ and BB complexes over on you-tube, and noticed 2 things. 1. A LOT of grappler/boxer/MMA types were using them for strength - endurance stamina
2. They were doing them in fairly high reps (6-10) with lots of swings, snatches (great for the rotators), and alt arm pressing. You might want to check them out. Type in "Dumbell Complexes" or "Kettlebell Complexes" or Barbell Complexes.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:06 am
by Matt Z
Boxers get this a lot. Often you'll see a guys hands get lower and lower as a fight progresses, until his gloves are guarding his belly button, which is a great way to get knocked out.

As Tim suggested complexes are a great way to build muscular endurance. Also, you might want to try shaddowboxing with a pair of 1lb dumbbells. Boxers do this a lot since the dumbbells mimic the weight of a pair of full size boxing gloves.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:35 am
by Onlyethic
thanks for both suggestions. I think I have been neglecting my shoulders for a little while, which explains it in part.

Keep the guard up is important; however, I also find that it detracts drastically from my technique. Anyways, will try complexes etc.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:45 pm
by pdellorto
I hate to say it, but the best solution is to just keep doing it. You need to train both your sheer endurance and your instinct to drop your guard when you're tired. Not to say complexes and such won't help - I'm sure they do - but you need to get used to keeping the guard up as much as getting the strength. Some fighters don't get tired, they just forget to guard when the adrenaline fires!

Keep the guard up, and and keep it up often. I tell my training partners to punch me in the head if I drop my guard. I get lots of yellow and black bruises on my face but I also have a much better guard by the end of sparring rounds than I did when I was fresh and ready.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:52 am
by daniel4738
When I kickboxed, I used to practice the American half guard. Simply because at the end of the third round your guard is dropping and the fight will probably go on points.

Basically (if you are a righty) your left arm protects your lower half by making an L shape with your fist at about your belly button and the arm hugged in close. Your right hand is palm facing towards your opponent about 10cm from your face with the rest of your arm protecting your chest. You then turn slightly more sideways than normal.

This position is very defensive and makes it practically impossible for the opponent to actually score a hit. It also makes it equally hard to hit the opponent. I found it worked great and allowed me to get in really close to launch a massive right cross left hook combo. I also found it worked really well against this one guy who was a also a tai kwon do practitioner. His feet were swinging painfully all over the place, I used the American half guard to sneak in close then unloaded on him when his hands were not guarding him.

Of course I don't think the American half guard is applicable in Kungfu ... sorry :D

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:38 pm
by Onlyethic
Yeah, read an article in Gladiator mag. about the need to practice extensively with near-perfect form-- keeping the guard up being the most fundamental of things.

Though it was worse for the past couple weeks on account of my being under the weather and a little fatigued, I find it's mostly a mental thing-- whenever I start thinking during training, everything gets worse. Wondering if I'll be able to get through the next exercise is an invitation for failure.

The tip about having someone punch you in the head when you drop your guard is a great one. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) my kung fu is not full contact (though sometimes approaches full contact-- e.g. a slap on the head or face from a senior student to remind you about that guard).

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:15 am
by pdellorto
If you can just get them to tap you or swat you with a pad, it'll still help. Physical feedback is very, very useful for keeping your guard up. The endurance will come just from the large amount of time you'll spend guard-up.