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Old 07-13-2008, 06:22 PM   #1
Brandon Oto
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Default Spreading it out

Anybody have any thoughts on progressive training ideas for improving: flexibility, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy?

The challenge of here, as I see it, is finding ways to improve in these areas without improving only in the specific thing you're practicing. As far as GPP goes I'd like a way to improve, say, my balance, that improves it across the board. Not sure how possible this is -- the next best thing might be to simply "shotgun" with many different training approaches so that each may be specific, but there's enough of them that you cover a nice swath.

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Old 07-13-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
Patrick Donnelly
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Dabble around in some sports - they don't even have to be traditional ones. Hell, slacklining is supposed to be pretty fun stuff and a good test of balance. You can do stuff like that in a warm-up. Shoot some hoops, wrestle with a slosh pipe, go hard on a heavy bag, etc. All work well for warm-ups.
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:40 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Flex is easy.. stretch after anything.

Parkour and some gymnastics, from experience, is great from the rest. Or find another sport that works those other attributes.
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Old 07-13-2008, 11:42 PM   #4
Gittit Shwartz
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Had to chime in for Capoeira. There's a good deal of overlap with gymnastics but I feel the movements are more "organic" (less strict form - no hollow position and pointed toes to focus on) and also move through more ranges and angles. Balance, agility, coordination - check. Adults will need to put in extra flexibility work (like Steven said).
Slack lining rocks.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:59 AM   #5
Jason Lin
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Rock climbing (or bouldering, kind of like the powerlifting version of climbing) is another excellent way to go.

It hits all the areas you listed AND it has a grading system for routes and bouldering problems to let you measure your progress.

Example - Chris Sharma working an incredibly difficult bouldering problem

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Old 07-14-2008, 07:53 AM   #6
Neill Smith
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You'll never do it, but for flexibility, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy it's hard to imagine anything will beat dance.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:04 AM   #7
Brandon Oto
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Nice thoughts guys. What kind of dance, Neill?

I think one good way to think about these things is to find examples, then it's something concrete that can be addressed. A few examples:

Agility: cutting and juking through the defense on the football field

Flexibility: Lifting a leg to head-height (for kicking, climbing, whatever)

Balance: easily assuming and moving through any position in a mobile martial art while staying comfortably in-balance

Accuracy: throwing anything at a target

Coordination: catching anything (this one's a bit vague, anyone have more examples for coordination?)
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:20 AM   #8
Ben Moskowitz
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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Nice thoughts guys. What kind of dance, Neill?
My guess would be that classical dance leads to the fastest athletic adaptations: extreme positions, leaping splits, pirouettes, etc.

Still, probably any dance would be beneficial. I know Lincoln Brigham is a competitive dancer, or at least very good. I asked him about it, and he said most "natural" dance styles radiate movement core to extremity, while "machine-like movements" (popping, locking, ripples) tend to work in reverse. Of course there's also break dance...
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #9
Mike ODonnell
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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Nice thoughts guys. What kind of dance, Neill?
Go "Stomp the Yard"!

Hell I can't do 1/10th of what those guys do.....tried breakdancing as a kid....that never worked out....but at least wearing the parachute pants was fun.....
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:30 AM   #10
Peter Dell'Orto
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It would seem like any ball sport would be ideal for accuracy - play some baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball. Hockey if you've got skates and ice, but it's generally more expensive. Play some handball, maybe.

Martial arts are good, too, especially contact ones. Doesn't have to be hard contact for accuracy. Kendo is all explosive speed and accuracy, power isn't very important.

Dance is nice too, and fun. But I think ball sports or contact martial arts will beat it for "accuracy" combined with balance and speed. Still, the more different things you try, the better for you. You can try them all and settle on the ones you enjoy the most. I hate playing ball sports but I like dancing and kendo, myself.
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