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Hopping towards elasticity….the potential for the therapeutic use of the childhood game of hopscotch

January 13, Corfu, Greece, Spring is here….and ‘spring’ is the theme of this post – not the seasonal variety, but rather the ‘hopping on one leg’ approach to movement….
(however for those interested in the other sort of spring, one of the photographs shows early flowers on the Judas trees in Corfu’s main square, today)

Robert Schleip recommends carefully modulated amounts of hopping (plyometric type exercise) to help in rehabilitation of ancient, reduced-elastic tendons and fascia…..such as that which I have in abundance on my legs in particular.
See Robert’s chapter (coauthored with Divo Muller): “Use it or lose it: Recommendations for fascia-oriented training applications in sports and movement therapy” in my book “Fascial Dysfunction” (Handspring Publishers:https://www.facebook.com/handspringpublishing?fref=ts )

The caption for the picture (adapted from Kawakami et al. 2002) showing springs etc is:

  • Length changes of fascial elements and muscle fibres in:
    A) Oscillatory movement with elastic recoil properties
    B) Conventional muscle training
    —The elastic tendinous (or fascial) elements are shown as springs, and myofibres as straight lines.
    —During conventional movement the fascial elements do not change their length significantly while the muscle fibres do.
    —During hopping or jumping muscle fibres contract almost isometrically, while the fascial elements lengthen and shorten like elastic yoyo springs.

In the park today I noticed the numbering for hopscotch painted on the tarmac ….and it occurred to me that Robert might consider incorporating this childhood game into a formulated approach to “re-elasticizing” legs such as mine…..I may well try this when there are not many folk in the park….?
For the rules of hopscotch go to: http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Hopscotch

One photograph shows a lonely pigeon, and on a distant park-bench, an amused Alkmini…another shows the Victorian bandstand…

Glorious Corfu!!!

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