Comments for Ankle Stretches for Sitting in Seiza

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Oct 27, 2016
Ankle stretching
by: Nick E

Yes, I had lots of problems with tight ankles. Stretch first with ankles on a pillow or other soft surface. Practice makes perfect so do it frequently. Also, wear socks when you stretch or find some other way to keep your feet warm. That helps loosen them up.

May 16, 2012
Stretching was good for us
by: Anonymous

I practice tea ceremony and we have plenty of elders who have trouble sitting in seiza--even some who were sitting for years. They say it got much better after they starting to do standard ankle streching exercises (hand rotation, pressing down the toes, etc; just search for "ankle stretching"). Some of it might be placebo, but it's worth a try.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for your advice!

Jan 12, 2011
Seiza stretch
by: Anonymous

I myself have found it quite uncomfortable around my ankles when sitting in seiza for more than a minute. I have however found some strategies that help me, and would like to share them.

Practice seiza after performing warm up exercises or after a warm shower. Also try and add some resistance to your stretching: While stretching out in seiza tighten your muscles around your ankles briefly and release.

Also press the dorsum of your feet against the surface briefly and release. Use padding and/or wear some tube socks to avoid any bruising.

This has helped me a lot more than the: Just sit and seiza. Stop if you feel pain at any point, the goal is to feel a stretch not discomfort.

Good luck!

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing your experience!!

Sep 30, 2009
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the suggestions.  I have never seen anyone with as thick of ankles in proportion to stature as my son - so it may take some time to stretch and loosen the muscles. 

Your suggestion will help him to realize that the dance warm-up exercises I showed him - really are compatible with Kendo.  If you keep a rhythm when performing the exercises you listed - it can be beneficial in timing of movement.

My kids have a hard time seeing the connection between movement in dance and movement in martial arts. Thanks for reinforcing techniques I wanna share with them.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Please encourage your sons. It takes a lot of efforts and especially time for us to realise how deep kendo can get. I would like to be a father like you when my daughter gets bigger. Thank you for sharing a good story!

Sep 28, 2009
Ankle Stretching Ideas
by: Chris George

Here are some things that I like to do before practice:

Grab your foot (you can be sitting or standing) and rotate them a couple of times going clockwise and counterclockwise.  This should help loosen up the joints around the foot. 

Another thing to do that is similar is to just move your foot up and down too.  Then you can bend your toes up and down to stretch the muscles in the foot.

It can also help to properly stretch the leg muscles as those can sometimes hinder your lower body flexibility and can make seiza harder than it needs to be.

Other than that, if your son hasn't been doing kendo for very long, then it's going to take some time for his body to get used to the awkward body positions.

 As others have already suggested, doing it at home is a good thing to do.  He could sit in seiza while doing homework, watching TV or eating a snack.  Before you know it, he'll have it down. 

All you need is proper stretching and a little time.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for a good suggestion. Very helpful!

Sep 18, 2009
Practice Seiza at home
by: Anonymous

The best way is training seiza at home, where you can sit in seiza on soft cushion or just on soft carpet. That was my way. I am not a stretchy person.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for you advice!

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