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Glucosamine Review and Potential Benefits
By: Marc David

Something interesting happened as my triceps workouts continued in their intensity. After doing some triceps elbow extensions and numerous other elbow extension exercises, I began to feel effects of what is known as elbow tendonitis. The symptoms generally included a pain with any movement of my elbows. So much so, that even resting my arms on a chair began to have an associated soreness to the touch. Similar to my bicep tendonitis experience, the pain experienced was not normal. A bodybuilder who is tune with their muscles can tell the difference between an intense workout and an intensely painful workout.

This elbow tendonitis came about from an overuse of any exercise. With the increased weight, I eventually reached a peak of classic overuse of the joints. Not sure of a treatment, I did the first thing I could. Adjust my form. Keeping the elbows locked in on triceps movements is critical. It can alleviate if not remove the pressure on the joints when doing a very heavy exercise movement. This was my first elbow tendonitis treatment experiment.

Continuing week after week with my new form, the pain was less severe, but it was not a full treatment. Some of the elbow tendonitis symptoms became less painful but the general pain was always present. This has an acute effect on your motivation to continue to do exercises. Doing triceps exercises (dips, skull crushers, one arm and two arm overhead extensions, rope pushdowns) has always been something I look forward to with each arm workout. But with anything that is painful, your body doesnít want to do it. In fact, continuing and pushing past the pain ďno pain no gainĒ mantra, I would have eventually damaged my joints beyond repair.

After talking to a friendís wife, she told me about her husband, who started taking Glucosamine for his joints. There are basically two kinds of people who need some type of cartilage therapy. Those who are suffering from osteoarthritis or athletes with overuse injuries. Considering heís not very old and probably isnít losing too much cartilage, I had to believe that it was working on cars daily and using his joints excessively (turning hands, manipulating small parts) that lead to his overuse of his finger joints and the pain associated. Thus began my short research and trial of a Glucosamine product to see what benefits Glucosamine might have and any possible side effects specific to me.

Glucosamine is a combination of sugar and amine. Itís found normally in cartilage and plays an important role in cartilage health and resiliency. As you naturally age, you lose some Glucosamine and that leads to the eventual thinning of the cartilage around the joints. Osteoarthritis defined as the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are found naturally in your body. Chondroitin Sulfate helps draw water into the cartilage (that the Glucosamine is repairing) making it more elastic.

Glucosamine is derived from the shells of crabs and shrimp. Most studies show that taking approximately 500mg three times a day for a total of 1500mg is effective in improving joint health. Those who have damaged their joints to the point of little to no cartilage, or who have had cartilage surgically removed, probably wonít experience any benefits simply because itís impossible to repair cartilage that no longer exists. Most oral Glucosamine is easily absorbed because the molecules are very small, easily diffused and water-soluble.

After viewing the brief research above, I began taking oral doses of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, 1500mg a day, 3 capsules. My first choice was ASTís ProFlex 750 Joint Support formula. I ended up going to Costco and getting Kirklandís Glucosamine Sulfate product as well. Just so I could have a supply at home. Different products but basically, Glucosamine and some Chondroitin.

Within the first few days, my elbow tendonitis symptoms started to disappear. Iíve been taking this product for about 2 weeks now, and my workouts are back to their regular intensity. Taking a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement has all but cured my elbow tendonitis. From the research I could gather, itís important to take these products when you still have a lot of cartilage to repair. Itís pretty ineffective to take it when the damage is too severe or the cartilage is absent. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body with a primary function of stimulating the growth and repair of cartilage tissues.

About The Author

Marc David has a degree in Criminal Justice from Sacramento State, a 16 year history of non-competitive bodybuilding and is the owner of Freedomfly -the fitness network! For free fitness tools, discount supplements, fitness consultation, and workout routines, visit

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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