UA-59049186-1 Road to Recovery: The Story of Ronda Rousey's Arm Bar - Good if it Goes

Road to Recovery: The Story of Ronda Rousey’s Arm Bar

Advantageous Disadvantage

At age 15, Ronda practiced arm bar, after arm bar, after arm bar; due to an ACL injury she sustained. In what she referred to as an ‘advantageous disadvantage’, she worked tirelessly to perfect her arm bar. It was that setback that paved the way for Ronda to become who she was meant to be.

Ronda Rousey: including stem cell, I’ve had seven knee surgeries.  All in my right knee.  No ACL. No cartilage.

Ronda Rousey in WWE

Ronda’s Arm Bar

My ACL tore during my MMA career, so I got it repaired but the graft tore a long time ago. I’ve been operating with no ACL and barely any cartilage for probably maybe last four or five years.

My ACL injury is probably one of the more formative events of my career. It’s one of the instances I cite where I talk about advantageous disadvantages. I tore my ACL so I spent an entire year doing just arm bars on arm bars. That’s what I think really brought me to the next level. It forced me to really not do all of my favorite throws.  The throws required me standing on my right leg. I had to pretty much think of an entire repertoire of throws that didn’t involve my right leg. By the time my knee healed, I had double the amount of throws and a sick ground game, so it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

WWE Champion Ronda Rousey

Road to Recovery

How is it possible that some of these athletes are able to return to a high level of play with no ACL? Like 1% or less of the population that can do it. Nice and easy. Okay. And as a female, it’s even harder, because of anatomy and all their high risk for ACL injuries and everything. So, yeah. And then she has all these… Like before we were working on more balanced stuff and everything before this happened, and she has all these funky compensations, because she has so much dexterity in her feet. She’s able to grip the ground and then bounce her hips around it. It’s crazy

My knee troubles really forced me to be very conscious of how I place my weight on that leg. I have to be so precise with how I plant my right leg. Went a couple of years not being able to step backward. I got my stem cell done, and then it really helped a lot. But I have to really, really focus on how I place my foot, no matter what direction I’m going, my momentum’s going, I have to turn my body and compensate so my right leg always lands solid and there’s no strain on the ligaments. And I think a lot of people a lot of times depend on their hardware of their body to hold themselves together instead of mechanics of their movement. It really forced me to be extremely precise with how I move and place my feet.

So a lot of my focus in training is more not breaking down my body to build it up again, but more maintenance and active recovery. I’ve been an athlete for a really, really long time. I’ve been doing swimming since I was six, Judo since I was 11, MMA since I was 22.

Ronda Rousey and The Fyziogym

What I really like about Lyneil’s approach is that he has a whole body approach.  Opposed to like, “Oh, your knees hurt. I’m going to massage around your knee and give you an ice pack and get the fuck out of here.”  I always would notice that my injuries would travel up. I hurt my foot, and then I hurt my knee, and then my hips started to bother me and then my back. Every doctor that I’ve always seen specializes in one joint and area, and every PT that I’ve ever seen only focuses on the immediate problem area. I just really liked Lyneil’s approach of like, “Hey, we’re going to address the immediate acute injury and all the other effects that it could have throughout your body.”

At this point in my career, I’ve just beaten myself to shit and so the full body approach is really what I need because it’s not about putting out specific fires, because my whole body is a dumpster fire right now.

For Part 1 of the Road to Recovery: Click here

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