Karate Stretches: How to do Key Stretches for Karate

By Greatmats Staff Created: April, 2018 - Modified: July, 2021

Martial Artists have long known it's important to warm the body up before digging into a rigorous training routine. Here are some very basic stretching techniques to get you started.

Single-leg toe touch: Extend the left leg out. Tuck the right leg tight into your inner left thigh. Reach your hands out, turning your shoulders and hops and touch or grab your toes on your left foot. Do that on both sides.
For a more advanced stretch, scoot your body forward a little. It will require a little bit more of a rotation before you stretch down to the body.

Straddle stretch: Spread your legs far apart, scooting your body forward. With your hands out in front, think about keeping the back nice and straight and fold your the body forward. Circle to the right side and then circle out to the left side as well. Back to the center one more time.

Pretzel stretch: Stick the left leg out in front. Take the right foot and bring it across over the top. Take the left arm and scoot it inside your knee. Hand back behind you. You can leave the front hand out or you can reach around and grab your uniform pant leg, and then we will twist around to the back.

Knee hug stretch: Laying flat on your back take your left knee, bring it in and give it a nice big hug and then release. Bring the right leg in and do the same thing.

Gazing stretch: With arms straight out to the side and you laying flat on your back, bring both legs straight up. Release your legs down to one side and turn your gaze the other direction. Bring the legs back up and reverse them over to the other side.

Butterfly stretch: Start in a sitting position and bring the bottoms of your feet together and pulling them in nice and tight - again always trying to straighten the back. Take your fingers and put them around your toes and fold your body forward keeping a nice erect spine. Maybe even use your elbows to press your thighs down a little bit deeper.
David Younglove
USA Karate & Platinum Yoga
Rosemount MN 55068