Martial Arts Stretches: Greatmats Karate Training Series with USA Karates David Younglove
Date Published: 03-30 - 2018
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In this tip, we’re going to work on some simple stretching techniques to help you prepare for your workout. Every martial artist knows it’s important to warm the body up first. So we’re going to start out with some very basic stretching techniques. These are techniques we’ve done for a long time. There are others of course that you can do in many variations and I’ll talk about a couple of them.
Let’s start out with a very simple stretch first. Extend the left leg out. Pull the right leg back and just tuck it nice and tight into your inner thigh. We’re going to reach our hands out.
Turn your shoulders and hips and reach out. Maybe your hands are on your knee. Maybe they’re on your shin. Maybe you can reach all the way out and grab the ball of your foot.
If you want a little bit more advanced stretch, we can scoot our bodies forward a little extra and then it will require a little bit more of a rotation before you stretch down to the body.
Obviously we do that on both sides.
Another stretch we can work into is the straddle stretch, bringing the legs far apart, scooting your body forward, as you’re comfortable. Hands out in front, thinking about keeping the back nice and straight. Good posture. And then folding the body forward and just reaching out to where it’s comfortable. Also take this where we circle over to the ride side and then circle out to the left side as well. Back to the center one more time.
Next one we’re going to work on is we’re going to bring the left leg right out in front. We call it the pretzel stretch. We’re going to take the right foot and we’re going to 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 to get that nice lower back stretch.
One of the other stretches we’re going to work on is going to be on your back. We’re going to lay our bodies all the way back down. Nice and flat. Take you left knee, bring it in and give it a nice big hug and then we can release that leg. Bring the right leg in and do the same thing.
And if you want one additional stretch to work on we can take our arms straight out to the side, nice and flat, bring both of those legs straight up. We’re going to release those legs down to one side and turn our gaze the other direction and then we can bring that up and we can reverse that over to the other side.
Let’s finish up with a basic butterfly stretch. Let’s think about coming to a sitting position bringing the bottoms of the feet together and pulling those in nice and tight again always trying to straighten the back. From there, you can take your fingers and put them right around your toes. Maybe your knees are up high. Maybe they can press all the way down. Each person will be a little bit different in their body style. Then we’re going to fold the body forward. Rather than thinking about putting your nose to your toes, and just scrunching. You want to think about keeping a nice erect spine and folding the body forward. If you have the ability to do so, you can also use your elbows to press your thighs down a little bit deeper.
Following these basic warm-up techniques as you go forward is really going to help you increase your kicking ability and the height at which you can strike and reduce your chance of injury as you go through your martial arts training. Good luck to you.