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Components of a Quality Martial Arts Stretching Routine

by admin on November 6, 2009

There is a lot of misguided information on the most effective components of an effective martial arts stretching program and what methods of flexibility stretches should be included. You need a lot of flexibility if you are going to easily be able to effectively and powerfully perform the moves in any type of martial arts that require extended range of motion. If you want to be skillful in any martial arts style, you need to have flexibility, focus, and strength.

The quickest way to make progress in your flexibility is to develop and practice a modern progressive  martial arts stretching routine. Advanced routines that have worked the best have a light morning stretching routine, a light evening stretching routine, and a powerful main workout during the daytime. While this schedule sounds grueling, it has been proven that an aggressive schedule similar to this will increase your flexibility 2-4 times faster than a martial arts stretching schedule that is less dedicated. After having reached the level of flexibility that is sufficient, you will be able to lighten your routine and cut down on the number of flexibility stretches needed quite a bit.

When designing your schedule and deciding exactly which flexibility stretches to perform during your morning and evening stretching workouts, you need to include active stretches, as well as methods that will loosen your muscles and joints. You should not incorporate strenuous passive stretching, isometric stretching, or PNF stretches as these will tire your muscles and the fatigue will actually be counterproductive. you need to perform your morning flexibility stretches prior to breakfast stretching on a full stomach is not good. You need to have your blood supply either concentrating on digesting your breakfast or focusing on your physical activity. It is not beneficial if it has to do both at the same time. Your digestion will suffer and your body won’t supply the nourishment to your stretched muscles they need for proper recovery. With this in mind, you need to do your evening stretching workout at least an hour after you have eaten your evening meal. It is best to perform your evening flexibility stretches at least an hour prior to going to bed. You need to do your morning and evening stretching workouts six days a week. Be sure that each workout is short, only lasting 15-30 minutes.

Your intense main martial arts stretching workout should only be done 2-4 times a week. You do not want to do this work out more often than this because your body needs time to recover fully after each of these workouts. Make sure each of your intense workouts include a general warm-up. Your warm-up should consist of both cardiovascular elements and generic dynamic flexibility stretches. The intensity of these exercises need to be increased gradually so that your entire body gets loose and warm. After a general warm-up, you need to include a more specific warm-up. This warm-up needs to include movements that are similar to the movements of the particular martial art techniques you are trying to develop. Once you have completed both warm-ups, you need to move on to the main part of your martial arts stretching routine. This part needs to use modern stretching methods like isometric stretches, PNF stretches, and relaxed stretching techniques.

Make sure that you end each of your intense stretching routines with a cool down period. During this time you should focus on static type flexibility stretches. How often you do you main martial arts stretching workout, how long each workout is, and how much time you need to spend on each part of the workout (warm-up, main routine, and cool down) depends on how experienced you are and what your proficiency level is. If you are a beginner, you should have longer warm-up and cool down periods, accompanied by a shorter main routine. If you already have a fair level of flexibility, you can spend more time on the specific exercises and stretches in the main routine. If you have a high level of flexibility, you are able to have a shorter workout all together. Your main focus is to maintain your level of flexibility.

The type of flexibility exercises you want to have in your program will depend on your experience level and the type of sport or martial art you are practicing for. If you are a beginner, it is important to focus on generic flexibility exercises. For the intermediate and advanced level students, isometric, PNF and relaxed stretching methods are more important. You need to design these flexibility stretches around the muscle groups you need to be able to perform the specific technique you intend to use. For example if you are do a lot of high kicks, you need to concentrate on hip and leg stretching; if you are a grappler, you need to work on the flexibility in your arms, shoulders, back and torso; etc. By designing your martial arts stretching routing according to your experience level and your sport or art and keeping to your planned schedule, you will reach your flexibility goals faster than you would have thought.

Increase the benefits provided to you by your stretching routine by taking advantage of these martial arts stretching methods. You will be surprised at how fast you increase your functional flexibility.

If you would like more information on martial arts stretching methods, scientific routines and advanced flexibility stretches, visit us at www.MartialArtsStretching.com often. We are continually adding new content for the progressive martial artist.

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