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Martial Arts, Stretching, Help.?

by admin on August 22, 2010

So I started Kung Fu a few weeks back and I am very eager to increase my flexibility.
My Questions are:-
How Often do I need to Stretch? Every Day?
How Long should I hold each stretch for?
Please Help with some feedback

I can’t answer stating what you should be doing but this is what I do for stretching:

I always stretch for at least 45 minutes almost everyday, about 4 days out of the week. I do the standard Goju Ryu stretching exercises which is meant not just for flexibility, but for preparing the body for the vigorous technique associated with Goju Ryu Karate.
I start with my toes then move to my ankles. From my knees to my hips. Then the whole leg while my arms provide some resistance and stretch as well. I stretch my back in the mannerisms Goju Ryu demands and then I stretch out my wrists. Then move on to stretching my elbows and shoulders while focusing on stretching the fingers. Then I stretch my neck.
In succession to several of those stretches there’s also quite a few tension and power exercises that focus on using the breath as demanded in Goju Ryu.

There’s nothing wrong with stretching everyday, however, if your muscles are sore don’t stretch as much as usual to let them heal but you still want to stretch them some.
I usually hold every stretch for about 2 minutes. Just remember to relax all the muscles in your body while stretching and when you breathe visualize your breathe rushing into the area your stretching but also through your whole body as well.
Pay close attention to your body. Don’t just stretch the areas you’re good at stretching. First, before them, stretch the areas you’re worst at. These need the most attention and can’t be slacked.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER: In your breathing; inhale slowly and calmly, and exhale fast and energetically. This is called the tonification breathe and is crucial in balancing the yin and yang. Practicing this breathe pattern when stretching will increase your prowess exponentially.

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