If you want to become adept in martial arts, regardless of the style, you must possess the range of motion necessary to adequately master the techniques, and this requires flexibility. The graceful power demonstrated by those proficient in martial arts is comprised of flexibility, focus and strength.
If you wish to make extremely rapid progress you must have a well designed martial arts stretching routine. 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. This sounds like a lot but an aggressive schedule like this increase your flexibility in one half to one fourth the time (or even less) o a less dedicated program. When your body reaches a certain degree of flexibility, the schedule of the routine will seem easier.
When deciding what flexibility stretches to do during your morning and evening stretching workouts, you need to include active stretches, as well as methods that will loosen your muscles and joints. Strenuous passive stretches, PNF, or isometric stretching have no place here. You do not want your stomach to be full when you are stretching, so your morning regimen of flexibility stretches should take place before eating breakfast. 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. The evening stretching is best completed an hour or so after dinner while at least an hour before sleep. 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. It is important to provide the body with enough time to fully recuperate between stretching workouts. Always begin with a general warm-up including some cardiovascular elements and simple dynamic stretching. Increase the intensity gradually as your muscles loosen 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. Continue with the primary portion of your martial arts stretching routine by utilizing modern stretching methods like isometric, PNF and relaxed stretching techniques. This should be followed by a cooling down period using only static type stretches and less intense active 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. Those new to the routines should start slowly with longer warm ups and cool downs. Those who have already achieved a greater level of flexibility and have more experience can devote more time to their main routine. Students who are advanced generally need to spend less time working out to maintain their excellent flexibility.
The flexibility routine and exercises that you develop will be determined by your level of experience and expertise and the martial art you are training in. If you are a beginner, it is important to focus on generic flexibility exercises. Students who are classified as advanced or intermediate should focus on techniques, such as, relaxed stretching, PNF, and isometric stretching, which are more advanced and concentrate on the groups of muscles needed for their particular art. 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 torseo; etc.
Developing an effective martial arts stretching regimen requires that you consider your experience and the requirements of your specific martial art, and if you are dedicated to following your regimen, your flexibility will improve dramatically and you will quickly have the range of motion necessary for you to perform your martial art.
I invite you to use these advanced martial arts stretching methods to increase the benefit of your stretching routine by rapidly increasing your functional flexibility.
If you would like more information on martial arts stretching methods, scientific routines and advanced flexibility stretches, visit www.MartialArtsStretching.com. You can quickly gain the flexibility to easily be able to perform full splits, high kicks, and other martial art techniques. You just have to know how.
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