Warm ups

The Kai

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I've always had the class go thru jumping jacks as a warm up (which my sensei did too) The other day (or was it today) I started thinking.....

Are there any Martial arty warm ups out there?? Something to get the blood and heat going before streching
 

Makalakumu

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I usually start class with some stretching and then I warm people up with kata. The beginning ones don't require that much flexability and they aren't done particularly fast so I think it gives students a pretty good and safe warm up.
 

Navarre

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We do all the standard stretches.

I heard a "fitness expert" proclaim once that it wasn't a good idea to do a lot of stretching before exercise. He said that the muscles needed increased blood flow but not pliability so that they would exert their best power.

He suggested only stretching extensively after exercise to avoid soreness. Now, he wasn't referring to martial artists but to weight lifting so maybe he's right.

It seems to me that it would make sense to have stretched out before martial arts because many of our movements are faster, more extended, and even contorting to the muscle as opposed to weight lifting. Any thoughts?
 

arnisador

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My traditional martial arts classes all did a lot of stretching. My JKD/BJJ instructors usually either get right into training, or do a warm-up that is more like running, skipping rope, even playing tag--something focused on movement. I am now a convert to the latter approach.
 

Navarre

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Arni, so you agree with this guy then that it is better to do brief activity to get the body going, exercise, then stretch/cool down?
 

OnlyAnEgg

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We don't do a whole lot of stretching, typically, though I stretch before class. Most of our warm-up is reps of our fundamental kicks, blocks and punches.
 

rutherford

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My teachers are of the opinion that people should maintain a proper level of conditioning outside of class and be responsible for their own warmup prior to class. Class time is for class work.

Personally, I've been doing stuff that involves rotating every major joint through its full range of motion. I start with my neck and work down. Many of the movements are whole body, and seem almost dance-like.

I draw insipiration from Scott Sonnon's work primarily, with some things I've thrown in are Serak-based and of course I spend time on Bujinkan movements.

Once I'm warmed, I might do some slow stretching or rolling if folks aren't ready to begin. Or I might just sit in Seiza.
 

Navarre

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I wonder how different the perspective is between "hard" arts, like most karate (Ko Sutemi) and such versus arts like ju-jitsu where the muscles are often pulled, contorted, extended to their fullest range of motion, etc.?
 

Gemini

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We do jumping jacks also. On cold days, we'll usually jog 4 or 5 laps around the dojang. Forward, sideways and backwards. Just enough to get the pump working. Then we start stretching. The weather determines what type and how much.
 

arnisador

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Navarre said:
Arni, so you agree with this guy then that it is better to do brief activity to get the body going, exercise, then stretch/cool down?

I believe it's a good idea to get the body moving before the workout, yes. I'm not convinced that stretching at the end is so important, but that would be the time to do it, in my opinion.
 

Gemini

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arnisador said:
I believe it's a good idea to get the body moving before the workout, yes. I'm not convinced that stretching at the end is so important, but that would be the time to do it, in my opinion.

For me, the stretch/warm down is by far the more important of the two.
 

Eternal Beginner

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I think getting the muscles warm before doing stretching is a great idea.

The way I had it explained to me by my personal trainer was that muscles are like sponges. Take a muscle that just walked into the gym, it is kind of like a dry sponge. Pull it and it will tear fairly easily. Now take that same muscle and warm it up with some jumping jacks or light jogging/skipping. This would be similar to soaking the sponge in water, now try to stretch it. Stretches much easier and is more malleable, no?

In BJJ, kickboxing and karate we do laps, jumping jacks or skipping to warm up followed by some light stretching. At the end we always cool down with some stretching as well. I find I have avoided any sort of injury such as pulled or strained muscles since adopting this warm up/cool down routine.
 

MJS

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Jumping rope or running through kata would be a great way to get warmed up. Personally, I'd rather see people arrive to class a few minutes early, and warm up on their own. A group warmup can still be done, but it can be a condensed workout.

As for the stretching...when I'm working out on my own, I might do some light stretching afterwards, but the majority is done before.

Mike
 

Icewater

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Navarre said:
I heard a "fitness expert" proclaim once that it wasn't a good idea to do a lot of stretching before exercise.

This is sooo true. Currently my kwoon starts with light stretching and goes into 150 jumping jacks, 50 push-ups, and 60 sit-ups, THEN begins the class. I know we do this because "its the way it's always been done."

First, light exercise is the best way to increase body heat, respiration, and circulation. These are all important to stretching. Without a quick warm-up you are stretching cold muscles. Think of a rubber band, the colder they are, the more likely they are to tear. A warm rubber band will stretch to it's limit before breaking. It's the same with muscles. They are fibers hangin on to each other. If they are warmed, they stretch more. This is not only safer, but provides a better stretch for long term flexibility. It's also the same for joint tissue. Warm tissue streches instead of breaking. Stretching also helps move the lactic acid from the muscles which cause soreness.

Do some research on exercises and you will find a slew of muscle building techniques that are joint and skeletal friendly.
 

samurai69

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Navarre said:
It seems to me that it would make sense to have stretched out before martial arts because many of our movements are faster, more extended, and even contorting to the muscle as opposed to weight lifting. Any thoughts?

This is true, but the muscles should be warm first

put a rubber/elastic band in the fridge for an hour then bring it out and start stretching it to its extremes and see what happens (it will start to split easily....that is what happens to a cold muscle

take 2nd band out of fridge and start moving it slowly and building it up gradually and as it warms up the band becomes more elastic

Its important to start warming the muscles up before stretching fully......light callisthenics etc will be enough

then when warm stretch away....try MET and PNF stretches too
 

Miles

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Sports performance guru Tom Kurz has a column in Taekwondo Times. He says that jumping jacks are actually bad for martial artists. He recommends actions which are germane to the particular sport you are practicing.

Miles
 

CuongNhuka

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In my Coung Nhu class we do a warm up of single, double, and triple punches. And combos. Well also normally do chops, shifting drills, and then 20 push-ups. Next well stretch, and then do kicks, and rolls. And that our 25 minute warm up. Then well do class, after getting some water. Most of the time our kicks would be front, side, and round (tae kwon do terms, if youre wondering). The work out is kata, more kicks, new material, sparring, throws, or what have you. It mostly depends on the day and who shows up.
Then at the end of the first class people that want to go home, go home. Every one else can stay and train. Most of what Ill do (Im a middle rank) is a warm down. And the second class is mostly for upper ranks.

Sweet Brighit Bless your Blade,

John
 
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The Kai

The Kai

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GReat post

I got to ask does'nt doing the hand techniques and then streching tend to stop the flow of the class??
 

CuongNhuka

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Im not sure I understand you kai, are you talking to me?

Sweet Brighit Bless your Blade,

John
 
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