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Body

Enhance Flexibility with These Workouts

Photo Credit: Body Building eStore
Embrace your inner Stretch Armstrong.

Quick question: what is one of the key attributes for a martial artist’s physique? Muscle composition? Stamina? Raw power? Those are all valid, but not the one we are pursuing. The correct answer is flexibility. Many martial arts prioritize the quick and decisive ability of the body to bend and stretch. Boxing, karate, capoeira, judo; you mention a martial art, there’s likely a stretching regimen tailored to it.

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Sensei Ash, a 4th-degree karate black belt from Family Fitness Revolution in Los Angeles, incorporates a dynamic stretching routine before every match or training session. Ash’s trademark high kicks demand significant mobility to execute properly. Without adequate flexibility, his body won’t cooperate as desired, and there’s a risk of injury. With a brief fifteen-minute warm-up, Ash preps his arms, legs, and core for high-intensity mobility.

Commence with planks. Planks may appear straightforward, and that’s because they are, yet despite their simplicity, sustaining a non-traditional posture is excellent for priming your musculature and gearing up for what lies ahead.

Proceed to frog jumps. You’ve likely engaged in leapfrog during childhood, so this movement should feel familiar. Assume a frog-like squat position and then explosively leap upwards. This activity will intensely work your hips, legs, and ankles. Ensure your feet remain outside your hands; channel your inner frog!

Photo Credit: Per Bernal

Next up, bear crawls. Position yourself on all fours and crawl along the ground using your hands and feet, ensuring your knees remain elevated at a 90-degree angle. This may sound simple, but after a few minutes of sustaining this position, you’ll feel the intensity.

The final step involves the duck walk. No, not the dance move by Chuck Berry. Descend into a squat, akin to the frog jump, but instead of leaping, shuffle forward while keeping your torso elevated. This movement will significantly improve the flexibility of your hips and glutes.

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