Top Stretches for Increased Martial Arts Flexibility
Martial arts fighting styles were developed over centuries as a means of warfare. There are over 100 different martial arts styles which can be broken down into categories, like ground arts such as wrestling and grappling, striking styles such as kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do, weapon styles such as kendo and kobudo, lifestyle arts such as ninjutsu and samurai, and combined styles such as Tang Soo Do and Jeet Kune Do. We have moved away from using martial arts for the warfare for which it was initially intended for and today we use martial arts for self-defence, fitness, and endurance.
The following stretches should be included in your martial arts routine and it would be a good idea to complete these stretches before starting your workout to reduce the risk of injury.
The Most Common Martial Arts Injuries
- Bruises: superficial bruises can be treated with ice and will usually heal within a few days, while deeper bruising which affects larger vessels and more complex muscle tissues may take longer to heal and will cause discomfort.
- Sprains can occur in any joint that is rotated through an extended range of motion, causing damage to the ligaments which support the joint.
- Muscle strains occur when there is an excessive tearing of muscle fibres owing to overstretching or working against a heavy load.
- Tendinitis is an injury caused by overuse and generally occurs when there are repetitive movements in a range of movement which is unlike normal use. Fortunately you don’t have to worry about this when enjoying Bitcoin betting!
- Dislocations or subluxations (partial dislocations) occur when a joint is forced beyond its regular range of motion causing the bones of the joint to move out of position or become disjointed.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
- Stand in front of an object of about hip height and place your foot on it
- Bend the knee of your opposite leg and press down gently on your thigh
- Push your hips back as if you were about to sit down in a chair
- Keep your heel grounded at all times
- Lie face down on the floor
- Create a straight line with your shoulders by stretching your arms alongside your body with your palms facing the floor
- Bend and raise your left leg and bring your heel to the opposite side of your lower back
- Hold your leg by the ankle with your left hand and pull your heel towards your buttocks while keeping your foot flexed
- Lower your left leg to the starting position and repeat the stretch with your right leg
American & Chinese Splits
American: Start by standing upright. Placing your hands for support, walk your legs out to the side as far as possible.
Chinese: Start by standing upright. Bend down, placing your hands on the floor for support and extend one leg forward and one leg back.
Inner Thigh Stretch
- Start by facing a wall
- Spread your legs out as wide as possible
- Slide closer to the wall as your spread your legs wider
- The closer your chest is to the wall, the greater your level of flexibility
Happy flexing and stretching!