Sunday, May 29, 2016

Basic Fitness : Flexibility : Episode 1

One aim of traditional Karate was to allow the student to continue doing it until the age of ninety.
(Though this has never been achieved to this day, since the student usually ends up becoming the master)

For this to happen, I must work on my flexibility.
In particular, I want to create a single workout.

To do so, I've brought in some books...

... and some articles...

In Episode 1, I will design a warm up for use prior to stretching, as well as Karate in general.

From the book Facts an Fallacies of Fitness, I picked out the most relevant parts:

So warming up does well for people who want a short burst of explosive power, but it does badly for people who want to last longer
(no pun intended).

The least effective kind of warm up is an indirect one which is unrelated to the body parts being used. If the person gets tired quickly, then high-intensity warm ups should be avoided. Also, over-stretching and forgetting to strengthen your joints is harmful.

Karate lies between endurance and explosive disciplines.
All in all, the warm-up prior to stretching should engage the whole body and not be too tiring.
I have two contenders in mind: Jumping Jacks and Jump Rope.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Rope

Both are a cardiovascular workout.
Jumping Rope improves agility and footwork.
Jumping Jacks work the shoulders.

To truly advance at Jumping Rope, perform several variations as explained in this video by the always informative FightTIPS channel.
Performing them for ten minutes (five variations, each for two minutes) should do the job.

If you don't like equipment, continue using Jumping Jacks. Personally, I will mix the two.

In summary, my pre-stretching warm up will be:
One hundred Jumping Jacks followed by ten minutes of Jumping Rope.

Any more than that (or any less) would not be effective.

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