Regardless of what physical activities you are undertaking, it is of utmost importance that you perform stretching prior to commencing any exercises. Our body muscles and joints can gain better flexibility if we provide them with sufficient stretching before any physical works.
Similarly, if you are into learning martial arts, stretching should form part of your martial arts workout regime as it will help boost the power and extension in your skills. Without proper stretching and warm ups prior to practicing martial arts, our body will be susceptible to unforeseen injuries related to muscle and joints. Below are some types of stretching which will help you gain better flexibility during your martial arts practice.
Slowly Warming Up the Cold Muscles
Although it is important to perform various types of stretching to help make our muscle more flexible during martial arts workout, it is also crucial for you to note that if you are planning to warm up a group of cold muscles that you have not exercised for a long time, it is better to do it slowly and gently. This will help prevent unnecessary injury to these groups of cold muscles.
Breathe Properly During Stretching Exercises
Recent research have found out that a lot of people including martial arts trainees have not been doing properly breathing when they are doing any form of stretching or warm ups. This group of people inhale through the nose which is correct but they exhale almost immediately through their nose (which is wrong) while they are in the midst of stretching their muscles.
The proper way would be to breathe in through the nose and hold the breath while you hold your stretch and slowly exhale though the mouth once you are done with the stretching. Proper breathing and stretching will definitely help improve your body’s flexibility in the long run.
Go Slow and Steady When Doing Dynamic Stretching
Since dynamic stretching like arm rotations and leg raises can cause our muscles to move into full stretching angle, you have to be careful not to rush into stretching it far and wide the very first time. Always doing it slowly and gently during the initial few times and slowly extend the movement angle once the body muscles are better relaxed and coordinated. Serious injury like strained muscle or tear tissues can occur if you overstretch your groups of muscles.
Things to Note about Static Stretching
As static stretching involves extending a certain portion of our body muscle till a painful sensation is felt, it is important that you rest for at least a minute or so after performing such stretching. Again, it is important to inhale and exhale properly during the stretching duration and never try to overstretch yourself. As with any form of stretching exercise, never rush into stretching cold muscles or you will run into risk of experiencing muscle tear and injury.
These days, most martial arts schools have already integrated stretching and flexibility training as part of their body exercise and warm up regime and it is crucial that you report any medical condition to your instructor. Any unhealed muscle injury can give you a lot of problem in the future if you continue to stretch on it before it fully heals.