People often forget or negate the warmup session’s role in exercise. But, it is essential to get your body ready for the exertion to come. With karate, the warm-up is significant in preparing your body for karate training. It is important to focus on the muscles you will be using during your session. A proper warm-up will get your body pumped without getting out of breath within ten minutes. A karate warm-up includes cardiovascular exercises, stretching and karate-based activities.
To get your blood pumping, starting with some jump rope or jumping jacks is common. A five-minute cardio exercise will get your heart rate up without tiring you out.
Next, stretching is a key component of warming up for karate. Stretching helps improve your flexibility. Your sensei will have you stretch before and after any training session to prevent injuries caused by tight muscles and tendons. You cannot rush stretching. It must be done smoothly, gently and slowly.
Here are some of the more common stretches done before a karate session.
To loosen your back muscles, stand with your feet double shoulder width apart. Bend forward, until your arms naturally move closer to the ground. It is important to keep your legs straight and limit engagement to just your waist to best stretch your lower back and hamstrings.
With your feet together and hands on your hips, turn your head 2-3 times backwards, forwards and side-to-side. Next, circle your head for 3 light rotations to the left, then switch and repeat towards the right.
With your feet together and hands on your hips, rotate your hips from the left to right. It is normal for your right leg to bend as you move. After 3 intervals, switch sides and move from right to left.
Lastly, your warm-up will move to karate-specific exercises. Karate is made up of kicks and punches. Practicing some of these moves during the warm-up further stretches your muscle while also having cardio benefits.
You can start with a side-kick, which is a common warm-up strike. With your feet together, raise your right leg until the knee points forward. Extend out from the hip as you kick your leg forward. Finish your kick with your foot in a horizontal position, toes facing forward. Then, return to starting position and repeat up to ten times before switching to your left leg. Other than side-kicks, you can also throw straight punches, hooks, and uppercuts. Focus on getting warmed up, but not letting yourself get tired!
With our Vancouver karate classes at The Powerhouse Martial Arts, you will be given the proper warm-up before every class so that you are ready for training and know that we take your safety seriously.