Welcome to the final part of our two part series outlining the components required to develop a super effective martial arts stretching routine. In part one of this series we discussed the morning and evening portions of an advanced martial arts stretching program. In this part we will go into the requirements of your main routine of flexibility stretches.
The main flexibility routine is an intense workout which should be performed no more than two to four times a week. You must give your body time to recuperate fully between these stretching workouts. It should begin with a general warm-up which includes cardiovascular elements along with generic dynamic stretching exercises which will gradually increase in intensity to get your body loose and warm. Then it will include a more specific warm-up segment whereby the movements more closely resemble the specific techniques of your martial art. Then comes the main part of the stretching routine which should involve specific stretches using modern stretching methods such isometric stretches, PNF stretches and relaxed stretching techniques. This should be followed by a cooling down period using only static type stretches and less intense active stretches.
The frequency of workouts, length of each main martial arts stretching workout and the arabesque dance time devoted to the warm-up, main routine and cool down portions will be determined by your experience and level of proficiency. Beginners should start more slowly with longer warm-up and cool down periods along with a shorter main part. Experienced stretchers with a fair level of flexibility can spend more time on specific exercises and on the main routine. Very advanced students often only require a short overall workout to maintain their already superior flexibility.
Deciding on what specific flexibility exercises to include in your program is also a function of your experience and depends on the sport or art you are practicing. Beginning students should practice more generic flexibility exercises. Intermediate and advanced students can concentrate more on advanced techniques such as the isometric, PNF and relaxed stretching methods and focus these more on the muscle groups specifically required by their style. Practitioners of arts which rely on high kicks should concentrate more on the hip and leg stretching, grapplers more on flexibility of the arms, shoulders, back and torso, etc.
If you design your martial arts stretching routine effectively for your level of experience and your sport or art, and if you adhere to your plan and schedule, you will be able to achieve the gains in flexibility that your martial art requires in a very short time.
I invite you to use these advanced martial arts stretching methods to increase the benefit of your stretching routine by rapidly increasing your functional flexibility.
And I also invite you to visit MartialArtsStretching.com to further expand your knowledge of the martial arts stretching methods, scientific routines and advanced flexibility stretches. You can rapidly increase your flexibility to the point of easily performing full splits and mastering the high kicks and other martial art techniques in a very short amount of time.