How to Warm Up for Karate - Karate Techniques

How to Warm Up for Karate

Warming up is essential for any physical activity, not just for Karate. It would be best if you warmed up to increase your body and muscle temperature, it will prepare you mentally for your training session, it will help you reduce the risk of injuries, it will help you increase your flexibility, and be ready to tackle your techniques.

Most Karate classes are 1 hour and mostly divided into 4 groups of 15 minutes:

  • 15 minutes of warmup and stretching.
  • 15 minutes of basic techniques.
  • 15 minutes of one on one techniques.
  • 15 minutes of kata or Kumite.

For your warm-up there are so many exercises you can do, here is a list of most of the warm-up exercises in Karate. Light Jog to start, you can increase the speed and then you can pick some of these exercises to get you ready for class.

Arm rotations

10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.

Arm rotations to warm up for karate

Knee rotations

A very simple exercise to activate the joints and increase blood flow. Just 10 seconds each way.

Knee rotations to Warm Up for Karate

Mountain Climbers

This is an amazing warm-up exercise because you are holding your upper body on a fully extended plank and then bringing your knee to your chest and quickly switching to your order leg until you complete your repetitions. A good set of 12 would be more than enough to get you fired up.

Mountain Climbers to Warm Up for Karate


20 push-ups can get your chest, biceps, and triceps ready to rumble. Remember to keep your back straight.

push ups to Warm Up for Karate


A nice set of 20 fast sit-ups can get you more than ready, you could also try different kinds of sit-ups for example the leg alternating sit-up.

leg alternating sit-up

Jumping jacks

With 20 fast jumping jacks you can have your entire body started for a great session of Martial Arts, 2 sets of 20 Jumping Jacks would be perfect.

Warm up for Karate with jumping jacks


A set of 10 good squats can get you more than ready. Do not go below your knees otherwise, you might hurt your knees. Always keep your back straight and feet flat on the floor.

Squats to warm up for karate


Burpees are a great combination for a full body warm-up, 2 sets of 10 repetitions will get you in optimal condition.

Partner and Coordination exercises

There are so many combinations and routines you can do with a training partner that can make training more pleasant. It could be just one exercise then rotate partners.

Coordination exercises to warm up for karate

Right after your warm-up session, you are recommended to have at least a 5-minute full-body stretching session to get ready for your Karate Techniques.

Stretching Session

A good stretching session would involve the entire body, in this case, we will focus on the legs. It is important not only to stretch your leg but also your arms, lower back, biceps, triceps, and hips. Your entire body needs to be stretched, not just your legs.

The Water Break

Drinking water and hydrating ourselves during physical exercise is essential for our body since we make it easier for it to better cope with physical wear and tear to keep it in perfect condition. Having your water bottle during training is a must item to have, not just for Karate but for all physical activities.

How to Warm Up for Karate

Warm up for Karate  Recommendations

  • Listen to your body, if you can’t execute the exercise don’t do it, and tell your sensei
  • If you have any injuries let your sensei know about it
  • Push yourself but make sure you are not hurting yourself
  • Focus on quality over quantity
  • Don’t stop during your warm-up, you can rest after the class is done, it’s 1 hour only

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Peter A Soto is a Black Belt with more than 20 years of experience, athlete, teacher and webmaster. Based in the city of San Diego, California.