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A traditional Taekwondo class starts with a 10-minute warm-up routine and then a dedicated stretching session. The reason why you must warm up is that warm muscles stretch better, stretching a cold muscle can lead to a tear or an injury.
There are specific stretches you must do before Taekwondo training. You must warm up and stretch your entire body.
Taekwondo black belts need to be flexible to perform all kicks correctly, that is why full-body stretching exercises are required. Let’s start with the following:
- Stretch your neck from side to side. Keep it for three seconds and then the other side.
- Stretch your neck to the front and back. Keep it for three seconds and then the other side.
- Rotate your neck clockwise for five seconds.
- Rotate your neck counterclockwise for five seconds.
- Stretch your right shoulder by taking your right arm to your left shoulder, and use your left hand to hold it at the elbow. Repeat on the other side.
- Rotate both of your shoulders at the same time by extending your arms on your side and reaching out for five seconds.
- Stretch your right arm up next to your head, bend your elbow place your hand on your upper back, and use your left arm to push and pull to stretch your arm. Hold for 10 seconds, now try the same stretch with your other arm.
- Rotate your arms forward in a forming circle, for ten seconds, and rotate your arms in reverse.
- Cross your fingers and stretch both arms to your front, reaching as far as you can, put one foot forward and keep stretching, switch your feet, and hold for 10 seconds.
- Keep your feet together and now keep your legs straight try to touch the floor with your fingers, and hold for 10 seconds. This exercise will stretch your back and legs at the same time.
Lower Back Stretching
- Stretch your lower back by sitting with your legs open at a 90-degree angle, cross your arms, and lean to your left leg taking your left shoulder to your left knee, hold for 10 seconds, and now try the same exercise on your other side.
- Stretch your lower back by staying with your legs open at a 90-degree angle, now lean forward stretching your arms to the front, relax and hold for 10 seconds, and repeat.
There are many stretching exercises for your waist and most are a combination of exercises for your lower back and legs combined, keep in mind you will need to stretch different parts of your waist.
Rotate your waist just like when you have a hula hoop around your middle section, rotate counterclockwise for five seconds and clockwise for five seconds.
There are so many variations of leg stretching we could mention which depend on the muscle group we are working with:
- The hamstring, muscles in the back of the thigh.
- The quadriceps are muscles in the front of the leg.
- The adductor muscles are on the inside of the leg.
Standing hamstring stretch
While you are standing with your legs straight reach forward and try to touch the ground with your fingers, if you need a challenge then try to touch it with your palms or fist. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat again. (3 sets of 10 seconds).
While standing reach forward and try to place your hands on the floor for 10 seconds, now 10 seconds on your right ankle, 10 seconds on your left ankle. If you need a challenge try to take your head to touch the ground.
While standing try to slide into a full front split, keep your hands on your side to hold yourself, do 10 seconds, and then switch on the other side for 10 seconds. (4 sets of 10 seconds total)
This is one of the essential stretching exercises found in many Martial Arts and sports because is one of the most effective stretching exercises. You stretch your quadriceps and your hamstrings at the same time. Hold this stretching position for 10 seconds and then try the same on the other side for 10 seconds.
Leg Stretching while sitting is recommended for martial arts because it allows us to work at our own pace and change into many positions to reach that flexibility we are looking for. These are just a few great stretches while sitting:
Sitting hamstring stretch
A very effective stretching exercise allowing you to work on both legs at the same time, you stretch your hamstrings, lower back, spine, and calves at the same time.
It is one of the most popular seated stretching exercises, great for opening your hip flexors. The butterfly stretch will help you stretch your inner thigh adductor muscles, groin, hips, and lower back.
- Just sit down and place your legs in front of you.
- Pull both legs to your groin where your left sole touches your right sole.
- Now relax and tuck your chin, you can stretch your arms forward to stretch your lower back.
- Allow your knees to fall to the ground, you can use your elbows to gently press them down.
- Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and then repeat again.
Seated Split Stretch
The Seated Split Stretch will allow you to stretch your legs evenly.
Sit down and open your legs as far as you can.
- Put your arms in front of you and try to reach forward for 10 seconds.
- Now place your arms on your left side trying to reach your left ankle and hold for 10 seconds.
- Reach your right side with the same stretch but now on your right ankle and hold for 10 seconds.
- Always warm up before any stretching exercise, if you don’t you might get an injury.
- You must be patient when you are stretching, it needs time and dedication.
- Always work out in a clean and secure place, a solid surface to do your stretches.
- If you are a beginner we recommend you to seek assistance from a qualified person.
- Do not try this at home if you do not have Martial Arts Experience.
- Taekwondo Techniques Page
- Taekwondo Kicks
- Taekwondo Stances
- Taekwondo Punches and strikes
- Taekwondo Blocks
- Taekwondo Sparring Training
- Stretching exercises for Taekwondo
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