Every class we hear our Instructors say, “Kick above your belt”, “You need to stretch to become more flexible so you can kick higher” and “Kick harder, put more power behind it!”
The reason for encouraging members to kick harder seems self-explanatory, especially for our younger and smaller framed students. As does the reason behind working on your flexibility to be able to kick higher. However, there are even deeper reasons why it’s not only important, but essential to work on your flexibility and your strength, together.
Usually when working on building strength, your muscles will grow in size, more so in men than women due to higher testosterone levels. An increase in muscle size can “physically” limit ones range of motion. Without continuing to work on your flexibility in conjunction with your strength training, over time the movement will be decreased and cause pressure and stress in other muscles to compensate for the “tightness” of the worked muscles.
Hello…injuries! Over time as muscles continually are put under stress and not “released” or allowed to rest while other muscles do what they are meant to be doing, the likelihood of injuries rises and before you know you it, a niggling pain could be a chronic injury.
So, to give yourself, and your children, the best chance at training in martial arts for a long time, and to ensure full range of motion and the best possible execution of movements, stretch and work on your strength together!