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Why Should I Stretch?

he need to be flexible is one key that marries all martial arts together.  However, then benefits of stretching extend past simply being flexible.  Stretching can also speed up recovery after an intense session in training in martial arts.

Any technique performed in martial arts can be executed easier, faster and with better coordination with a student that is more flexible than one that is not.

Let’s take a Turning Kick as an example.  When performing a turning kick we are asking our hips to open up, our back to bend and our leg to raise above our head.  To perform this kick better and with more precision, you would need to be flexible in your hamstrings (back of the legs), your hip flexors (front of the hips so to “open” your hips) as well as all the muscles in your back.  If you are not flexible in these areas, you simply will not be able to bend at the hips, so you won’t be able to get your leg up (let alone high up), and you also would not be able to correctly execute the kick with power or ease.  It would be hard, your body will be stiff and the risk to injury goes through the roof as you “try” so hard to do it correctly, but your body just won’t be able to do it.

In other words, as you try to execute a movement or technique, if you don’t have adequate flexibility, you body will compensate and use other muscles, which in turn puts unnecessary pressure and stress on areas not needed.  Being flexible is fundamental to the correct execution of techniques in martial arts and the longevity of the student in our sport!

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