Improve your Flexibility for Martial Arts

Stretch every time you exercise. The only way to improve your flexibility is through consistent stretching exercises. Every muscle is subject to the myotatic reflex (stretch reflex) which opposes changes in muscle length, especially sudden or extreme changes. When a muscle lengthens beyond a certain point, the myotatic reflex causes it to tighten and attempt to shorten. This is the tension you feel during stretching exercises.

The myotatic reflex is desirable because it prevents, in many cases, muscle strains and tears. Without it your muscles would be allowed to overextend and tear easily. But it is also undesirable in cases where it prevents you from fully using your body.

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Improve your Speed for Martial Arts

To develop overall speed, there are several sequential steps in training:

  • Basic conditioning
  • Explosive power development
  • Skill refinement
  • Skill loading
  • Full speed training

Basic condition, including flexibility, strength and agility training, is a prerequisite for speed training. The completion of basic conditioning is signaled by a level of fitness that allows the athlete to begin the more intensive exercises that develop explosive power. Once the target muscles start to develop, begin working on skill refinement. Each skill should be examined to eliminate unnecessary movements and increase biomechanical efficiency.

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Nutrition for Martial Artists

Contrary to popular belief, there is no magic supplement or diet that creates outstanding athletes. Athletes' needs are very similar to those of nonathletes when it comes to nutrition. Athletes, like nonathletes, need daily supplies of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. The major difference is that athletes, depending on their level of activity, require more of everything. Their bodies work harder during exercise, causing them to burn more calories and use up energy supplies faster.

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