Why Warm-up Exercises Are Important Before Practicing Martial Arts

Teenager Stretching Out with Jump Rope

Martial artists often neglect to warm up and physically work out, because they spend more time working on specific techniques. Maintaining skills is certainly important, but so is preserving one’s overall physical condition.

Bruce Lee, the martial arts expert who created the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, was a perfect example of a martial artist in excellent health: he trained every day and ate very healthily. Many beginners forget to discipline themselves. Only through grueling, consistent exercise can one develop endurance.

How to Get Your Body Warm Before Working Out

To warm up, practitioners should choose easy exercises to loosen their muscles and prepare them for more strenuous work. Exercises include light jogging, jump roping, loosing up ligaments. Warming up is necessary to prevent injury and improve performance.

How long of a warm-up is needed? Generally, five to 10 minutes is adequate, but some individuals may need more. One should also keep in mind that it will take longer to warm up on colder days or in cooler climates. Everyone, regardless of age, experience, and ability must warm up, no matter what grade of performance they have achieved.

Cooling Down Muscles

Cooling down is also very important and often completely disregarded during training. It is potentially dangerous to suddenly come to a complete stop, particularly if you have had a vigorous exercise session. Just as you equipped your body for work by warming up at the start of the lesson, it is equally important to prepare your body and mind for ending the session. Exercises can include walking, knee-ups, and arm rolls.

The scientific logic behind the cool-down is that when you stop exercising, your heart will continue to beat at a much faster rate than normal. If you suddenly stop exercising, blood can gather in your muscles, blocking oxygen without the blood flowing back through the muscle. This causes muscle soreness and stiffness later.

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