Martial Arts Conditioning

Martial Body Workout
This workout was developed with the help of my number one student, Manny Sosa, a senior at Washington Irving high school 2003-2004 school year.
We spent 5 days per week practicing and refining this routine until we believe, every body part was covered.  The concept is that of using traditional body conditioning with martial arts movements.  The reason we considered martial arts movements is Manny currently studies Tae Kwon Do in the evenings at a professional training center and we wanted to increase his martial arts ability along with developing him as a super athlete.
The first exercise is the push up.  It works the pecs, anterior deltoid and triceps.
Followed by the abdominal crunch.  This works the abs, oblique and hip flexors.
Next is a spinal flexion, which works the spine.
Then we perform a lunge, which targets the quads, hamstrings and glutes.
Lastly, we work the calf muscles.  These are the gastrocnemius and soleus.
We perform 20 repetitions of each body conditioning and martial arts exercise with the exception of the spinal flexion, which we perform 10 repetitions.  Upon completion of one set, we follow with the second and third set.  This takes between 30 and 35 minutes.  We are utilizing both anaerobic and aerobic conditioning during this 30-35 minute cycle. 
Immediately, we move to martial movements.  The first movement is the sidekick.  We can vary the movement to consist of a rear leg kick, front leg kick, front leg stretch or rear leg stretch.  This works the abductors, hip flexors and glutes.
Next is a series of punching.  We are executing punches on the heavy bag with lightweight gloves.  The punch combinations are jab, jab-reverse, jab-hook, jab-reverse-hook, and jab-elbow-elbow.  This works the hip rotation, deltoid and triceps. 
We then begin executing front kicks.  We can vary the movement to consist of a rear leg kick, front leg kick, front leg stretch or rear leg stretch.  This works the quads and hip flexors.
Finally, we execute the back kick.  We can vary the movement to consist of back leg kick and back leg stretch.  This works the hip extensors, hamstrings and glutes.
We then take a two-minute rest, where we drink water, stretch slightly and set up for our next series of sport specific conditioning.  The equipment we use is the bungee cords and wooden sword.
We use the bungee cord to punch, (hip rotation, deltoid and triceps) stretch the legs utilizing the front stretch, (quads and hip flexors) side stretch, (abductors, hip flexors and glutes), backstretch, (hip extensors, hamstrings and glutes) and inside stretch, (adductors). 
Finally, we incorporate the wooden sword into our body conditioning routine.  Manny is totally responsible for creating this “creative workout.”  Not that it is so difficult to be creative, but try this test.  Place a blank piece of paper in front of a seven year old and in front of a 40 year old.  Ask both of them to draw something.  Nine times out of ten, the seven year old will begin to draw freely.  The 40 year old will stare at the paper for a while before beginning to draw.  Do you see my point?  At the age of 50, I am far less creative than Manny at the age of 18.  My hat is off to him on this one. 
We combine upper and lower body movements with the wooden sword.  As an example, we perform squats and lunges while executing overhead strikes with the sword.  We perform sidekicks while executing Samurai strikes; we perform inside crescent kicks while executing overhead sword strikes.  Finally, we perform spinal flexions while lying on the floor and striking with the wooden sword as we execute horizontal shoulder abductions.  This section of the workout, using the bungee cords and wooden swords, takes about 12-15 minutes. 

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