It’s hard to imagine a class that doesn’t begin with “Dynamic” stretching. This Dynamic stretching is accomplished via stretch, offside stretch, and wall kicks. These stretch kicks are intended to heat the body by circulating blood flow, while at the same time strengthen certain muscles and stretch other muscles to enhance flexibility. As mentioned in previous posts, it’s not recommended to do “Static” stretching (holding stretches) until the body is warmed up, however, this is definitely a recommended post-workout addition. For those of you who might be naturally “tight” or who just want to find something to do before class to get your body moving, below is a sample set of movements designed to loosen various joints often used in training.
These movements are typically done both clockwise and counterclockwise, as performed. The repetitions of each movement can be as many as you feel useful – five each way is a good minimum. As you feel the joints open and the circles becoming easier, make them bigger/wider. First, the toes, ankles and various joints of the feet are moved in gentle and careful circles to essentially massage and get the kinks out (if they are there). As per the video, the same applies with the knees, hips, spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists/fingers, and neck. The warm-up offered in the video is fairly simple and hits the major joints, but their are additional warm-up exercises as well.
A body that is loose and mobile offers its owner more flexibility, functionality, and speed for martial purposes. Just as important, a flexible and supple body delays the onset of old age and its by-products. The older you get, the more attention must be placed on keeping the entire body loose, but strong. It’s a good idea to incorporate exercises like these and the Eight Golden Treasures in your daily morning routine. Even better, find time to add in some kicks, forms and exercises afterwards for a full workout to start your day and keep father time at bay.