International Association of Shotokan Karate (IASK)
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Warming up exercises:
Warming up exercises can be carried out by performing any chosen karate
technique that incorporates moving the arms and legs to the front, side and back. these should be performed slowly to begin with then gradually increasing the speed, pace and exertion level as the body warms up until maximum speed is reached. This should take at least 5 mins.
After the initial warm up, muscles can be gently stretched so as to reduce the chance of injury by increasing flexibility and improve the range of joint motion. This can be achieved by slowly positioning the body and legs into a certain position which is held for at least 10 seconds whilst breathing slowly, deeply and calmly. This should be done on both the left and right side and the movements should never be forced. When changing to a different position so as to stretch a different muscle group, movement should be slow and smooth.
Once the arms, legs and body have been stretched, leg swings to the front, side and back can be performed remembering never to swing too high in case you lose your balance and also in case you over stretch any muscle.
Below are examples of some of the positions that can be taken up so as to stretch certain muscles.
Cooling Down exercises:
After the karate workout, it’s important to cool down. This can be achieved by repeating any technique, gradually reducing it’s pace and speed from half speed to slow until the heart and breathing have returned to normal which when some easy stretches should be performed.