Warm Up and Stretching Prepare for Taekwondo

Warm Up

Before beginning any exercise, a thorough warm-up and and a good stretch are necessary in order to prepare our bodies for exercise and to avoid possible injuries due to cold muscles. Taekwondo is no exception and a Warm Up Session is an absolutely must followed by a gentle long Stretching Session. Since Taekwondo involves a lot of kicking techniques, regular stretching is an absolute must in order to improve flexibility and to avoid injury.
It is important to remember that the exercises shown here are a guide and are no substitute to a supervised training session.

Warm Up for Taekwondo

Beginning with a good warm up, the first steps are to effectively loosen yourself and relax and generally bring you to a sweat. Example aerobic warm up exercises may include Jogging, Heel Clips and Star Jumping, etc. After this we can warm up specific areas of our body's starting with your neck and working down. Each exercise should be performed for 20-30 seconds. When you complete the warm-up exercises, you are ready for the Stretching Session. When you complete your training session, perform the warm-up exercises to cool down. Reverse the order of the warm-up exercises and move gently.

Neck Rotation
Neck Rotation: Turn neck left to right, side to side for 10 repetitions, up and down for 10 repetitions and half rotations for 10 repetitions.
Shoulder Rolls
Shoulders and Arms
Shoulder Rolls: Rotate the shoulders forwards for 10 repetitions, then reverse the direction for 10 repetitions. Begin with arms bent and then repeat forwards and backwards with arms extended.
Shoulder Changes
Shoulders and Arms
Shoulder Stretch: Change arms to up and down position alternately bringing shoulder blade together. Repeat.
Shoulder Stretch in Shoulder Stretch out
Shoulders and Arms
Shoulder Stretch: Push arms behind with elbows bent until shoulder blades touching. Relax arms forward again. On the next iteration stretch arms behind until shoulder blade touching.
Hip Rotation
Hip Rotation: Rotate hips with hands on hips in large circles in a clockwise direction. Repeat the exercise in the counter-clockwise direction.
Knee Rotation
Knee Rotation: Placing your hands above (not directly on) your knees with feet together, rotate knees in small circles in a clockwise direction. Repeat the exercise in the counter-clockwise direction. Remember it is very important to rotate on the balls of your feet to avoid stress on the knees.
Hip Swing Hip Swing
Hips and Back
Hip Swing: link arms in front of body and twist to the left side and then to the right side, swinging elbows behind. Remember it is very important to twist on the balls of your feet to avoid stress on the knees.
Hips and Hamstrings
Wind Mills: Place feet just over a shoulder width apart and slowly change from side to side, stretching each arm to the opposite leg towards the toes. Change arms and legs alternately. Make at least 10 repetitions and then bring legs further apart and repeat.

Stretch for Taekwondo

After you complete a thorough Warm Up Session, you are ready for some stretching. Taekwondo has many spectacular kicking techniques so we must teach our muscles how to relax and extend naturally if we want to be able to kick powerfully and quickly! Each stretch should be held for around 10 seconds , and repeated 10 times. Be sure to breath out when you stretch. Stretching should be gradual and relaxed. If you feel a lot of PAIN this is your body telling you to be careful. Beginners should make sure they obtain sound advice from an instructor before performing stretches for the first time! The stretching session gives you the time to prepare your body and mind for your Tae Kwon Do session. Take the time to give some thought to the movements and techniques that you will perform today.

Long Stance Stretch
Hamstrings, Calfs and Quads
Long Stance Stretch: Make a good long, wide stance with the front leg bent and the back leg straight. With hands on the hip, sink the hips vertically downwards until stretch is felt in the front quad muscles and the rear hamstrings / calfs. Hold for 10s then relax. Repeat by dropping hips towards the floor again.
Calf Stretch
Calf Muscles
Calf Stretch: Cross legs over each other with heels on the ground. Slowly bend down and stretch towards the toes. Relax and repeat. Then change over legs so the opposite leg is behind and repeat the set of stretches.
Hamstring Stretch
Hamstring Stretch: With legs just over a shoulder width apart with heels on the ground and the legs straight, stretch both hands across the body to the opposite foot. Take care to breath out as you stretch across. Hold for a short time then repeat and stretch towards the opposite foot. After a few repetitions, the legs can be widened to improve the stretch.
Hamstring and Calf Stretch
Hamstrings and Calf
Floor Stretch: Sitting down, extend one leg out straight in front, taking care to make sure your toes are pointed to the ceiling! Bring the other leg inside to the sole of the inside leg is touching the inside of the thigh. From this position, slowly bring you head down towards your extended knee and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for 10 repetitions on this leg and then change legs and repeat on the opposite leg.
Inner Thigh
Inner Thigh
Inner Thigh Stretch: Sitting down, bring the legs together so the soles of the feet are touching. Gently push down on thighs with elbows, pushing the knees down towards the ground.
Leg Stretch Leg Stretch Leg Stretch
Hamstrings and Inner Thigh
Leg Stretch: Sitting down with both legs in front, grab the right leg on the inside (so your fingers grip your sole pointing towards the little toe). Push out in a straight line (hamstring stretch). Bend leg at knee and pull back to centre (quad stretch). Push leg out to the side (inner thigh stretch). Repeat these steps.
Leg Stretch Leg Stretch
Hamstrings and Inner Thigh
Leg Stretch: Sitting down with both legs wide apart, stretch down slowly to the left side extending fingers towards your toes. Remember to take a long slow deep breath out as you stretch. Move through to the middle pushing the head down between the legs towards the ground. Move through to the opposite leg extending fingers towards your toes.
Box Splits
Inner Thigh
Box Splits: Slowly slide the feet apart, sinking the hips towards the ground. Support your legs with your hands in the middle of the body.
Front Splits
Front Splits: Supporting your body with hands either side, slowly slide the feet apart so your front leg is straight (back leg as straight as possible), sinking the hips towards the ground. Hold the stretch for 10-20s. Repeat on the other leg.

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