5 Exercises that you can do to help your Karate outside of the Dojo (0 comments)
Christmas is a great time. New Year’s isn’t bad. January makes everyone think about their fitness, activity, waistlines……. I am not one for gyms, jogging but what about Karate exercises?
Man! All I want to do is get better at Karate, that’s pretty much it. So what else could I be doing outside of the dojo to enhance my karate performance?
I did some googling over Christmas……..big mistake! It’s like when you have an illness and you google medical conditions- loads of rubbish comes up and panics you!
So what exercises could a Karate-ka be doing that would logically contribute to and enhance his or her performance? Difficult question, so I went to find an expert.
Chris Sweeney has won a bronze kumite medallist at the Europeans and was a multiple National JKA Kumite Champion. Since this he has gone on to train and qualify as personal trainer, found a training company, www.sw1fitness.co.uk, and also establish an app that encourages people to meet and form exercise groups www.vlique.co.
Busy boy, did he have time to help?
Over a coffee, Chris gave me a quick talk on identifying my targets. The Karate exercises are the easy part, the hard part is the head bit. You must have a goal “not only will this keep you motivated but it will also allow you to undertake specific exercises which increase your skill level and are directly transferrable back to Karate”.
This article is solely about training outside the dojo so my next question was how should I train? Chris came back with a question to me.
“What demands does Karate place on your body? It is important to stimulate the nervous system to program muscles according to the demands of your karate training. This is known as Functional Training. This gives you an edge so you can achieve your goals safely and with good health”
As a general rule any exercise programme you do should challenge the following skills:
Rapid change of direction
Therefore any program should replicate and push these areas.
So how often should I exercise? Daily, twice daily etc – no good for me I am a working Dad and time is limited………………………sometimes all I can do is just to get to training.
Chris provides some encouraging good news!
“Train smarter – not just harder. Functional training, as I mentioned, helps provide you with the strength, stability, and mobility you need to adapt to karate and life. The great news is you no longer have to waste hours at the gym. You should aim to exercise 2-3 days a week for around 30-45 minutes…This is more than sufficient to supplement your karate.”
So what exercises can I do?
This is a great exercise to build strength and endurance. Raises your heart rate and burns bundles of calories, while also testing your balance and co-ordination. All this is needed in both kumite and kata. The best thing is burpees can be done anywhere without any equipment.
2. Ice Skaters
A great exercise to challenge stability, endurance and rapid change of direction. These are all very important for any karateka. Again these can be done without equipment.
3. Reactive Plank Variations
The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning. It also works your glutes and hamstrings. Supports proper posture and improves balance all important for karate.
4. Plytometric Training
Plyometrics are fast, sharp movements that happen over a short period of time. Plyometrics are ideal for athletes or people looking to improve muscular power, speed and strength. Plyometric workouts will emulate the demands of a kumite bout.
5. Mindfulness and Meditation
Meditation can reduce stress and depression and increase general well being in the body. A clearer mind will not just benefit you day to day but it will help you improve your karate. Check the instructional in the link above by UFC fighter Nick Osipczak in the title for a deeper insight into the benefits of meditation and being “present.”
So here are five quick Karate exercises you can do outside of the Dojo to enhance your performance. It helps to identify what you want and tailor your programme around that. If you can identify your target you will be motivated to achieve it and find time to get it in.