This page provides instructions to help improve overall martial arts flexibility. Many martial arts students work on their flexibility in order to perform advanced martial arts kicks (i.e. spinning hook kick) and/or to be able to hit high targets (i.e. an opponent’s head) with their kicks (i.e. axe kick). Moreover, greater flexibility can reduce potential over-extension injuries (i.e. pulling a hamstring while attempting to hit a high target).
In order to improve your flexibility, you need to stretch above and beyond the stretching done in your martial arts class. You need to stretch every day and try to stretch at least twice per day. However, be aware that any improvement in flexibility as an adult will be slow. Nevertheless, if you keep stretching, you should see gradual but solid improvement over time. Beyond traditional stretching techniques, many martial artists utilize a wide variety of Yoga exercises in order to improve their flexibility.
All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized.
- Benefits of Stretching
- Dynamic Stretches – Many martial artists use dynamic stretching techniques in addition to static stretches. Some dynamic stretches include Ankle Bounces, High Knees, Lateral Jumps and Leg Swings.
- Partner Assisted Stretching
- Warm-Up Exercises
- Yoga for Martial Arts Flexibility – Instructions & Videos
- List of Stretches – Instructions & videos for a wide range of static stretches
- Achilles Stretches – Achilles stretches such as the heel drop stretch, towel foot stretch, etc.
- Ankle Stretches
- Back Stretches
- Biceps Stretches
- Calf Stretches – Calf stretches such as runner’s calf stretch, soleus stretch, etc.
- Chest Stretches
- Forearm Stretches
- Glute Stretches
- Groin Stretches – Groin stretches such as the butterfly stretch, lunge stretch, etc.
- Hamstring Stretches – Hamstring stretches such as the toy soldier stretch, modified hurdler stretch, etc.
- Hip Stretches
- Iliotibial Stretches – Side of leg and knees.
- Knee Stretches
- Neck Stretches
- Plantar Fasciitis Stretches – Bottom of foot stretches
- Quadricep Stretches – Quad stretches such as the standing quad stretch, prone quad stretch, etc.
- Shin Splint Stretches
- Shoulder Stretches
- Side Stretches – Oblique stretches
- Side Split Stretches – Side splits are often used to achieve higher lateral kicks (i.e. a higher roundhouse kick).
- Triceps Stretches
- Wrist Stretches
Instructional Videos for Improving Martial Arts Flexibility
Martial Arts Flexibility
Martial Arts Flexibility Image From Wikimedia Commons