List of Martial Arts Stretches – Instructions & Videos

This section provide details on a wide range of martial arts stretches. These stretching techniques are used to improve flexibility and to reduce the chance of potential martial arts injuries (i.e. a pulled muscle). Martial artists also use many of these martial arts stretches in order to achieve higher martial arts kicks, difficult grappling & submission positions with less strain, etc.

These Black Belt Wiki pages provide instructions and/or videos for martial arts stretching exercises that target a huge variety of muscles and tendons. Martial artists should also experiment with different stretches in order to add variety to their martial arts stretching routines (as workouts can become monotonous) and to find new stretches that can help with problem areas (i.e. hamstrings).

Before any training session, martial artists should stretch and warm-up. 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. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting any stretching or exercise program. For additional information on stretches and flexibility training, please visit Black Belt Wiki’s section on Martial Arts Physical Fitness.

Wiki Best Flexibility & Stretching Books

Related Pages

List of Martial Arts Stretches – Each section contains a wide range of martial arts stretching techniques focused on a specific target area (i.e. hamstrings).

Dynamic Stretches

Improved Flexibility

Stretching Equipment

  • Leg Stretching Devices
  • Straps
  • Towels – Towels are often used during martial arts stretches when a person is having trouble reaching their leg, hand, etc. For example, if they can’t reach their foot with their hands, they might place a towel around their foot and pull back on the ends of the towel with their hands.

Individual Stretches by Name & Target – The martial arts stretches listed below contains instructions and/or videos

Achilles Tendon Stretches

Ankle Stretches

Back Stretches

Biceps Stretches

Calf Stretches

Chest Stretches

Forearm Stretches

Glute (Butt) Stretches

Groin Stretches

Hamstring Stretches – These martial art stretches are useful for achieving higher axe kicks and for reducing potential hamstring injuries that result from high kicks.

Hip Stretches

Iliotibial (ITB) Stretches

  • Seated Torso Stretch – Targets lower back, IT band, obliques, etc. Also known as Seated Pretzel Stretch, Seated IT Band Stretch, etc.
  • Standing IT Band Stretch – Iliotibial band (ITB) stretch for hips, outer thighs, knees, etc.

Neck Stretches

Oblique (Side) Stretches

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches

Quad (Thigh) Stretches

Shin Stretches

Shoulder Stretches

Side Stretches

Stretches for Side Splits

Triceps Stretches

Wrist & Forearm Stretches

Stretching Questions

How can you improve your flexibility?

In order to improve your flexibility, you need to stretch above and beyond the stretching done before normal training sessions or a match. 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. You should use dynamic stretches (i.e. leg swings) in order to improve overall flexibility. However, athletes should not stretch so far that they hurt themselves. Increased flexibility is a gradual process.

How can I improve my leg flexibility for kicking?

If you want to improve the vertical height of your kicks, students should try stretches such as vertical leg swings, seated toe touches, etc. If you want to improve the lateral height of your kicks (i.e. higher roundhouse kicks), students should try butterfly stretches, lateral leg swings, seated straddle stretches, etc. Moreover, every day, students should actively stretch all of the muscles and tendons used in kicking such as the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, calf muscles, achilles, groin, etc.

What are the benefits of stretching?

The benefits of stretching include improved flexibility, enhanced athletic power due to better range of motion, the possible reduction of potential training injuries (i.e. injuries from tight muscles), relief of muscle stress and tension, help to loosen tight muscles, a time to focus and mentally prepare before a workout or match, etc.

What is dynamic and static stretching?

Dynamic stretching is where an athlete uses slow & controlled movement-based stretches that do not exceed a person’s natural range of motion. Examples of dynamic stretches include leg swings and arm circles. In contrast, static stretching is where an athlete holds a stretch in place and doesn’t move. Examples of static stretching include the push-up stretch (or runner’s calf stretch) and butterfly stretch. Both types of stretches can improve flexibility over time. However, many experts think that dynamic stretches provide a better overall warm-up for an athlete’s muscles & cardiovascular system (when compared to static stretches).

For more on dynamic and static stretching, you should read this Wikipedia article.

Martial Arts Stretching Tutorial

Martial Arts Stretching

Martial Arts Stretching

Martial Arts Stretching Image From Wikimedia Commons