Best Flexibility Exercises or Yoga Postures for Martial Arts?

03 Jun 2018 23:01 #322284 by TheDude
I have been focusing on my health over the past few months, quit smoking and have been jogging, lifting weights, and doing bodyweight exercises 6 days a week. I am already feeling much stronger and healthier than I did three months ago, so I've decided to resume training in martial arts. My problem is that I'm not very flexible. I'm not inflexible -- I can kick at about chest height comfortably -- but there is a lot of room for improvement, and I'd like to improve with maximal efficacy.

Is there a set of stretches you would suggest to supplement weight training and martial arts classes? Or a set of yoga postures that would help with flexibility for martial arts?

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04 Jun 2018 01:25 #322290 by Adder
Pole dancing? :D
But seriously, in regards to yoga.. perhaps google 'hip openers' or 'hip opening' asanas to have a look ways they work the set of muscles spanning across legs and back through the hips for better flexibility.

I'm not qualified to give advice, but my layman opinion is;

Don't over-do it.
Do do both sides and focus on the whole body from the spine for all events, and adjust the format to suit individual limitations/progress in support of safe progress over forcing oneself too much, hydrate obviously, and avoid injury.

If you cannot already tough your toes with a straight back, then I'd start with learning how to hold ones spine and neck straight on ones hips while standing walking and sitting, and then just work on stretching out the legs by bending over.
This can help, build strength in the lower back in support of stretching the legs, Anjaneyasana

If you can already, Virabhadrasana's are aptly named 'warrior poses'

And from then a good go to for warming up the focus on existing flexibility is the Salutation to the Sun, which is a well known and long standing combination of various asanas.

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04 Jun 2018 01:31 #322291 by thomaswfaulkner
I've used this to help open my hips and loosen my glutes to painfully attempt to sit in the lotus.

This looks super easy, but man do you feel that stretch. You'll be doing the can-can kicks above your head in no time. :lol:

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09 Sep 2018 08:47 #326027 by Janina
Surya Namaskar may be very effective for one who does MA-training.

I practice Tae-Kwon-Do and have done lots of Yoga as serious meditative purposes.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is good in it´s systematic series, but I could recommend also some Yin-Yoga,
which is specifically good for those of Martial Artists.

Still it´s best to do little aerobic, little strength, and little flexibility and keep most of focus in martial arts technique itself.

If you do any Karate or Taekwondo,I could recommend lots of kata- of pomsae-training for mastering your body-mind integrity.

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09 Sep 2018 17:32 #326039 by mc
The physiological adaptations to stretching take place mainly in the fascia. Fascia is where muscle tightness resides. If You could isolate muscle fibers from the fascia, they would likely have a consistency like taffy. Fascia is continuous across joints, and restriction in one part of a fascial line can ‘echo’ out across the rest of the line. Anatomy trains does a wonderful job of explaining this (
The tightness You initially notice in Your hamstring way be originating in Your calf or the plantar fascia in the bottom of Your foot.
If Your current flexibility routine does not include some form of self-myofascial release, such as foam rolling, and You are wanting to just one or two things to Your existing program, foam rolling and/or similar forms of self-myofascial release would be a good place to start.

In general though, it is best (in my opinion) to have a relatively structured full body flexibility program, and work from there down to specifics. Foam rolling would be part of a general, full body program.
i would recommend looking at a relatively comprehensive system for flexibility rather than just looking for one or two new stretches.
One option would be Kit Laughlin’s Stretch Therapy ( Another, similar option would be Bob Cooley’s Genius of Flexibility system ( They both offer a series of integrated full body programs, and ways of determining where any addition tightness might be lurking so it can then be targeted specifically.

A less well structured, but more martial arts oriented system You might also consider is Kinesiological Stretching, now renamed Zaichik Stretching ( It uses stretching methods similar to Stretch Therapy and Genius of Flexibility, but puts a great deal of emphasis on positioning to better isolate specific muscles, even specific heads of multi-head muscles. They have packages for a wide variety of sports, including martial arts. There is also a separate Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu package, and a program intended specifically for kicking flexibility.

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