Hi my name is Richard Nieves. I love martial arts. I'm having difficulty with flexibility and speed. I'm 29 years old and I have heavy legs, strong but heavy. I'm 5ft 9 and my weight is 215lbs. I'm wondering, do you think I can reach to do a split at some point?
Kamsa- hamnida, Sabunim,
Richard NievesRead More
Dear Mr. Kim,
I just received and saw your recent DVD Ultimate Flexibility (I also own your excellente book Ultimate Flexibility and others), and I have a doubt regarding the workouts you suggest (beginner, moderate and intense). Is it necessary to perform any warm-up before the workouts? Since the workouts have some dynamic and/or joint exercises in the beginning I became with this doubt. If yes, what warm-up you suggest before each exercise taking into account that is a Streching Specific Workout and no previous exercise has been done. Thanks in advance for your attention,
Answer from Sang H. Kim:
Thank you for your inquiry. Whether you need to warm-up before using any of the workouts depends on your physical condition and level of flexibility.
In general, I would recommend using the Beginner workout as a warm-up for the Intermediate and/or Advanced workouts but some people may also need to warm up before the Beginner workout.
Ten to fifteen minutes of gross motor activity like jumping rope, jogging or other light aerobic activity that you are comfortable with is a good way to elevate your body temperature and prepare for more strenuous activity
Best of luck with your flexibility training,
Sang H. Kim
How can I improve my flexibility for kicking? I am a 42 year old red belt in taekwondo.
Dianne Carson, San DiegoRead More
by Sang H. Kim
The photos below illustrate the exercises that Sang H. Kim describes in his video on improving your low back flexibility (scroll down for the video).
Partial Forward Bend
Hold a table or another waist high surface and gently bend forward from the waist as you relax.
On your hands and knees, begin with a flat back and then arch your back.
Lie on your back and slowly curl up your body as you pull one or both knees to your chest and hold.
On your knees, place your palms and forehead on the floor. Relax your upper body into the floor.
Low Back Stretching and Flexibility Videos
Master Kim's book on Martial Arts over 40 has been a great help in my sparring. I have a question for the Author: I am 53 years old and am currently a Red Belt in Taekwondo. Can I still achieve flexibility in my hips, without causing hip problems later in life? My front kick is well over my head, but my side kicks are only waist high.
Hugh from MORead More
By Sang H. Kim | Ultimate Flexibility for Martial Arts
Stretch every time you exercise. The only way to improve your flexibility is through consistent stretching exercises. Every muscle is subject to the myotatic reflex (stretch reflex) which opposes changes in muscle length, especially sudden or extreme changes. When a muscle lengthens beyond a certain point, the myotatic reflex causes it to tighten and attempt to shorten. This is the tension you feel during stretching exercises.
The myotatic reflex is desirable because it prevents, in many cases, muscle strains and tears. Without it your muscles would be allowed to overextend and tear easily. But it is also undesirable in cases where it prevents you from fully using your body.
Through stretching, deconditioning of the myotatic reflex takes place. Little by little, you teach your muscles a new limit of safe extension. This is why stretching must be slow and consistent. If you overstretch and injure the muscle, you have to go back to a lower level of flexibility and start over. Set your stretching goals over a period of weeks or months, not days, for best results.Read More