Functional stretchingPublished 12/12/2013
Functional Stretching: Whenever I train I incorporate stretching into the routine. Whether it be Kata Combat or Kata Competence, there is always a process for getting warm, limbering up and stretching the muscles. Looking at some of the activities that apply to me, my stretching varies depending on the purpose. I could be teaching Karate & Self-Defence, running, pad based impact rounds, Kata Competence, Kata Combat and weight training. The main purpose of the stretching is to enable fuller ranges of motion and prevent injury. However, my stretching routine will not always be the same for each activity. Even within the activity itself, the stretching regimen will vary. Stiff over worked and tired muscles - and injury of course, from one session will affect the training and stretching in another. 

I find now that I target problem areas that require isolation and/or mobilisation by actively targeting them whenever I can. This means I incorporate the exercises into everyday activities. If I have to be sitting down at a desk for the day, I will make a conscious effort to walk around for a few minutes every so often. If I'm on the phone, I'll stretch and keep mobile whilst sitting down. I use the stairs at home to stretch out my legs as if doing a side kick for example. Using opportune moments throughout the day, rather than waiting for the official training day. Whilst the kettle is boiling, watching TV sitting on the floor in a stretched position for example.

Whilst writing this, I'm rolling my shoulders every so often and stretching my neck muscles too
 
 



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