the corona chronicles – day 2

early days, but so far so good. no serious karate withdrawal symptoms so far. oh yes, and no corona either. anway, his came up on my feed which is quite apropos – a 12 week workout plan:

i’ve often stressed the importance of cross training and the current predicament could be the perfect opportunity to workout. i’ve tried it myself and it’s a good workout with a good emphasis on core strength and functional exercises, which make it a good complementary training to karate.

some important pointers:

  • briefly skim through the video before you start to check that you understand all the exercises. once you start training you don’t want to have to pause and rewind.
  • start at the pace you can maintain. each video is a 30 minute workout including warm-up and cool-down, with quite a few short breaks throughout, so net working time is 15-20 minutes. try to find a pace that will be challenging, but one that you can keep without stopping other than during built-in breaks.
  • maintain good posture. keep your spine straight as much as possible. this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always upright, but it should be straight unless the exercise specifically demands otherwise (e.g. forward fold). when performing exercises such as squats hinge from the hips, but keep the spine long and your chest up.
  • engage your abs. not just for exercises like plank or crunches, but throughout. for example when doing leg lifts imagine it is the abs that pull the leg up. to engage your abs pull your bellybutton into your spine and keep it there! yes, throughout.
  • protect your knees. when performing exercises such as squats, lunges, side lunges etc, make sure your knees are in a good position. the knee or knees bearing the load of your body should be directly above your foot with the heel firmly planted. when doing squats send your weight back as if sitting on an invisible chair, with your weight into your heels, not your toes.
  • keep your shoulders soft and relaxed. when lifting your arms make sure not to engage your neck muscles but do engage your lats to keep your shoulders in.
  • quality and not quantity. whilst the pace is important for building endurance you will only benefit if you do the exercises correctly. you’ve got 12 weeks of this, so focus on doing it well and building from there.
  • if you enjoy the workout remember to give heather the thumbs up and like her video.

if you can’t tell your deltoids from your glutes here’s an overview: muscle groups of our body

enjoy the programme. your journey starts here: week 1 / day 1

the corona chronicles – day 1

Yesterday the government advised to avoid “all unnecessary travel” and consequently i suspended all training. i promised everybody that i would be posting ideas for training at home,  so i thought i’d start straight away. “no time like the present” thing.

i filmed a short sequence and checked the result. i wasn’t happy at all. i can be quite critical, but frankly, i haven’t been training enough myself. so that was short-lived, at least for now, but not entirely useless. just filming myself for a few minutes and watching the result gave me a few things i want to improve. after all, the japanese word for training is “keiko” (稽古) which means something like “reflect on the wisdom of previous generations”, so reflection and examination should be integral to karate training.

and there we have it – your first training tip: film yourself and then examine the result. you will be able to see what i see when you train in the dojo. you will notice some of the things we work on (e.g. are you striking to the correct target? is your hikite tight? etc.). then it’s just a matter of: film, examine, improve, repeat.

As a possible exercise i can suggest the following:

standing in shizentai (natural stance) perform choku zuki (straight punch): 10 times slow, 10 times fast and 10 times double punch (do 5 starting on the right and 5 on the left). that’s 30 punches in total. film from the front and from the side. makes 60.

now examine the video and find just one or two things you’d like to improve. repeat as necessary (perhaps also in kiba dachi).

you can also make your own exercises. if you practice kata i recommend breaking it down to short sequences. fix on thing then move on to the next. remember to film front and side as each one will reveal different details.

enjoy and send your comment!