We train Fullcontact Karate 3 times a week and add a fourth time on nice and warm weekends. The training is technically demanding and develloping endurance while enjoying the full contact. Even though we incorporate strength and endurance exercises into our training, certain goals can only be reached with different training methods.
In the gym we have the chance to define certain muscle groups and make them resilient so that we do not hurt ourselves during a fight. Building up mass too is very difficult and slow to achieve with strength and endurance sets. There, the possibilities of the gym are helping nicely and complete out training package perfectly. In the end you also have to realize that certain techniques can only work if you have the proper foundation (e.g. a minimum size of certain muscles). The more focussed you train specific muscle groups, the better you learn to controll them actively and independently when they are needed.
Every week there are two days we go to the gym. Hannes tries to loose a little bit of fat and restructure his body. I try to gain weight. There are loads of exercises that we do, changing every week, depending on which gym machines are vacant and which are occupied.
There are some exercises though we do every week. That is for warm up 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer or 5 minutes on the rowing machine. Both exercises are great warm up tools since they stress arms, legs and torso equally. Depending on your current form you can simply choose how fast you go without having to change something on the machine itself.
There are two exercises we do right before our cool down and stretching period every time. Our modern livestyle includes a lot of sitting. If you donot want to get back or neck problems you have to train your abdominal muscles and your back muscles every time. Our current favourites for those areas are crunches in different varieties with a simple crunch machine and superman (or at least we call it that).
For everyone that does not know Superman, here are the 3 positions you go through:
Lay down flat on your stomach and stretch out your arms in front of you. Keep your eyes to the front as well.
Pull your arms back slowly and try to raise your upper body as high as possible.
Now before you give up and let your arms go back forward, you try to gather the last bits of energy for the moment and try to lift your upper body a little bit higher. Then everything from the beginning.
Try to do the exercise with a calm breathing rhythm – breath in with your arms in the front, then breath out slowly and pull back with the same slow speed. Press out the last bit of air to get the the final few inches. Try to avoid jerky movements and try to do everything as calm as possible.
With this basic frame you always feel better after a training. Over the next few days you will not have to worry about bad sitting positions because your body is strong enough to prevent any injuries or pain.
Which are your favourite exercises to keep being healthy and strong?