Warm-Up Tips

Instructor Tip: Create a systematic format for your warm-up routines and see better results!

I have been teaching Martial Arts for 20 years. One thing I did not incorporate for many years was a systematic structure for our warm-up routines. Each day I spent a significant amount of time trying to create a warm-up routine that was different from the last class. The problem was, I felt like the warm-up section was not providing the value it could with the proper system in place. After years of research and consulting with experts, I created a system that targets my students’ stages of development in a manner that generates maximum results.

Here’s what I came up with:

There are four main muscle groups that students exercise during our warm-up routine:

  • Legs – the leg muscles include the calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • Arms – the arm muscles include the forearm, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and chest.
  • Abdominal – the abdominal muscles include the abdominis muscles and internal and external obliques.
  • Core – the core muscles include the abdominal area and upper and lower back muscles.

Once I understood the muscle groups and exercises that maximize development in the Martial Arts environment, I then put together a progressive format of four types of exercises:

  • Static Exercises – exert muscles without movement of the joints.
  • Active exercises – exert muscles with moderate movement of the joints in a stationary spot.
  • Dynamic exercises – exert muscles with intense movement of the joints in a stationary spot.
  • Ultimate exercises – exert muscles with intense movement of the joints in continuous motion typically up and down the mat or a field.

To help students build muscle, we follow a rotational process of the four types of exercises, targeting the four main muscle groups:

  • On the first class of the testing cycle, we start with the static exercises, next class we cover the active, and so forth. After we reach the ultimate exercises, we start over.
  • This provides a solid structure so that our instructors can focus on different elements of exercises base on the type of exercises we are covering. This maximizes the students’ proper growth and development. Winging it does not provide the structure necessary for students to properly develop and build muscle.
  • This also enables us to maintain systematic variety so that our students do not get burnt out of doing the same exercise over and over again, and our instructors do not get burnt out with daily planning.

The results? We have 16 age-specific exercises per program. This means that we have 80 exercises all organized in a progressive format! Our instructors simply follow the calendar for the type of exercise we are covering that day, and then reference the warm-up posters for each class. What took years to develop now saves both time on planning and generates measurable results!

Hope you find this tip informational!

P.S. Did you know SKILLZ offers a Bronze membership which gives you access to our age-specific warm-up routines for only $39 per month? You also get access to the cool-down stretches, end of class games, plus over 200 skill-building drills! Check it out here: www.skillzconnect.com.