[I:http://martialarts.surrey-sussex.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/AlCase10.jpg] I was talking with a fellow the other day, and we were thinking about condensing body calisthenics into maybe a half dozen exercises. Think about it, five martial arts exercises that increase your strength, make you faster and more powerful. All you do is these five exercises, and that’s all you need.
So I researched a bunch of things having to do with Yoga, Tibetian exercises and even American things like Matt Furey. Here’s my initial work up on five exercises, and while I will probably work on them a bit, improve them further, I think they fit the bill. The extra added attraction is that they’ll be good martial arts class warm ups, no matter whether you do Karate, kenpo, aikido, or whatever.
First, and most important, is stretching. Most body injuries result from the body being compacted, so to stretch the body, whether it be splits or just hanging from a tree or over the side of a bed, should start the blood flowing and awake the body. No set exercise for this, I just recommend reading up on a little yoga, isolating the movements you aren’t flexible in, and concentrating on them.
Next, would be an exercise I call snaking. This includes such things as worming style push ups, and covers the front bending motion of the body. There are a whole series of yoga poses, from dog looks up to plank position to rabbits pose, that could fit in this particular exercise.
The third exercise would be bridging. This is actually a whole series of stretches, but should probably be explored gently on a gradient. Bridging from the neck, the hands, over a stool, all this covers the whole back bending motion of the body.
You may have figured out that I am trying to explore every range of motion for the body, and you would be correct. After bending the body front and back, we have twisting the body laterally. While there are many yoga poses that twist the body in this manner, a general exercise would be if you just sit cross legged looking over your shoulder, then twist all the way up and then down to cross legged and looking over the shoulder on the other side.
The final martial arts exercise would be being upside down. This should reverse gravity for your innards, and should be very good for your organs. This would include frog stands, head stands (start out against the wall), and eventually a variety of handstands and even walking on the hands.
So that’s it, my quick fix for whole body health through five simple body calisthenic, martial arts exercises. These calisthenics are fairly common, and you should find them in a variety of programs. At any rate, try them out for a month or two, and watch yourself get nothing but better and strong and faster.
I do recommend a study of all body motion potentials if you want to get the most out of these calisthenics. Head over to my Yogata page (TThe Yoga Kata), and get even more data on getting stronger, faster and more powerful through the martial arts.