Instructions for Taekwondo Stretching Techniques
Here are Taekwondo stretching exercises that you can use to improve your flexibility and hopefully reduce potential injuries (i.e. a strained hamstring) that might occur during your Taekwondo class. You should stretch for at least 10 minutes before Taekwondo. You should also stretch after Taekwondo when your body is warmed up & limber in order to maximize your flexibility. Remember do not bounce when you stretch, do each Taekwondo stretch slowly and do not try to stretch beyond your body's limit (i.e. stop if a stretch hurts). In addition, you should always see a doctor before starting any strenuous exercise program!
Taekwondo Stretching Videos
- Taekwondo Grand Master Stretching - In this video, a Korean Taekwondo Grand Master demonstrates his personal warm-up & stretching routine.
- Taekwondo Instructor Stretching - Watch a Taekwondo stretching & warm-up routine done by a well-known Taekwondo Master and author. Many basic stretches and exercises (although some of the techniques look a little strange). Pick & utilize the parts that are right for you.
- Taekwondo Core Stretches - Exercises to stretch your core muscles (i.e. abs and obliques).
- Splits - Front & side splits. Done by a Taekwondo instructor. These Taekwondo stretches will help you to achieve higher roundhouse kicks.
- Stretches for Higher Kicks - These stretches with help with higher axe, side and roundhouse kicks.
My Personal Stretching & Warm-Up Routine
Here is my personal 10-15 minute Taekwondo stretching routine used in the beginning of our Taekwondo classes. It focuses on warming up your muscles & tendons and stretching most of your body in order to prevent injuries and improve flexibility. This page was designed to illustrate a typical stretching session for new Taekwondo students and to give some stretching ideas for more experienced Taekwondo students. You should spend at least 20-30 seconds on each stretch (don't rush because a five second stretch doesn't help anyone). Also remember to change things up frequently so your classmates/students don't get bored with the same old stretching routine!
Warm Up - Take 2-3 minutes to slowly warm up your muscles, loosen your joints and boost your heart rate. Also "cold" muscles/tendons can be more easily injured during stretching.
- Jumping Jacks
- Alternatives - Mountain Climbers, Squat Thrusts, Running in Place, etc.
- Stretching - Make sure you target all of the main areas of the body with special focus on the typical Taekwondo problem areas such as calf, groin and hamstrings. For instructions on how to perform any of these stretches, please visit our Taekwondo Stretching page.
- Forearm Rolls or Wrist Stretches
- Posterior Shoulder Stretch
- Triceps Stretch
- Anterior Shoulder Stretch
- Side Stretch
- Toe Touches
- Groin Stretch - I use various Lunges.
- Standing Calf Stretch
- Ankle Rotation
- Crossed Leg Stretch - From a sitting position and with one leg remaining flat on the ground, you bring your other knee/ankle to your chest.
- Lying Down Hamstring Stretch
Mid-Session Torture… um, I mean… Strengthening Section :) - This segment adds some variety and fun into the stretching session and gets people talking & laughing… or is that cursing?
- Alternatives - Crunches, Reverse Crunches, Bird Dog, Russian Twist, etc.
- Stretching - Second half of the stretching session. For instructions on how to perform any of these stretches, please visit our Taekwondo Stretching page.
- Sitting Hamstring Stretch - Sit down with your legs straight out and grab your toes/foot.
- Butterfly Stretch
- Splits - Spread your legs as wide as possible and then reach down & touch one foot, then the other and finally down the middle.
- Lying Down Quadriceps Stretch
- Back Extension Stretch (also known as the Cobra Pose)
- Child's Pose with Arms Extended
Cool Down - Allows your classmates/students to catch their breath before the "real" class begins. It also signals the instructor that the stretching session is coming to an end (so he/she had better get ready to lead the class).
- Knee Rotation
- Hip Rotation
- Trunk Rotation
- Shoulder Rotation
- Chain Breakers - Cross your arms in front and then open them as wide as possible (so your shoulder blades touch). Repeat.
- Neck Rotation
- You should have a formal ending to the session. At our school, we first tell everyone to turn around and fix their uniforms. Then we instruct them to turn around & face the Master and bow to the Master. The Master acknowledges the class and asks them to bow to & thank the stretching leader. Everyone claps and we get ready for the regular class to begin.
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