A few weeks ago I attended an excellent, weekend long presentation in Chicago on fitness assessment and principles led by Eric Beard of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. It was an excellent class. Mr. Beard is a trainer’s trainer. Almost by accident I came across this video of him teaching kneeling hip flexor stretches.

Why is this relevant to karate? Well most people who practice karate are not full time athletes able to live in the dojo or gym. Many of us have lives and jobs that require us to sit behind a desk for hours a day, and when we get a chance we dash to the dojo where we kick, perform leg lifts, stomp, fall and pick people up. All of this is hard on one’s back. All of the sitting keeps the hip flexors tight and short, and kicking just reinforces this.

Tight hip flexors make it hard to keep your pelvis in a neutral position affecting both the look of your techniques and potentially causing lower back pain. They also make it harder to recruit your gluts to support lifts and other movements which only compounds these problems.

After you watch the video you may want to take a look at Eric Beard’s Blog: Click here to check it out.