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Karate involves a lot of powerful thrusting movements that tighten the chest and lats. Over time this can lead to postural problems unless care is taken to both stretch the chest and lats and to condition the muscles that pull the shoulders down and back towards the spine. Over conditioned and tight chest muscles paired with under conditioned shoulder and back muscles can even contribute to shoulder instability and injury.

Here is an exercise that can help “realign” us and hopefully help to keep us injury free and happily punching for a long time to come; it is called the ball cobra:

Notice the slow tempo, try to perform it the same way.

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"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin

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