Martial arts training offers an excellent opportunity to get your body in better shape, to improve your health and to prepare you for self-defense. At the same time, if executed improperly, it is quite possible to injure yourself while engaging in martial arts training. Fortunately, by keeping these tips in mind, you can significantly reduce your chances of being injured while training in the martial arts.
With any physical activity, the most important step you can take toward avoiding injury is to remain hydrated. Martial arts training generates heat, which induces sweating. For most people, the sweating results in a loss of anywhere between one and a half to three liters of water per hour. If this water is not replaced, the body will become dehydrated, resulting in dizziness, headaches, nausea, cramps and general weakness and exhaustion.
Do a Warm Up
A good warm up will increase your body temperature while also helping to prepare your muscles and other tissues for your routine. This will make your tissues less prone to injury while also increasing your heart rate so oxygen and fuel can be more effectively delivered to your muscles. Not only will this help keep your body protected from injury, but it will also prepare it for peak performance.
As part of your warm up, you should be taking the time to stretch your body in order to prepare it for your workout. The martial arts require moving your body in ways that require optimum flexibility, so be sure to hold each stretch for up to 30 seconds in order to enjoy the greatest benefits. When stretching, you should breathe slowly as you focus on relaxing the muscles you are focusing on. Remember, when stretching, you shouldn’t experience any pain or strain in the joints.
Use Proper Form
When sparring or practicing on equipment, be sure to use the proper form as you have been taught by your instructor. Holding your hands and feet in the wrong position or striking with improper form can result in sprained ankles, toes and fingers as well as a variety of other injuries. Pay close attention at your classes in order to learn the proper forms and techniques to ensure you are executing them properly when practicing at home.
Do a Cool Down
Your training routine will push your cardiovascular system and your muscles, which means you need to give them time to cool down properly. A cool down allows your body to gradually reduce the intensity level so waste products can be more effectively removed. During your cool down, you should focus on deep breathing, stretching and relaxing in order to reduce the potential for muscle soreness.