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Stretching to free the hips


stretching of the hips - stretching of Iscios Jambiers

Stretching to free the hips:

In the video of Mawashi GeriI promised you a video on specific stretches for kicks.
So I've prepared a video about stretching the pelvic girdle (It's the basin!) Indeed, Stretching muscles around the pelvis are very important in karate (and in many other sports!) for kicks or for other techniques besides, because on the pelvis hang the most powerful muscles of the body.

But if these muscles are kept contracted, they prevent the mobility of the hips which is nevertheless essential in the techniques of karate.
I'm not going to give you here a course on Stretching, also called stretchingbecause it deserves more than an article. I think I will make you an ebook on the same principle as the ABC of warm-upsso that you can stretch yourself with a minimum of knowledge.

But nevertheless, one can make a small summary with some basic principles:

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Stretches: Why stretch?

As you probably know, muscles contract when they shorten. This is the very principle of muscle contraction. The problem is that they have an unfortunate tendency to not fully resume their initial position when released. So by dint of repeating certain movements and contracting our muscles, these, by shortening themselves more and more, will end up clearly limiting our mobility.

To return to the pool, this one will thus be found, even at rest, subjected to high tensions from very powerful muscles, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks, etc. You risk at best to be a little stuck and therefore lack flexibility in your techniques, at worst if the tensions are not balanced, to have a rocker pelvis that can quickly cause you pain, especially on the back.
It is therefore important to stretch the muscles to put them back in their original position. The muscles thus elongated will generate much less effort at rest on their point of insertion (point of attachment of the muscles on the bones via the tendons). will free your movements and therefore your flexibility.

Stretches: How to stretch?

That we understand each other well, the goal in our case, is not going to be to stretch the joints to gain amplitude, but to stretch the muscles to gain flexibility, which is very different:

Let me explain : The bones are connected to each other by joints that are held by ligaments. These joints are more or less mobile, and a contortionist who wants a large range of motion, goes in addition to muscle stretching, stretching the joints. The problem is that these joints become hyperlax (too soft) and for a karateka it is not very recommended.
Indeed, a karateka will submit his body to very fast movements with energy transfers from hara (belly) to the limbs or the ground and vice versa. These energy flows must be able to transit by the joints without loss. It is therefore necessary that the joints are strong and well maintained, certainly by the muscles, but also by the articular ligaments which must not be too loose.

So what we are looking for is to stretch the muscles. The problem is that a muscle that is stretched will contract automatically. It's the myotatic reflexit is he who allows us to stand up without one having to wonder which muscle one must contract so as not to lean on one side or the other.

If myotatic reflex is very practical in everyday life, it annoys us a little during stretching because we do not want the muscle to contract. That's why you have to do the stretching slowly, without straining and especially without a hitch. You must gain millimeter by millimeter by relaxing as much as possible and breathing calmly and deeply in order to thwart the vigilance of the myotatic reflex.

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Stretches have to be a relaxing and not as we often see a balance of power between your will and your muscular tensions.
If you pull too hard or jerkily, the myotatic reflex triggers and your muscle will contract; As you have a lot of will (and that you are stubborn like a mule :-D) you keep shooting. As you feel it pulls, you're sure you're right.
But you do not stretch your muscles, but you do exactly the opposite: Indeed, you are pulling more and more hard (a mullet, what!) on a muscle that is already contracted. You feel it pulls, simply because you pull on your tendons and their insertion points. Your muscle will, instead of stretching, contract more and more and therefore shorten even more and you generate a few body aches. In short, the opposite of what to do (CQFD!)

You must therefore gently stretching while breathing slowly. As soon as you feel a slight tension in the muscle, you maintain your position by relaxing, then slowly you continue to stretch so that naturally the muscle relaxes and continues to lie down.

The ideal is to stretch each muscle at least 30 seconds without ever falling below 8 seconds.

Stretches: Various types - various purpose:

You have various types ofStretching next if you are warming up, recovering or just relaxing.

Stretching to warm up: Stretching the muscles to warm up serves as a pumping phenomenon to accelerate the blood flow in the muscle fibers and thus accelerate the temperature rise inside the muscle as well as improve the nutrient and oxygen supply muscle.
I tell you about it on the 13 page of my book the ABC of warm-ups 😉

Stretches en recovery: The Stretching at the end of a training must be done very gently because the body is already traumatized by the training. You must not try to gain amplitude. Your goal is just to bring the muscles back to the position they had before the training, so that there are no parasitic tensions that would block the good flow of blood in the muscle because it is this good circulation precisely that goes allow faster recovery (and therefore less curvature ;-)) by eliminating toxins.

Stretching for arelaxation: This is the very purpose of this article and the video I prepared for you. The Stretching are not done before or after training but in a specific stretching session. You're just doing a little gentle warming up from 5 to 10 minutes then you do your stretching session in calm. The goal here, is to both bring back the muscles, shortened by previous workouts and daily life, to a relaxed position, but also to go a little beyond for the muscles (I said the muscles) and not tendons or ligaments ;-)) gain a little bit in length.

Okay, I stop with the theory on stretchingbut I think it's important that you always keep in mind what you do and why you do it when you stretch. I invite you right now to watch the video that I have prepared you for the relaxation of the pelvic girdle.
Put yourself in a loose dress (a kimono is very good!), Do some warm-ups, relax and see you soon.

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Here, I sincerely hope that this video you liked and done good, and especially that you will have understood the interest of stretching and how to realize them well.

To go further, I invite you to read my article on the Pilates method, or how to have a brand new body!

See you soon,

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  1. Hello everyone, I took the karate after ... 40 years of interruption! Started being a student at 20 years, life led me to other ways. Retired 61 years, I practice since 3 years. I just got my green belt. I do not despair of reaching the black. This little message to say that with the help of great guys like Bruno, there is no age to stay young. So those who think they are old to 40 years, just say that you have been young for more time than others! Again thank you Bruno, I appreciate your videos that show the beautiful person that you are. Claude's friendships

  2. Hello everyone:

    It seems that there is the same motive and the same punishment, for the jogger after his trail 10km. This makes it stuck, and can not go down in zenkutsu even by bending your knees. Lol I am in the balancing balm, sock compression and small flexions. Apparently it works a little, since it comes back a little by little.

    Thank you Bruno.

  3. Thank you for this very useful video
    These stretches I do them often enough and it's very profitable.
    I just finished book on the autobiography of the great master Funakoshi it's an incredible human adventure I loved ...
    Thank you again

  4. Hello, I will start doing what you explained and I will tell you if I have progressed! Thank you very much for these tips.
    I am not flexible, moreover I am not karatekas but taekwondoiste

  5. A big thank you for this court
    I'm not going to look for the big gap but try to make mawashi jodan and even yoko geri worthy of the name
    28 year without practicing sport leaves traces (rust)
    At 47 spring I would like to arrive at the black and why not teach a day
    Thanks to this fabulous blog that you have created and in addition to my training I hope to succeed

  6. Good evening bruno
    I find your videos very instructive on the stretches and it helps me enormously ..
    however, I am very worried about my adductors and hamstring ham which are very rigid.
    I just took karate club and I'm afraid it does affect my progress level geri.
    believe you have a progressive return of my flexibility, I have already 41 years, ...

    Thanks again for your videos, it's great



    • Hello, I have 63 (2018) and I have always been more flexible than people my age.Je not my age I would hardly give 61.8-) I force too much because it does not help to much beyond a certain course and sometimes we are so "hot" at the end of the course that we do not realize that we exceed the limits. By cons I'm afraid that the counterpart of this elasticity is more fragile joints (sprains).
      In my opinion, with age it is better to focus on sheathing to protect his vertebrae, perhaps put bodybuilding of the upper limbs with kettellbell (or a jerrycan more or less filled).
      The ideal would be to do two yoga classes and relax in the middle of a bed of young single women, all the more relaxing that there are no big mustaches who say "ouss" all 5mn.

  7. Good evening, I liked your videos, exercises that I know but with details to add to my stretches, I practice Taekwondo, you want to practice karate.

  8. Hello

    Thank you for his advice, I realize that I work in the right direction but with some errors, I understand where I come from but pain.

  9. Super stretching seen on this video. You were talking about what not to do but you did not show it. Can you explain it in an upcoming video? Thanks see you soon

    • Hello Jocelyne,

      Yes indeed, I forgot to show you this stretch, sorry.

      It's not complicated, and you've probably already done this stretching, it's the one of leaning forward, feet together, and trying to touch the ground.
      The goal is to stretch the Ishio-Jambiers behind the thighs. The problem is that there is a tendency to bend much too much in the lumbar region while the lumbar should stay flat and the curvature should be at the level of the joint between the leg and the pelvis. But when you lack flexibility, you can not do it and to be able to put your hands on the ground, you force on the back bat and there it is very bad.
      Another way to do this exercise is to start with the knees bent: You put your feet together, hands on the ground, but with your legs bent and you keep your back straight with your stomach on your thighs. Then gently stretch the Ishio-Jambier gently lifting the buttocks while leaving your hands on the ground and without taking off the belly of the thighs. You may not be able to fully stretch your legs, but it does not matter, you still stretch the Ishio-Jambiers, but the advantage is that your back is straight.

      I am not sure of being clear (and net), do not hesitate to ask questions.


  10. hello and thank you for this wonderful work that you do. Having played a lot of football and I play until now 47 years, I find myself with hips "welded" .It is very difficult for me to do the movements you propose now especially with legs spread to the ground and down to touch the knees with my head.

  11. beautiful, I do these stretches at each workout since I currently practice karate, but having played and played until now in football, I have never managed to make the movement with legs and downhill on the side of the foot left and right foot.I am "welded"

  12. From an old 75 black belt who had to interrupt his training for many years, among other things because of multiple fractures in the right leg (a car mowed on the street!).

    1) My knees being very stiff, I realized that walking on my knees (with a rubber foam pad for the knees), it improved the range of the knees.

    2) And also, practicing maegeri, kekomi, mawashi, and uro mawashi "on the knees", it was easier to manage and more effective as relaxation, than from standing!

    3) What do you think?

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