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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. Good evening
    very good video, I have been road for 13 years sitting 15 hours a day I can tell you that I have a job to soften the entire lower part of my body from the lumbar to the feet I would keep you informed of my progress if I happens to me reeeleeeveer !!!! ^^

  2. Congratulations for this video stretching relaxations
    for others too, videos of kata my good
    Served to you Bruno "You're a good guy"

  3. great site thank you for spending so much time for us. The karate classes are well explained and well detailed, and always a small detail that goes well! see and see again, that's all I need. I managed to understand many of my mistakes.

  4. Very interesting and useful. Reflect on our usual practice at home or at the dojo!
    I am shotokan style black belt (rather weak as black belt!
    I am 75 years old and I resume my training after a break of several years.
    I am slowed down by everything, but especially by a stiffness of the right knee (which has been operated on the meniscus). I think your site will help me a lot if I persevere.
    The emphasis you put on slowness in stretching seems to me very important (especially at my age).
    Thank you for your very well designed project.

  5. thank you for this video that will prevent me from hurting myself during my stretches, I realized that I was doing some wrong

  6. Good evening, but it's nice to watch videos of such quality. Many thanks to you teacher for the clarity of your explanations and the relief you give to karate from home. THANK YOU !

  7. Thank you very much for your video on easing the basin. That's what I miss right now in my sport.
    All your explanations are very clear.

  8. Hello, I am a Taekwondo practitioner with the chance to be a very stiff person.
    My research of exercises and explanations of stretching to relax the pelvis and about brought me to your blog.
    I discovered new exercises that will put very useful and understood others that had been recommended to me by an osteopath.
    I really like how you present and explain the exercises.
    So I want to thank you for sharing!
    Best regards.

  9. I would like to receive these tips in order to free my hips because I started to do some relaxation but hip side I am really blocked.Thank you

  10. Thank you Bruno, your lesson did me a lot of good of all the more so that I began to have fats and weight. It made me understand why most of our students make mawashi sometimes oblique or do not arrive squarely on the goal despite the effort provided by these students by kicking. Thank you for your support ... Now we will comply.

  11. Hello Bruno,

    Great these videos, and more, free!
    Congratulations, so rare the free.
    It's nice, we imagine in the dojo, with a friend instructor.
    I will try to review my program because many exercises have been tested for physical safety.
    I realize that what I do since 30 years is not "all good for the body",


  12. I love your pedagogy. I have shotokan style karate for a few years and your knowledge allows me to find and enrich my practice for me and to teach. I am yellow belt. I am doing karate in an association in Montélimar. I smile when I see you and listen to you. You are natural, with a hair on the tongue and when you search for your words you say "how". I love what you are. You are a good pedagogue. You're nice. Initially, it bothered me when you spoke a lot. But on the contrary it enriches me ... Thank you for your blog, your writings and your videos.

  13. Hello Bruno,

    Thank you very much for this video on stretching. Like all the others, she is very useful. Congratulations for everything!


  14. van Ballegooij Pascal at

    Thank you first for this video.
    I knew most of these gestures of stretching, (I am karate since 3 years) but without having ever had the explanations that go with it. I'm a stubborn person, and I've probably done 'worse than better'.
    I am 39 years old. I see again how limited I am in the distance of my hips. I followed all the exercises in real time, on a smooth tile (it's not ideal but the following is revealing) No way for me to go beyond the 80-90 ° amplitude without pulling on my kimono. No question aforeiori to lean forward. By doing the exercise against the wall, my general stiffness prevents me from staying against the wall, a spring effect automatically pushes me away. When I do the exercise against a espalier, it is only by holding 2 hands to the lower bar of it that I manage to stay more or less close. Another thing: when I lie on the floor, my legs bent, there is a gap between my lumbar and the floor, and a vertebra in the middle of the back is more weighty than the others. Can not keep my cervical close to the floor notplus.
    I love karate, but I have constant pain in my left hip. You will understand that I have a hard time doing a MAWACHI. I am green belt.
    As you say, I will try to avoid pulling on my tendons, and work more gradually. But I remain dubious about my margin of progress. I think we are really far from being all morphologically similar (pain in the hip at the cartilage and the femoral head) and metabolically (more or less strong tendency to muscle stiffness, flexibility) If you have any thoughts, do not hesitate. And thank you again !!

    • Hello Pascal,
      Good from what I read, you're pretty stiff, but nothing is lost. First of all, you should take care of your problem of hip pain because I think you have a blockage in your pelvis.
      I urge you to consult an osteopath. Attention, a good who works deep and in the whole body on two or three good sessions long enough (45 min) not a general practitioner who manipulates you in 3 minutes making you crack the vertebrae.
      I also advise you to consult a chiropodist to see if you would not have a problem with your plantar supports, which could be the cause of this hip pain.
      Then, when it comes to stretching, you have to do a lot of work on yourself and understand that you have to go very slowly, very slowly, and even more slowly than that ... In short, you have to visualize what you do, and think about relaxation and looseness. , without trying to shoot, even if at the beginning during the first sessions you go down even less than usual. Because you will try to get down and stretch, as long as your muscles will not relax you will do only harm.
      As for karate, stop trying to give mawashi jodan, always put them to an author who is easy, as you progress in stretching and especially relaxation, your kicks will be more above.
      Contrary to what you think, you have a huge margin of progress (because you share very far ;-)) and do not be discouraged.
      Go slowly, breathe slowly and deeply, always work thinking lengthening and not tugging ... thinking looseness and not force to stretch ...
      You will probably put time but if you do not force you will get there.
      Good luck,

  15. first online court for me is finally giant, good practice between my karate lessons at Dojo, this is what I need is concrete! Thank you

  16. video in line with what we do in class; but clearly, we are not all equal. I confess that I do not despair of arriving at the Jodan level; even if a chudan level is sometimes much more effective than a jodan that comes to slap in the shoulder or a jodan carried out with a too big rocking of the body towards the back.
    In any case, we agree that the movement of the hip remains paramount whether it is for kicks, punches and displacements.Any part of the hip !!!!!!

  17. I started karate (kyoku) and yoga only since last September, and being rather stiff by nature, especially at the hips, I had great difficulty throwing mawashi, even in gedan!
    But today it's forgotten, thanks to the combined effort in relaxation, bodybuilding and technique, I can finally use my legs to hit!
    The way is still long, but your advice my advanced license, thank you for sharing yours know.

  18. Hi bruno, I hope you spent a merry Christmas with all those who are dear to you. I am not too internet but your blog is a real educational support and an encouraging companion in my karate learning. God gives you the strength and the will to continue to accompany us.
    the stretching session is a real exercise that delights us when we are finished and we do a lot of good and I talked about you at the dojo and the echoes are excellent. good cotinuation

    • Hello Messaoudene,

      I had very good holidays, thank you.

      Thank you for your compliments on the blog and for the sharing you do with your comrades in the dojo. I'm happy to help you.

      I do not know if it is God who gives me the strength, but for the moment it is not a question of stopping. I will continue to torture you with my training sessions


  19. the video is very good but as I am at the end of the internet usual line
    I record the video but it's impossible I can not copy the url in the paper press so obviously it's hard to take the video in detail
    do you have an explanation
    Thank you

  20. hello, I tried your exo, it works despite my age, short super, will you have a pipe to pass tendonitis left arm that has me a little since the beginning of the season, I treated myself with the shock wave it worked and last week after intensive training fight it's back, what should I do thanks

    • Hello Jean,
      It's a little vague, tendonitis in the left arm ... There are tendons on one arm, I would need more precision. Where is the shoulder, elbow, wrist ...
      I had already made an explanation to Ludo who had tendinitis on his elbow, go see, maybe it will help you: Epicondylitis.

  21. Hello,

    I have heard that "cold muscle" stretching is not effective. This requires a little warm up before stretching. But why is it necessary to separate the relaxation of normal karate sessions? The tired muscle does not relax anymore?

    • Hi Yann,
      No, it's not at all a story of fatigue, but rather of micro-traumatisms.
      A muscle at work, self-destruct and micro-tears are created that are quite normal and even allow progression. But it is on these micro-tears that we should not shoot because instead of relaxing the muscle, we risk agraver these micro-normal tears and turn them into wounds and there is no longer normal.
      Lightly stretch the muscles so that the fibers are back in place and circulation is easier to improve recovery, ok. But for stretching in depth to gain flexibility, it is necessary to move away from the training phases that are already traumatic for the muscle.

  22. Hello, I would like to receive your video on the relaxation of the hips. I have been practicing combat sports for a number of years and I am no longer able to progress at the level of flexibility.

    Thank you in advance.

  23. Very interesting article, especially the part "how to stretch" which explains a little the transfer of energy (Ki in Japanese) in the body. It is very important to be interested in this part of his practice.

    In the external martial arts, Ki and especially the Ki of the Earth are used a lot for better rooting and gaining power. This energy is relatively powerful, and knowing how to channel it is just as important if you do not want to hurt yourself. Hence the interest of knowing its existence, and to understand it.

    By cons I would like to add a small detail on the relaxation of the back and legs.
    Keep your back straight, from the top of the colony (cervical) to the bottom (lumbar).
    The posture must be impeccable, otherwise you will be damaged in the long run.
    For example on your photo Bruno, the position is not great (without judgment heing;))

    The head must remain in alignment with the colone. So do not lower your head to fetch the leg. Do not look in front either, lifting your head up. RIGHT.

    The first vertebrae should also stay straight. The upper back is flat, and not vaulted.
    Even if you do not fall low, it does not matter. Save your back.

    And finally, to properly place his pelvis, you must seek to bring your pelvis from the navel. This will have the effect of accentuating the stretching, but especially to keep the lumbar part straight too.

    Do not hesitate to move, test and find the best balance. Look at a glasse if it is possible, or have someone correct you.

    If you want more info, ask me in this article by commenting. I will register to follow him.

    See you soon,

    • Hello Fabien,

      In the photo it seems that I am vaulted, even hunchback but it's because I stretch on the side while the camera is in front. In fact it is not my back (at least not my spine) that we see but my left shoulder blade and my ribs.

      In fact my position is not that bad. I have abs (yes, yes, I have ;-)) against my thigh and I just put my face on my knee without trying to shoot my cervical.

      For me my position is good and can stretch all the chain posterior.

      In addition you recommend trying to approach the pelvis navel ??? You will have to explain that to me ???

      By cons you're right when you say that the back should remain as straight as possible and that the important thing is not to go down.

      In fact, it is necessary to keep the pelvis in anteversion (the buttocks out!) While approaching the navel of the thigh. For the back, do not look at all costs to go down but to lie down, to be as big as possible.


    • Hello zybil,
      Is this a problem that you always had? Is it due to work, age, lack of sport or excess sports ...?
      Does this course make you feel good? Not to mention progress, just to know if it relieves you a little.
      Good luck,

    • thank you teacher bruno very much for this video that helps me improve and release my hips and I also managed to improve my fat gap to your beautiful video thank you hi

  24. *** Hello***

    I have a question about deviations: how to develop my gap quickly without making a wrong move or a wrong move? thank you for answering me and thank you again for this wonderful blog that is really interesting for me I'm waiting for your new greeting.

    • Hello Bensikhaled,
      I do not have a miracle method to develop the big gap. It is necessary to relax all the muscles around the pelvis, the muscles of the legs and those of the back.
      This video is just made to show you some exercises to do to release the hips. It is not intended to improve the gap but if you do these exercises regularly you should progress.

  25. I allowed myself to ask this question because it's been two years since I try to large gaps. I still have not arrived despite a hard effort. On the other hand, I have progressed considerably. Large gaps require the stretching of a whole group of muscles. The lumbar, gluteus, hamstrings, calves, adductors etc ... I worked that very well. And I no longer feel any pain in these muscles. But pain in the side of the hips prevents me from progressing further. The problem I do not know what it means because I do not know any muscles in this place. It seems to me that it is articular. I am not an expert on the subject. If anyone could enlighten me on these questions. I would be delighted.

    • Some have, it seems to me, physical limits (bone) and the pain is the sign of the error. The problem with the easing is that if you stop for a while you come back to the beginning. That's what I found on me, so I'm not going to generalize, but it's disappointing. Sometimes the bike makes you go down too ...
      In a context of self-defense, have much less amplitude possible in these everyday clothes.
      Before people (19xx) practiced in street clothes:
      In China, the old ones too ..

  26. Posted by Fabrice MorelI have a question that concerns precisely the hips: Can we still consider large squares after the thirties?

    Yes of course!!!
    But it requires a lot of personal work and especially gently to avoid injury!
    But I'm not in the best position to talk about stretching !!!

    • I am flexible enough to 60 years, I can go down more than the others BUT, by cons, I am subject to sprains (cruciate ligaments).
      I am not qualified but from experience people who have weak joints have joints that are less prone to accidents that may be stronger. What made me more flexible are yoga movements without straining before going to bed. On the other hand after a course I stretched too much, result like a ball in the muscle and weeks of genes. At home 2 times a week, I make movements to work these muscles, like raising the leg about twenty times on each side, squatting, beats like mawashi support a hand on a piece of furniture.

  27. Mark
    In fact it is often a waste of time because many hurt them by pulling too hard.
    So they stretch the muscles and do not gain flexibility, but instead accentuate the tension in their muscles.
    Stretching is very important if you are patient and think of "relaxation and relaxation" instead of "I want to go down a little more ..."

  28. You're right that stretches are very important, and they are too often neglected because many think it's a waste of time.

    Not only do they promote the drainage of lactic acid, and provide flexibility to the muscles and tendons, but they also act on many internal functions.

    Friendships @ +


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