Training Tip: BUILDING QUICKNESS – KING TIGER MARTIAL ARTS CHESAPEAKE
Have you ever watched a martial artist who seems to move with “abnormal” speed or agility? It’s not uncommon to wonder if such speed is the result of genetics or whether it’s from years of hard training. In many cases, quickness is genetic. Some people are blessed with the genes that enable them to more easily demonstrate athleticism, while others need to work three times as hard for the same result.
The good news is that with a little motivation and dedication, everyone can substantially improve overall speed. Quickness can be enhanced through a good training program that builds muscle and shortens reaction time. These can be accomplished through supplemental effort outside of your martial arts classes.
Here are a few training tips to help you improve quickness, which is an important skill for any martial artist:
1. JUMP ROPE: Jumping rope has worked for decades to build athletes’ muscles necessary to enhance quickness. Vary jump-rope routines for 30 minutes per day, three days per week, and you can help build and maintain muscle composition. Jump-rope variations include single jumps, double jumps, single leg jumps, skipping and running.
2. RUN: Superior technique while running can dramatically improve your quickness. When you run, focus on three main things. First, fall into the run like a falling tree. Allow gravity to pull you down right when you take off to help you explode with more speed. Second, focus on stepping into the ground. Force should be applied downwards and back to increase explosion. Third, focus on dorsiflexion of the ankles. This means pulling the toes up so that the foot is in a “loaded” position when it hits the ground. Run for 30 minutes per day, three days a week, and your body will sense and focus on mechanics, dramatically increasing your speed.
3. SKIP: Skipping forces higher brain mechanics to communicate with the muscle receptors, which decreases reaction time. Skip in all directions for a short period of time each day to have a big impact on your body’s quickness through movement.
All of these at-home training regimens will have significantly improve the quickness of your body’s movements. You do not have to inherit special genes to be quick, but you do need the motivation and dedication to increase your skills and abilities.
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