Warming-up exercises

Exercises in the video clip

These are examples of a short warming up. Most of the exercises are centered around waking up the upper center (kyokotsu) and the lower center (koshi/tanden/yōbu). For detailed explanation of kyokotsu, koshi, tanden and yōbu.

  • Turning of the body from the middle. Do not move the head, keep the central line. Turn both directions, each 10X.
  • Swinging arms around a central axis. Movement starts from middle for 20X.
  • Take left or right posture with front foot slightly inward and back foot straight forward to lock the legs. Turn arms in the opposite direction while bodyturn around central axis for 10X, change direction armturn. Change posture.
  • Kyokotsu exercise – forward and back for 30X.
  • Kyokotsu exercise – up and down for 30X
  • Hara turning for 30X
  • Kyokotsu figure 8 exercise 30X. From neutral posture, rights and left posture.
  • Turning hara with straight line elbow movement.
  • Wave exercise. The idea is to stretch the body (muscles, tendons and fascia) and releasing the stretch. There are several “wave” exercises.
  • Koshi sitting exercise. Do this 3X for 20sec. Stretch the body up, do not bend forward, the natural inclination is allowed.
  • Turning the body from seiza posture. Keep body vertical when coming up, keep central line. After turning stretch forward with the help of koshi and tanden. Do this for 10X each side.
  • Sitting and lying wave exercise. Pull in kyokotsu when rolling back. Feel the rolling movement on your spine.
  • Unsoku with partner. Exercise to wake up “ishiki”.

Function of warming-up

Mobilizing blood flow, lubricating joints, waking-up nervous system…
When doing exercises, you will feel heartbeat is going up. But how high your heartbeat can go without entering a dangerous zone?
First lets talk about heartbeat.

Heartbeat (from Wikipedia)

Heart rate is the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of contractions of the heart per minute (bpm). The heart rate can vary according to the body’s physical needs, including the need to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. It is usually equal or close to the pulse measured at any peripheral point. Activities that can provoke change include physical exercise, sleep, anxiety, stress, illness, and ingestion of drugs.
Several studies, as well as expert consensus, indicate that the normal resting adult human heart rate is probably a range between 50 and 90 bpm.

The maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate an individual can achieve without severe problems through exercise stress, and generally decreases with age.
For general purposes, a formula – “220 minus your age” – is often employed to estimate a person’s maximum heart rate. However, this formula has been criticized as inaccurate because they generalized population-averages and usually focus on a person’s age

Training zones

By using training zones, we can estimate the maximum of the heartbeat when doing warming-up. Why estimating? Because our formula 220 minus age is not completely correct. It is useful to check without complicated formulas or heartbeat monitors.

Healthy Heart Zone (Warm up) — 50 – 60% of maximum heart rate: The easiest zone and probably the best zone for the average group of practitioners. It a decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury.
Example : age 20yrs – max 100-120bpm

Fitness Zone (Fat Burning) — 60 – 70% of maximum heart rate: This zone provides the same benefits as the healthy heart zone, but is more intense and burns more total calories. The percent of fat calories is remains up to 85% in this zone.
Example : age 50yrs – max 102-119bpm

There are more training zones, but this can be a discussion elsewhere.

How Long?
At bare minimum, your warm-up period should be five minutes long. If you are practicing randori geiko, you need much longer than five minutes to properly warm up. . In general, aim for a five to 10 minute warm-up period before any workout. Flex this time frame up as needed, but never skip it. Also, do not abbreviate your warm-up to less than five minutes.

What kind of exercises?

In a previous article about warming-up  the differences between practitioners were discussed. Not wasting time was the message and  by using methods directly or indirectly related to Budo Aikido we can use the limited time for the hobbyist or social practitioner.

Cardiovascular Exercise
Every warm-up should start with a brief period of cardiovascular exercise to get blood pumping to your muscles and ready them to workout.  Spend three to five minutes performing light aerobic activity.

Hipturns and armturns are good starters, followed by kyokotsu exercise. Figure-8 kyokotsu exercise is an ideal cardiovascular exercise.

Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching uses motion to prepare your muscles for action. Complete 20 repetitions of each motion in a flowing manner.  “Wave” exercises are good exercises for dynamic stretching.

Tandoku undo 1 & 2 as a partner exercise combines cardiovascular and dynamic stretching.

Some anatomical info

The human musculoskeletal system (also known as the locomotor system) is a system that gives humans the ability to move using their muscular and skeletal systems. The musculoskeletal system provides structure, support, stability, and movement to the body.

250px-Appendicular_skeleton_diagram.svgThe skeleton

The bones system consists of two parts: the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton include the skull, the spine, the ribs and the sternum. The shoulder and pelvic girdle and the bones of the limbs fall under the appendicular skeleton.

What is the difference between Axial and Appendicular?

Both have functions of weight bearing at differing levels, as well as those of stability, balance, and protection of organs. But the main concern of axial skeleton is that of posture, stability and balance, whereas the appendicular skeleton is that of locomotion. The axial skeleton is fused, whereas the appendicular skeleton is not fused.

Skeletal muscles are part of the musculoskeletal system and only the skeletal muscles can move the body. For other kind of muscles, refer to Wikipedia.

Joints, ligaments and bursae
Joints are structures that connect individual bones and may allow bones to move against each other to cause movement.
A ligament is a small band of dense, white, fibrous elastic tissue. Ligaments connect the ends of bones together in order to form a joint. Most ligaments limit dislocation, or prevent certain movements that may cause fractures.
A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac made of white fibrous tissue and lined with synovial membrane. It provides a cushion between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint; bursa are filled with synovial fluid and are found around almost every major joint of the body.

Nervous system

The nervous system is the part of the human’s body that coordinates its behavior and transmits signals between different body areas.
It consists of two main parts, called the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS contains the brain and spinal cord. The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are long fibers that connect the CNS to every other part of the body.

One response

  1. Pingback: Warming up, training & black belt – Study Group Tomiki Aikido

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