Injury prevention is a serious topic in any martial arts schools. Risking injury for any student, whether they are casual or training for a big fight, isn't worth it at any point. Warming up before getting into rigorous exercise will not only reduce your chances of pulling a muscle, it will also centre and focus your students. This will also reduce the risk of accidents happening due to carelessness, and they will help improve your students' learning experience.
Here are 5 different warm-ups you can do to start your martial arts class off on the right note:
If your gym is situated in an area where it would be appropriate for your class to jog together in a group, take that opportunity. Not only will your group be warmed up nicely for class, the group run should help build team cohesiveness. Plus, you get to advertise your school for free to locals, as a large group of martial artists in uniform is sure to catch some eyes. Take some promo material with you and give it out to people along your route.
Have your students pair off for a series of partner-based exercises. Depending on the martial art you practice, there are many variations of what these could be. This can include pad work, kicking patterns and setting up holds, bars, or submissions. This exercise is a great way to break the ice for new students, and to get existing students to get to know other students.
Sprints and Drills
Have your group split up into groups of four or five and have them line up at one end of the room, side by side, with some space between them. Each row can do variations of sprints on the instructor's command. Line sprints, high knees, bear crawls, and lunges are a few ideas to start with. Here is a great list from Black Belt Wiki to get you going.
Even if your students will be engaging in contact sparring later on in the class, starting off with non-contact is a great way to get your students focused and warmed up. This will reduce the risk of students getting injured from a careless accident. The more effective and in-depth your warm-up routine, the less likely it is to have injuries occur during class.
Set up stations across the gym and have different exercises that groups rotate through. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups. Make sure to have a good range of exercises that warm up as many muscles groups as possible.
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