Monday, 24 January 2011

This weeks fitness program...

It's a new week so I have a new exercise program to work on (see left side bar). Most of my endurance training is still done through shadow boxing though this time I have five specific sparring combinations to work on instead of just the random mess I did last week! I decided I may as well kill two birds with one stone with this shadow boxing and use the time to build up a core set of sparring combinations that I can actually use when sparring in the club.

The five combinations are taken from suggestions from Loren Christensen's book, Solo training: the martial artist's guide to training alone. The combinations are:

1. Backfist, reverse punch, roundhouse with front leg, reverse punch
2. Leading punch, reverse punch, rear leg front kick
3. Leading punch, reverse punch, outside crescent kick with lead leg
4. Roundhouse kick with lead leg, reverse punch, front kick with rear leg
5. Front kick with lead leg to groin, spinning back kick, backfist, reverse punch

I found some of these a bit tricky. It doesn't come very naturally to me to kick off the front leg, I much prefer to kick off the back leg but in sparring kicking off the front leg is probably better because it is quicker. It's going to take a few sessions to get these combinations imprinted on my brain but I may give some of them a go if we do some sparring in class tonight.

For my weights training this week I'm relying entirely on my body weight. A mixture of squats, tricep dips and press ups (push ups). The squats are essentially a drill of 3 different types of squats. The first set are done in the usual way with legs fairly wide apart, the second set is done with the feet closer together (just shoulder width apart) but the last set are the real killers! These are the same as the first set but you only do the lower half of the squat i.e. once you have sunk down into the squat you only come half way up before going down again. Try it - it hurts!

I've introduced press ups to the program, not because I like them (I don't) but because they are good for me! I can manage about 20 at the moment which is not many compared to some people but at least they are full press ups and not the girly ones with the knees on the floor. However, I'm a bit slow doing them and don't go down as far as I should but I'm working on it. My aim is to eventually be able to do 50 press ups.

This week flexibility training is still focused on legs, hips and back. I have a new set of stretches but this time they are all static stretches. However, I've just read a blog post on Zen to Fitness about improving hip health and mobility and the author suggests a range of exercises that are more dynamic in nature, so I may give them a go next session.

My karate focus this week will be on the side kick (I'm really lousy at this) and the otoshi (hammer fist) strike which I keep getting technically wrong. I'll also be practising Bassai Dai kata. I'm pondering about whether to actually film myself doing this kata and offer it to public scrutiny. It depends on whether I can cope with potential public humiliation! I'll think about it....


  1. Sue, some great ideas there, keep up the good work.

  2. You might open up a can of worms with filming your kata. I suggest you film your kata and show it to your teachers, but probably not random blog readers like us who don't practice in your style and thus have no idea what is going on. Just a thought.

  3. Funny, I found myself doing all those combinations in my head! LOL. I like them! I always find if I know I'm setting up to kick off the front leg I naturally go into cat stance (much easier to kick off the front leg quickly if your weight is already on the back foot). Not so good for moving quickly though so I suppose it's a compromise.

    I'm just like you when it comes to push ups. I can manage 20 (half decent ones) and maybe eek out another 5 wobbly ones but I always do them in the proper position (even though I struggle to get right down). I find that more effective than doing them on my knees and getting down to the floor. That said, 18 months ago I probably couldn't have done 5 so it's a vast improvement. 50?? Gulp. Maybe one day.

    Keep up the good work. Sounds like your training mojo is going strong.


  4. Wow Sue, you must be getting fit! Lots of work happening there. Good to see you are working on your weaknesses as well. We all have them. To improve the side kick, lean against a wall or fence and do them slow. It will really build strength in the legs and hips, while focusing on form.

  5. Rig, thanks for your encouragement. Wouldn't want to let a fellow shukokai practitioner down by giving up to easy!

    T, can of worms? You could be right but I'm still thinking about it! Checked out that hundred push ups website - I like the look of it and will definitely give it a try.

    Marie, I'll challenge you - the first one to get to 50 push ups!

    Matt, Hopefully I'll get a lot fitter in the next few months. I think my problem with the side kick IS related to strength, one of the exercises I'm doing is to just lift the leg out sideways and hold it for a count of 15, it's helping me to diagnose which muscles are weak.


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