Lower body is always prone to injuries and muscle pulls. This part is worked out mostly. While walking or moving around, it is the lower portion of the body that gets involved mostly. It is also this portion that helps in balancing the entire body. Having a strong lower part helps a person in staying fit and flexible.
Lower backs are very prone to injuries and unnecessary pains. While sleeping, we can hurt our lower back. While climbing the stairs, we can hurt the lower back. But the chances are higher while we try to pull or carry enough weights. Unless we have a strong lower back, it may well get seriously injured while performing such activities.
Performing some basic stretches can help in strengthening the lower back region. There are several Taekwondo stretch routines that can be included in your daily fitness regime to put more stability in the lower back region. Have a look at 11 of the best lower back Taekwondo stretches to strengthen your lower back.
1. Supine Hamstring Taekwondo Stretch
Let’s start with one stretching exercise that helps in putting some suitable amount of tension within the hamstring as well lower abdomen. The supine hamstring stretch is quite effective if done maintaining the correct body posture.
Lie flat down on the floor with the back touching it. It will be better if there is a rubber mat placed over the empty floor surface. This will offer for a more comfortable feel after lying down on your back. However, you should lie down in such a way that the legs can rest on the wall while raised in a straighter manner.
Bend one of your leg with feet flatly placed on the ground. The other leg needs to be raised up in the straightest position possible. This leg needs to be rested on the wall to prevent falling down. Now, with both your hands, try to touch the feet or calf region. Remember, not to raise major portion of your upper body. Your abdominal muscles need to be engaged in such a manner that it can stabilize the spinal cord perfectly.
Hold for at least 10 seconds. Then, relax. After 30 seconds rest, repeat.
Never try to put higher pressure on your spinal cord while touching the feet or calf region. Putting too much pressure can lead to injuring the lower back.
2. Seated Hamstring Stretch
To perform this stretching exercise, place a rubber mat on the floor. Then, sit on the mat. Legs should be in a stretched position with knees absolutely straight. Also, keep your back straight.
Now, with both the hands, try to touch the toe. During the initial days, you will not be able to touch or hold the toe for long. However, the main objective is to get your hand fingers closer to the toe, as much possible. This will generate enormous stretch to the hamstring muscle. While your hand fingers come to the closest position to toe, pause for a second or two. Then, return back to the starting position.
Don’t force your lower back too much while performing this stretching exercise. Obviously, a little force will be required while trying to touch the toe, but that should be marginal. Giving too much pressure to the lower back can cause unnecessary injury.
3. Standing Hamstring Stretch
This is a fine stretching exercise not only for the hamstrings but also lower back portion.
Stand straight. Now, bring your right foot in front of the left foot. Right toe should be in lifted position. There should be 4-5 inches width in between the two feet. Bend you left knee marginally and then pull your abs gently inward. Lean forward and then rest both the palms on top of the left thigh. This is required to keep your body well supported and maintain a proper balance.
Shoulders should be down and in an absolute relaxed position.Never try to round the lower back region. A mild stretching pull can be felt that will slowly spread through back of the leg. Repeat this stretching exercise with your left leg forward.
Repetitions: 10 per leg
Those who are suffering from lower back injuries/pain, they can perform this exercise while lying down on the back over a floor mat, while extending legs upward.
4. Kneeling Quadriceps Taekwondo Stretch
This stretching exercise helps in stabilizing the quadriceps muscle that forms the front portion of thigh.
Kneel with left leg forward and right leg backward (Refer to the picture). Try to reach back in order to get a suitable grip on front side of back leg. Now, try to bend knee slowly while lifting the front foot from the ground. It should be lifted closer towards buttock. Lift until you feel stretch across front of thigh and hip. Remain in this position for 15 seconds and then release. Repeat the same with your other leg.
Repetitions: 5-6 per leg
Be absolutely careful while doing this stretching exercise. Don’t ever strain the knees. This may lead to some serious injury.
5. Lying Quadriceps Taekwondo Stretch
This exercise is extremely beneficial in stretching the quads as well the buttocks.
Sit on floor mat with left leg bent before you. However, the right leg should be bent opposite to you. Lean to left on forearm while keeping the abs totally engaged. With the right hand,ry to grab the top of right foot. Now, try to pull heel gently towards glutes This is done to stretch the muscles of front thigh. Remain in this position for 15 seconds. Then switch back to the other end.
Perform this stretching in an extremely slow manner. Performing this stretching in a faster way can lead to muscle pull and strain.
6. Standing Quadriceps Taekwondo Stretch
This stretching exercise is great to flexible the quadriceps muscle.
Stand straight. Place your feet in a hip-width apart stance. Pull in your abdominal portion and then relax the shoulders. Then, bent your right leg. Try to bring the heel towards your buttock. Now, grasp right foot with you left hand. Once stretch is felt, pause for 5 seconds and return back to the starting position. Repeat the same procedure with left foot.
For those who find grasping right foot with left hand a much uncomfortable position, they can use right hand for the purpose.
Hold on to a wall or chair for balancing. Also, perform this workout in an extremely gentle manner. Or else, quads may get injured.
7. Lunge Hip Flexor Taekwondo Stretch
This stretching workout targets two major muscle groups: Iliopsoas & Soleus.
Stand in a lunging position but this time, with right foot far behind the left foot and vice versa.
While keeping the rear leg hips in a straight position, squat downwards in a chest-high manner. rear hips should be pushed down and forward. Once in this stretched position, hold for three seconds. Return back to the starting position. Repeat with other leg.
Repetitions: 10 with each leg
While performing this stretching workout, it is necessary to wear proper shoes. A little bit of careless act can lead to hurting the feet as well quads muscle.
8. Kneeling Hip Flexor Taekwondo Stretch
This stretching workout targets the Iliopsoas, Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, and Soleus muscle group.
Stand in forward lunge position on a padded mat. Now, position the foot in such a manner that it remains beyond the forward knee. Hands need to be placed on the knee. While pushing the hips forward, try to straighten up the rear leg hip. As tension is experienced, take a brief pause for 5-6 seconds. Return back to the starting position. Repeat the same with other leg.
Always perform this stretching exercise on a suitable rubber mat. This will protect the knees from any sudden injury and will also provide a suitable support to the feet.
9. Taekwondo Pelvic Tilt
Lie done on your back. Knees should be in a bent position while feet firmly placed on floor. Now, try to tilt the pelvis with belly while trying to contract abdominal as well gluteus muscles. Try to squeeze for at least 15-seconds.
Next, perform this stretch with body in an opposite posture, facing the ground. Tilt your pelvis in other direction while arching back and creating hollowness between spine and ground. Try to squeeze for 10 seconds.
Repetitions: 10-12 in each position
Form is necessary. Perform it in presence of a suitable instructor.
10. Taekwondo Split
This is a very similar stretching workout when compared to seated hamstring stretch.
Sit on the floor with legs spread in opposite direction. Refer to the second image. Next, try to touch the toe f right leg with right hand fingers and left with left hand fingers.
11. Taekwondo Segmental Rotation
This is an effective exercise that helps in strengthening the core muscles of lower region.
Lie down on your back. Now, create right angles in between hips and knees. Tighten the abdominal muscles. Try to control on your breathing. Slowly try to move the legs to left while keeping shoulders on ground. Try to go only that much that you can able to. Unnecessary stretch is not required. While stretching, if there is a feel of pain, then you may have gone down too far. It’s not recommended. Don’t allow your feet to touch ground. It is the core region whose support needs to be take to hold feet. Hold for 7 seconds and then return back to the starting position. Repeat the same with legs moving towards the right position.
Exercises to complement your taekwondo routine
While the above exercises are enough for to get lower body strength. We advise that you pair them some easy exercises that are mentioned below so as to prevent injuries and maximize your strength and agility. You can do them outside or even at home if you have the required gym equipment.
This is the initial and simplest exercise to improve your agility. Balancing exercises teach your brain how to activate your muscles at the right time. It can be done at any time. Initially, start doing it for 5 minutes. Later you can do for more time. Stand straight and lift your leg up until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Be in this position for some time and then you can shift your legs. Later you can practice the more advanced one by stretching your entire leg and making it parallel to the floor. Initially, you can start by keeping a support like a table or rope. There is an old saying that prevention is always better than cure. There are various styles for balancing by stretching the leg forward and backward, stretching the entire body parallel to floor, etc. To make it more challenging, you can hold one position for more duration. Basically all these will enhance your confidence and daily routines.
No need to sweat
No need to go to gym
No need to spend hours of time
No need to spend money for buying equipment
2. Conditioning the muscles
It’s a combination of exercises done to build the body muscles. Varieties of ways are there for building muscles. They are weight lifting, squats and lunges. Weight lifting means managing mass weight items which increases the size of muscles and strengthens them. You can start by lifting small iron bars using single arm. Later you can move to heavy weight items that can be lifted using both the arms. Gradually, duration of holding the weight up can be increased. Initially, it can cause damage to the muscles. Later while getting repaired the muscles become stronger. The exercise for muscle conditioning helps you to come out of back pain, shoulder pain and knee pain.
A squat is the one that can work on multiple muscles. This can be practiced using a chair. Lunge helps to strengthen the lower muscles of the body.
Gives you healthy bones
Gives you a great posture
Increases your metabolism
Provides more body balance
3. Freestyle dancing
Freestyle dance is a form of fast movement with music which is fully expressive and it provides positive effects on the mind and body as well. It makes the body more firm with stronger muscles and also promotes good blood circulation which is a great cardiovascular workout. Freestyle dancing brings great personal satisfaction, entertainment and pleasure. Dancing according to the tempo of music improves concentration, fitness, flexibility and strength. Also, it is a great work out for your arms, legs, joints and muscles. Here regular practice is more important. Half an hour of dance thrice a week will help you to relieve stress and to feel energetic throughout. It is a great start for muscle building.
Burns calories faster
Tone your muscles
Improves balance and coordination
Reduces the risk of dementia
Enhances overall metabolism
This can be done at the beginning of a session to warm you up physically. There are a variety of drilling exercises like dot drill, high knee drill, side to side drill and box drill. Dot drills are for enhancing the leg, knee and angle strength. High knee drill is for enhancing the foot speed and coordination. In side to side drill, the movement happens laterally. Box drills are the most effective way to improve the speed and strength of the foot.
It improves the strength of hip flexors
Strengths the muscles
Increases the stability of legs
Improves our speed and flexibility
Provides body control
5. Jumping/throwing exercises
Throwing exercises improve the strength and power of arm and shoulder. The power of throwing depends on the strength of the entire body especially the power from the lower part of the body is transferred to the throwing arm. Javelin throw, discus throw and shot put throw are the varieties. Jumping exercises increases strength and agility quickly.
Gain fitness and energy
Includes proper blood circulation
Increases your speed
Strengthen your bones
Quick burning of calories and fat
Conditions your abdominal muscles
Stabilizing the shoulder joints
6. Mechanism of running
Running is the most effective way to keep your heart and body fit and to burn calories. You can also use them for a good warm up. Distance can be increased gradually. To avoid the risk of running outside or getting injured, treadmills can be used. It is an indoor machine which provides an effective way to jog, walk and run within limited space and home privacy. Uphill and downhill running provides a different route. Uphill running increases your muscle strength and downhill running helps you to control your muscles.
Provides cardiorespiratory fitness that helps your heart to pump blood strongly
Muscles can use oxygen in a more effective way
Improves the activity of enzymes and hormones
Skipping rope is an excellent way to burn calories in a short while and also makes the upper and lower body strong. It’s an extraordinary way of providing fitness to your heart. Here stress goes for the hip, ankles and knees. It also improves your balance, coordination and sense of timing. Skipping helps you to stay in shape.
Gives you a healthy heart and brain
Helps in building bones and strengthening thighs
Helps to prevent osteoporosis
Effective way of burning calories
Enhances coordination between hands and feet movements
Increases stamina and endurance
Increases your attention skills
It helps in toning your muscles
Improves cardio-respiratory fitness
Sprint means running very fast for short duration. One way to sprint is to keep your treadmill at high speed for a minute.
Fastens your metabolism
Keeps your cardiovascular system in good shape
Provides quick results
Gives capacity to handle lactic acid
Increases body’s endurance strength
Increases the ability to store oxygen in the body
Involves the increase in mitochondria size
Increases muscle power
Effective for sculpting your hamstrings, quads and calves
Improves your glycolysis system
9. Playing games
Games like badminton, tennis, basketball , football, cricket, etc. will improve the coordination which leads to more agility. It also makes you faster, smarter and wise. Agility depends more on the tempo of the game. That is, how quick your body is responding. This should be done as the start up session of any training program which will warm you up thoroughly. These games demand energy from our body through aerobic metabolism. It should be done with appropriate rest periods. Badminton playing provides multiple benefits for your health. Tennis playing keeps you more alert and tactical in thinking. Basket ball playing improves coordination and helps you to work in a team.
Reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol
Reduces the chance of heart attacks
Osteoporosis can be prevented
9. Capoeira movements
Capoeira like Bokwais a type of martial art that conditions the mind, body and spirit. First you need an instructor for training capoeira moves which are unique. Don’t try to learn capoeira moves by yourself. It may harm your body. Warm up is essential before starting with capoeira movements. Also it needs regular practice. Another benefit is you do not require any special equipment or special room for doing it and also it provides a lot of variety moves. Capoeira moves strengthen your upper body. It is a combination of music, dance and aerobics. There are two capoeira styles and they are regional and angola. Angola is the slow and more expressive one and regional moves are the fast ones. It provides multiple benefits and they are:
Provides tremendous strength
Makes you more flexible
Increases overall fitness
Provides valuable cardio exercises and stamina
Gives confidence and courage
Gives excellent body balance