Sparring is similar to an old west gunfight. The one with the fastest draw and best accuracy wins. To have effective kicks in sparring, you must draw quickly and hit the target. To get within range to attack, you must close the gap between you and your opponent. Most people cross the gap like old folks make love, they start slow, then taper off. To score with a kick, you must move your body quickly as well as kick quickly. To score with a punch, you also must move your body quickly. Moving and kicking both require powerful legs. The following techniques help build powerful legs.
Stretch the muscle groups that receive the most stress during explosive movements: hamstrings, hip extensors, hip flexors, groin muscles, thigh, and calf muscles. See the Stretching topic for more information.
Use weight training! The same muscle groups that need to be stretched need to be made stronger. Strength and flexibility must be equal partners in order to maximize power and prevent injuries.
The following exercises, and the muscle groups they affect, should be included:
- Knee lifts (hip flexors)
- Kickbacks (hip extensors)
- Hamstring curls (hamstrings)
- Parallel squats (hip extensors, thighs)
- Sissy squats (thighs)
- Calf raises (calf muscles)
- Sit-ups (abdominal muscles)
- Back extensions (lower back)
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