Do I need to stretch?
Yeh, it’s kind of important. That’s why NKS classes include a warm-up and comprehensive flexibility exercises to protect your joints while stretching and strengthening tissue. Regular practice can improve range of motion – otherwise, muscles can shorten, become tight and make you more prone to injury.
OK – now that it’s clear that stretching isn’t a waste of time, what are some other benefits?
Beyond having higher, faster karate kicks (think Jean-Claude Van Damme), better flexibility can enhance performance in other recreational activities and even help you carry out daily tasks (i.e. carrying groceries, crawling around a desk to reconnect your modem, or hoisting and hugging loved ones).
So what’s the takeaway?
Flexible joints require less energy to move through a greater range of motion. Stretching decreases your overall risk of injury and increases physical performance as well. It also works to decrease muscle resistance during any activity and makes soft tissue happy by stimulating the flow of blood and nutrients.