Kung Fu/leg exercise
I'm Kevin, I practice kung fu and I have a question. I try to pick up extra knowledge and training ideas whenever I can. Right now I'm working on my leg strength for stances, kicks, etc. I was wondering, what would be 2 or 3 of your favorite and or suggested exercises that you would recommend to develop really good leg power and strength? Thank you very much.
You ask a broad question so i will give you a somewhat broad answer, There are three types of strengths in kung fu for legs; Static, Dynamic and Structural. But you are after practical martial art answers so we will look at it from a slightly different angle;
- Punishment (how much pain/impact can they handle)
- Impact (how much impact legs can deliver based on bone structure, joint strength, etc.)
- Endurance (for how long can you do what you do)
- Strength (how powerful can the delivery be at maximum)
- Explosive (how quickly can you develop and deliver a movement)
Each of these aspects need a different type of workout.
For your legs to have the strength to be impacted solidly, you need to work on being hit or kicked on the legs (but not leg joints) starting of gently and over a period of time, depending how strong you wish this aspect to be, increase the intensity.
Delivering a strong impact with your legs is a combination of Foundation, Explosive Delivery and Strength. The best way to develop this is to do; Kick a bag with different types of kicks ensuring that you take it easy at the start and as you get better increase the intensity of training.
Is more about how long and often you can do than how strong and initially treat these two as separate. Do your endurance training initially at half strength. Over a period of a year or so, bring your Endurance and Impact into one and work both at 85%.
This is the Gym style strength with bulky muscles and generally works against speed and accuracy. Yet, if this is what you wish, the classical Horse Stance Walking is perfect.
Is the ability to react quickly and correctly and it is a strength in itself. It is not easy to train and requires patience. You can not train explosive power in a rhythm but need to train it re-actively. For example; we live on a main road and i have a heavy impact bag in the front yard. When trucks drive by i can see the roof line going past. The moment i see the edge of a truck i kick the bag one (or a triple kick) and then wait for the next truck. Sometimes a wait long but often i can get up to 3 explosive kicks a minute.
Before i over-do the explanation, i will leave it here with you and wait to see if this is what you were looking for or if i was a bit too detailed. My favorite techniques are the Explosive Work and Horse Stance Exercises.
What every you do, start carefully and slowly until you understand what you are doing; best under the guidance of a Professional Martial Arts teacher. And as always if pain persists, see a professional who job it is to heal people.
Let me know...
Sijo Robert Z