To perform aikido your body needs to be relaxed & supple. For this reason I would strongly recommend that you incorporate regular stretching into your practice.
Aiming to stretch for 10-15 minutes 4-6 times a week not only helps to keep the body supple, but it also introduces the habit of regular practice into your life.
Advantages of stretching
- It teaches you how to relax your muscles & calm your mind both of which are important to aikido.
- It increases flexibility & extends your range of motion thus helping to prevent injury.
- It improves body awareness (learn where you hold tension in your body & improve posture).
- It’s free.
- You can do it where & when it suits you.
- You work at your own pace – within your own limits. Stretching shouldn’t be competitive.
- It enables you to move more fluidly another important requirement for aikido practice.
- You learn how to make time for regular training.
- You don’t need special equipment.
How to stretch