Perfection in 15 Minutes

by Joe Lawrence | February 24th, 2014 | 15 Minutes or Less, Strength Training

sidekick (400x400)Years ago, when I was teaching Tae Kwon Do, I would periodically shift the entire focus of the class to perfecting a very basic technique. Martial arts have traditions that go back thousands of years and each are passed down from generation to generation. If one of us messes it up, future generations will learn wrong. So, I would spend the entire class making sure they knew why and how we do something a certain way. Does your sport or passion have something you feel you could know more about?

Boxers throw punches a certain way. Football has a best way to throw the ball. Golfers spend years perfecting a swing. What can you work on to better your sport?

I will go back to Tae Kwon Do for the remainder of this article and give a couple of exercises anyone can do for strength and flexibility. For years, I worked on perfecting a side kick. This is a simple yet powerful kick meant to stop an opponent dead in their tracks while delivering a devastating blow. The problem is it takes three body movements while rotating on your base foot to deliver. It can be slow and cumbersome. I wanted this kick in my arsenal and wanted it to be effective, so I spent many workouts strengthening the muscles needed for it.

One such exercise that anyone can do and it is great for the glutes and hamstrings is the reverse leg extension. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees. Take your left leg and extend it straight back while pointing  your toes towards your stomach. Look over your left shoulder and down your leg past your heel like your aiming a rifle. Hold this position for as long as you can to create a baseline. Then switch legs. It is a better workout the higher you have your leg and it is important to keep your arms straight as they tend to waiver.

After you do this for both legs, time to build a muscle set you never knew you had. Start back on all fours. This time put your left leg straight out to the side. Your leg should form a 90 degree angle with your body. Same stuff applies with this exercise: pull the toes, look down the leg, the higher the leg the better, and keep the arms locked. Time yourself and then switch. You will not be able to hold this one anywhere near the first exercise, so do not worry.

Now that you have your baseline, go again with the first exercise doing 75% of the time you did the first time around. Do this for four total sets with at least holding it for 15 seconds…no matter what percentage that is.

You can do this with almost any sport. Pick a move or technique you want to perfect and then find a way to break it down into a couple of basic moves and take the time to strengthen those. Perfection will follow.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.