Try the Early Morning Stretches

 Whilst there are literally thousands of different ideas and methods of stretching (particularly for the legs), they may suit some but not others. One thing most of the experts (Richard Norton, Dr Chris Tsolakis, physiotherapists) agree, are the early morning stretches. The only difficult thing about them is self-motivation. The good news – they are not strenuous nor do they take up too much time. The results should make a difference to your day and your martial arts training at night. This light form of exercise literally activates your leg muscles. These early morning stretches will not have the same effect if done in the latter part of the day so it is important you consider doing them first thing in the morning. Basically, all you need to do is 10 front leg raises, 10 side leg raises and 10 back leg raises on each leg. Just take it nice and easy, do not overstretch (otherwise, this may have the opposite effect). After that, I recommend some simple isometric training by holding your leg out in the finishing position of each kick, anything between 20 and 30 seconds for each position. You are now ready for the day; this takes only 5 minutes (that's good news for the rain dancers). Oh, by the way, if you are running out of time on any particular morning, it is ok to do less (something is better than nothing). After these stretches the muscles in your legs are ready to take on anything including if you have to use your kicks. Once your muscles are activated, any activity you do in the daytime eg climbing stairs, is going to enhance that muscle group to perform better at night during training. These stretches are designed only for the morning, they will not do much for you before training. Try it for a week and see if you notice any difference.