Junan Undō (補助運動)

My Flexibility Exercises or Junan Undō are based on the Mobility Routines of the Bodyweight Warrior Program by Tom Merrick. In his way of the warrior he describes how passionate he is about the bodyweight movement and that he began to utilize bodyweight training and took a holistic approach to nutrition and life. In his approach in the Bodyweight Warrior Program, from cardio to endurance, an athlete is not only developing his or her physical strength but also the psychological strength too. I use this in my personal exercises on Flexibility. It's my translation of parts of his program, the Mobility Routines.

Why Flexibility Exercises?

As a karate practitioner, it is commonly understood that if you want to kick higher, you need to stretch more. Suppleness, the consequence of stretching, is good for developing the range of your movement. So with stretching your legs can move higher. Of course it is not the complete story, in terms of speed and power, stretching can only get you so far. Strengthening exercises alongside stretching are fundamental to creating powerful high kicks (see Nautilus training).

When we stretch, two phenomena occur. The first is that damaged, or colloquially understood “knots”, in the muscle are realigned to the correct formation within the muscle. The result of this is that any pain or discomfort is eased, and the muscle can move more freely. Secondly, and more important for this topic, is that the muscle fibers themselves are elongated. As a result of this, with proper nutrition and rest, the muscle fibers lengthen, increasing the range and flexibility of the muscle.

My Mobility Training Routine

In my search for a Mobility Routine that fits me, I ended at a totally different sport. When browsing on the Internet, some Youtube video's about stretching draw my attention. In 2016, when i was in preparation on my shodan test in Croatia, i started to work out the Routines myself. I got good results, however after a month i got insured and out of training for a while due to overtraining and poor nutrition. I scheduled this routine on my rest day's but for my body, on my age, this was a heavy exercise as well. So i had to take a new approach to movement and health. Mobility training is now part of my weekly schedule. A schedule with a better work/rest balance.

My Mobility Training Routine comes is inspired by Tom Merrick. For those who want to learn more use the following links:
Website: https://www.bodyweightwarrior.co.uk/,
Blog: www.bodyweightwarrior.co.uk/blog, and
App: https://www.bodyweightwarrior.co.uk/app.

Junan Undō
Front Split Loaded Mobility Routine
Assited Single Leg Good Morning 10r + 10s hold Simple single leg loaded hamstring mobiliser focused on hip articulation.
 
Active Lunge 10r + 10s hold First slide back your leg a little bit.Strengthen adductors and glutes to hold the middle splits without too much knee strain.
 
Active Front Split PNF 3r + 10s hold (10s contraction, 5s relaxation) A series of short contractions and relaxations in an active front split position.
 
My routine Frequency: 2 Times per Week (modify frequency to suit you, more volume less often or less volume more often).
Group A Perform: 3 Sets with 60s Rest Between Sets
Assited Single Leg Good Morning 10r + 10s hold
Active Lunge 10r + 10s hold
 
Group B Perform: 3 Sets with 60s Rest Between Sets
Active Front Split PNF 3r + 10s hold (10s contraction, 5s relaxation)
 
Middle Split Loaded Mobility Routines (INTENSE)
Weighted Tailer Pose 10r + 30-60s hold The hold is not passive and resting. You must maintain a 50% contraction.
Open up the hips, loaded stretch on adductors and activate glutes.
Weighted Horse Stance Squat 10r + 10-30s hold Start without weight and load as needed. The hold is not passive and resting. You must maintain a 50% contraction.
Strengthen adductors and glutes to hold the middle splits without too much knee strain.
Side Split Isometric 20-60s hold Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Weighted Pancake 10r + 10-30s hold Develop hamstring and lower back mobility as well as build hip tilt awareness.
My routine Warm up prior to this routine. Loaded Mobility is intense. Use a standard lower body warm up before this routine.
Frequency: 2 Times per Week (modify frequency to suit you, more volume less often or less volume more often).
Group A Mobilizing the hips before starting more demanding positions.
Perform: 3-5 Sets with 60s Rest Between Sets
Weighted Tailor Pose 10r + 30-60s hold The hold is not passive and resting. You must maintain a 50% contraction.
Weighted Horse Stance Squat 10r + 10-30s hold Start without weight and add load as needed.
 
Group B Develop hamstring and lower back mobility as well as build hip tilt awareness.
Perform: 1-3+ Sets with 60s Rest Between Sets
Weighted Pancake 10r + 10-30s hold
 
Group C Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Perform: 3-5 Sets with 60s Rest Between Sets
Side Split Isometric 20-60s hold
 
PNF Exercises For Middle Splits PNF: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. A form of flexibility involving both stretching and contraction of targeted muscles.
Frog Pose
move back and forth
force knees tot the ground
contracting the glutes

- 30-60 s
- 10s + 5s rest + move knees apart + 15 s rest
- 10s + 5s rest + move knees apart + 15 s rest
Great beginner position top open the hips and improve muscular co-ordination.
 
Pissing Pose
bring one leg in 'pissing dog' position

10s + 5s rest
Focused on increasing glute activation and relaxation of antagonist muscles.
 
Middle Split PNF
force both feet into the ground
force both feet of the ground

- 10s + 5s rest
- 10s + 5s rest
PNF contractions in a full middle split position.
 
My routine: Frequency: 2 Times per Week (modify frequency to suit you, more volume less often or less volume more often).
Group A Perform: 3 Sets per leg
Frog Pose 10s + 5s rest
Pissing Pose 10s + 5s rest
Middle Split PNF 10s + 5s rest
 

The Seven Virtues of Bushido