In this article we see a good exercise to strengthen the legs in the movements to the ground and lifting.
- This practice requires a certain kind of effort and if we are not in good physical shape it should not be performed for an extended time
- A quick warm-up and stretching are always a good start (especially if we are not very flexible)
- If we feel pain / discomfort we must interrupt immediately the practice, especially those who weigh a lot are likely to ligament damage (let’s be gradual)
- We put our legs in ma bu stance (we talked about earlier)
- The arms are in a flexible guard stance
- We bend the left knee to the left, we extend the right leg and we go to ground
- The feet never have to get up off the ground (they are fully attached to the ground)
- When we reach the maximum of our ability to articulate we reverse the movement going to the right (not standing up)
- We return up in ma bu with a circular motion and we start again (down, left, right, up)
- Our body has to describe ellipses as accurate as possible
- Let’s start at the speed we like but we perform complete movements
- In this first step, the feet remain always in the same place
- The movement should be continuous, soft, regular and harmonious (no unwanted accelerations, decelerations, etc.)
- The entire body is involved to make perfect the flow (no vibrations)
- The feet should always be parallel and face forward
- The back should always be straight (perpendicular to the ground)
- The pelvis has to be rotated upward (let’s Imagine that we have a coin between the buttocks)
- The head should be straight and face in front of us (we have to imagine it hanging by a thread)
- The shoulders are open and they are “moving away” from the ears
- The knee should bend completely, the other leg has to be extended to the maximum
- We must always keep the weight balanced centrally (no oscillations)
- The body is entirely and always as relaxed as possible
- Decrease at minimum speed while maintaining constant and fluid the movement
- Increase speed to the maximum while maintaining the completeness of the movement
- Once acquired regularity in the movement (fluidity and harmony) we can gradually add various types of weights (stone, wood, metal, etc.) also heavy rather (from 2 to 50 kg) to keep (on our shoulders, hands, forearms, etc.); the important thing is that the weight is not going to affect the quality of movement
- Another more advanced variant of this exercise (in “Shaolin style”) is to use two large buckets of water gradually more and more full; we have to perform the movement without spill even a drop of water (the more the water is close to the edge the more it will be difficult)
- The last variant is to add spatial movements (down, up and leg rotation, down, up and leg rotation, etc.)
- Before we have to acquire the free body movement (speed at choice)
- After we have to acquire the fluidity (maximum slowness)
- Then we have to acquire the speed (maintaining accuracy)
- After that, little by little, we can add some weights
- We can start with bricks to fortify at the same time the grip of our fingers (1 for first hand, then 2, then others kind of weights, etc.)
- Finally we add footsteps (spatial movement), always without losing the previous results
This exercise is important because on one hand it is a good stretching and on the other we get used to assume easily and rapidly positions that, normally, our body rejects.
A good mobility of the lower limbs is very useful in a variety of combat situations (dodging, recoveries, accentuation of levers, limitation of damage, etc.). In future, we will see a lot of other leg strengthening exercises.
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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