I’d like to share some of my training tips. Here’s an exercise/game/race that I came up with to help strengthen the body and help with wushu training. I have the kids do it in kids class and the adults seem to like it too. Not only does it help improve basics but also contains some upper body workout as wushu sometimes tends to be very lower body oriented.
The 5 Animals:
- Seal Crawl. The Seal Crawl is the only exercise that needs any kind of special equipment. It is designed to use the upper body. All we need is a kicking shield which we put on the floor smooth side down. We lay our shins on it and make the legs limp like dead weight and use our upper body to move across the floor. If a kicking shield is not available, we can substitute this exercise with the bear crawl which is basically running on all fours.
- Frog Jumps. Frog jumps are pretty common in wushu training. If you go to China, you will see that the professional teams do these to improve their jumps. Key here is to go all the way down and jump as far as possible. This is a lower body workout which gives our upper body a quick break before the next exercise.
- Crab Walks. Crab walks develops speed and the upper body. It’s easier if we fall into the next step instead of lumbering slowly. Again, we alternate between upper body exercises and lower body.
- Duck Walks. Duck walks are another set of exercises that develop the legs. We can have the arms behind the back but I prefer to have them help make the move more balanced and more natural. Make sure that the buttocks are low to the ground.
- Spiderman Crawl. Ok, technically this is not an animal style. It’s a superhero mimicking an insect but it’s still a great exercise and very challenging. Crawl as if you were Spiderman crawling up a wall. The torso and hips must be low to the ground. Elbows and knees must not touch the ground. That is the challenging part and will really work the upper body and core strength.
The way I usually do this is to make it a game between 2 teams. Wushu class is usually divided into 2 rows anyways so each team is a row. It’s a relay race where everyone has to do each exercise and when the first person in a row is up again, they go to the next exercise. Before each race the teams agree to a “punishment” for the losing team. Usually it’s monkey jacks or push ups. I also try to level the playing field by pairing up people that are close in skill level or body ability. This also makes it more exciting.
I’m always looking to improve these conditioning exercises so any more “animals” tips are welcome.
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