Single leg hip circle You don’t need any equipment to practise this move
- Standing with your left leg slightly bent, lift your right leg up and circle it in as wide a motion as you can comfortably achieve, alternating direction on each repetition.
- Keep the movement smooth and under control, focusing on strongly engaging your deeper abdominals to help maintain your balance and posture.
- Concentrate on keeping your chest lifted, head up and neck relaxed throughout the exercise.
- Remember to repeat on the other side and try to observe if you have any significant difference between each leg. If so, you may need to work more on the weaker one.
- Aim for 12 repetitions on each leg.
“Concentrate on keeping your chest lifted, head up and neck relaxed throughout the exercise”
Straight leg deadlift For this exercise you will need a weight, ideally a Powerbag, barbell or pair of dumbbells, but a weight disc, medicine ball or stuffed backpack will also serve the purpose
- Place your feet hip-width apart with your legs straight but not locked out at the knee.
- Hold the weight in front of your body with your arms extended.
- Keeping your core muscles braced to support your lower back, slowly hinge forward by bending at the hip to lower the weight towards your feet. Make sure you only go as far as the flexibility in your hamstrings will allow.
- It’s vital to keep your spine in its natural (or neutral) alignment with a small concave curve in your lower back. Avoid rounding your spine at all costs.
- Keep your shoulder blades retracted rather than allowing the weight to pull you into a rounded shoulder posture.
- Slowly lift back to the start position, concentrating on maintaining a long spine and focusing strongly on your hamstrings and buttocks.
- The target is 15 repetitions.
“While a recent study revealed that taekwondo fighters don’t need to be as aerobically fit as boxers, nor require the same degree of upper body strength, it’s clear that flexibility and leg strength are crucial to a sport where medals are won and lost on the successful execution of kicks.”