We love punching people in martial arts, don’t we?

Turns out you need good mobility in your thoracic spine and shoulders if you want lots of power in those punches. If your shoulder mobility sucks, here’s how you can improve it.

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Follow this 4-step corrective exercise process, which will help correct any muscle imbalances that might be present in your shoulders:

  • Step 1 – Inhibit the overactive muscles. We’re going to use a foam roller on the thoracic spine for 30 seconds.
  • Step 2 – Stretch the overactive muscles. In this case, we’re going to do the child’s pose, and perform a static stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Step 3 – Strengthen the underactive muscles. For this one we’ll do the standing cobra. We’ll do 20 repetitions, with or without weights.
  • Step 4 – Perform an integrative exercise targeting both overactive and underactive muscles. For this last one we’ll do 10 repetitions of squat to scaption, with or without weights.

This mini workout will take you under 5 minutes, and you can do it anytime, anywhere. Feel free to use it as a warm-up for your karate training!

Do these exercises regularly, and you should see improvement in your shoulder mobility for karate, so you can spend more time doing what you love: punching people in the face.

Please note: tightness and/or weakness in other muscles not mentioned above can also contribute to poor mobility in your shoulders and thoracic spine. The ones mentioned are the common culprits and a good starting point.

Recommended Resources

Here are some great books to help you improve your habits, focus, and mental game:

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You’re reading How to Improve Shoulder & Thoracic Spine Mobility for Karate by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!