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Lionel Froidure
Lionel Froidure's picture
Karate and Elastic workout

Hi guys, 

I am often using an elatic on my workout to improve my karate. It's really usefull especially when I don't have a patner around on holidays. 
Are you using an elastic too? 

Philios's picture

Sensei Amos recently posted a similar video comparing using elastic tubing versus wrist/ankle weights for training.


His argument against using tubing for his rehabilitation after hip replacement surgery was the discomfort and pulling of the external musculature compared to the good feeling of working the internal connective tissue when using weights.  I don't know if there's any science behind that, but it was just his experience.

His point about tubing only allowing very limited movement made sense.  Fine if you're practicing kihon, but you can't really practice kata with it.  With weights you can.

Tubing and makiwara training have similarities:  Increasing tension (varying resistance) by an opposing force as you near completion of the technique (i.e. more focus on the end of the movement).  Good for applying correct basic technique in isolation.  I think tubing is helpful for training the fast retraction of technique that is required to score points in WKF-style tournaments.  You have some freedom of movement, but are fairly limited in this respect.


Weights and heavy bag training also share similar qualities:  Focus here is more on the start of the movement, specifically the initial rapid build of momentum against a constant resistance (weight and gravity) and also the follow through.  Heavy bag training allows for follow through more closely resembling striking a human target, as well as allowing for lateral movement.  Weights allow for resistance training with complete freedom of movement.  However with weights, there is also the aspect of controlling deceleration, which in regard to training effective and powerful striking to me seems counterproductive.  To get around that you could simply use a medicine ball and throw it as far as you can, or for something heavier, use a dumbbell (outside on the grass!). 

Of course, both makiwara and heavy bag have their uses, as do resistance bands and weights.  It would actually make sense to use both tubing and weights together as you would get the benefit of both (weights for the start of the movement, bands for the end of the movent), and the bands would also assist in the safe deceleration of the technique.

Lionel Froidure
Lionel Froidure's picture

Thanks for your input Philios, 

Yes, it's hard to do kata with an elastic, except if the elastic is attach to you (elastics attach to a belt like at the end of the video - I don't have the one using elastic on the legs). 

I am also practising with weight, but I prefer Ishi-Sashi (kettelbell). I still prefer elastic even if I have less possibilities. I don't like wrist weight cause it's sliding even correctly tight. 

From my point of view, when I am using elastics, I am pulling or pushing the elastic on the way my muscle should work. But with a weight on the wrist or kettlebell, the weight attract the arms on the ground (gravity) and I am not using my muscles on the way it should. (I hope you will understand me, my english is not great, I'am french.)

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Another good video with some interesting training suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

I find them very useful, especially as someone who travels a lot. They take up no room in your luggage and you can always get a good workout from them (which is why I like my TRX suspension trainer so much too).

My judo club used them (uchikomi rubbers) to practise throwing footwork and pulls too which is a great piece of martial specific training. Good for us karateka who include throwing too. This video shows judoka Neil Adams 8th dan using his for cores exercise and throwing motions. Together with the striking focused video above, it shows their versatility for us martial arts types.

All the best,


Lionel Froidure
Lionel Froidure's picture

Thanks Iain for sharing the video of Neil Adams. Very instructive. As you said, elastics are very versatile tools. 

Best regards


Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Not wanting to create another topic with the same stuff.

As Iain mention this type of training is great. Wrestlers and Judo people are using it, I took the routine from my wrestling teacher and added to my karate.

My students improvet throwing technique, bands are great to introduce throwing basic and get the feel for movement.

Kind regards