At the beginning of every Kuk Sool class, we spent 10-15 minutes “warming up.” What exactly is the purpose, and why do we dedicate such a significant portion of class time to it? The NY Times published an article several years ago on this very topic. Its worth a read, but here’s the summary:
Static stretching (holding a stretch for 20 or 30 seconds) can actually weaken your muscles. Kuk Sa Nim has known this for a long time. That’s why our warmup routine uses a lot of dynamic stretches, which are designed to get the blood flowing, loosen muscles and tendons, and to increase the body’s range of motion.
Though we always go through a routine warmup exercise during class, we don’t necessarily stretch after class is over. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it! Stretching after a workout, even for just a few minutes, will help reduce muscle fatigue and help your muscles recover faster.