An important part of the WarriorFit Sword School exercise program (and fitness in general) is Range Of Motion or ROM. One of the great things about this aspect of the training is that it is comparatively quick to do. The below example should take from 15 minutes to half an hour, and should be done minimally every other day.
Ideally this would be a daily practice, but if you don’t have enough time each morning to do 10 minutes of breathing exercises as well as the 15 to 30 minute ROM workout, you should alternate between the 2. For a 10 minute morning breathing workout, you should check out:
Sword School Online’s Fundamentals: Breathing course.
(which is also part of the Solo Training Course)
Both of the above are eligible for the 50% discount for my readers by using the coupon code: “HALFOFFFORMICHAELSREADERS”
The Breathing Fundamentals course is a Six Week program with a different daily 10 minute breathing exercise for each week. This is well worth the $70 you’ll pay for the course after applying the above discount.
In terms of a daily ROM workout though, here’s what I recommend.
Thomas Kurz has an amazing book on stretching, and I highly recommend it. Below is a chosen excerpt from it that I have copied in part for the purposes of the morning ROM workout.
Early morning stretching
If you need to perform movements requiring considerable flexibility with no warm-up, you ought to make the early morning stretch a part of your daily routine (Ozolin 1971; Wazny 1981b).
Early morning stretching, which you would do before breakfast, consists of a few sets of dynamic movements—for example, arm swings and leg raises to the front, rear, and sides. Before doing these dynamic stretches, warm up all your joints with easy movements. Do the stretching before breakfast because after the meal blood flow in the muscles is diminished, which decreases flexibility, and because doing dynamic stretches, such as high leg raises, with a full stomach is not good for digestion.
Start your movements slowly, gradually increasing the range and the speed of movements. Do not “throw” your limbs, rather, “lead” or “lift” them, controlling the movement along the entire range. Then, after you have nearly reached your full range of motion, you can increase the velocity of the limb so the last few inches of its trajectory can be less controlled—but still, the stretch should not be sudden.
As a rule, synchronize your breath with stretches so you breathe out with flexing your spine or compressing your rib cage and breathe in when extending your spine and expanding your rib cage.
Kurz, Thomas. Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training . Stadion Publishing Company, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Note: This is also an excellent opportunity to work on “Combat Breathing” from the Sword School Online Fundamentals : Breathing course mentioned above.
Joint Warm Up
For this and excellent resource is the first 5 minutes or so of Swordschool Online’s Free Beginner’s Longsword Class, by Guy Windsor.
Dynamic Stretching –
For your morning ROM workout you want to have a starting pace similar to the Leg Raises to Rear and Side example videos below, and be working up to the pace in the Front Leg Raises example below. Another consideration is that of support: in the leg exercises below you’ll note that the athletes are using a chair or bench to help them maintain balance. This is completely acceptable, but try to work towards being able to do those exercises unsupported. Finally, the more flexible you are the fewer rounds you’ll need to achieve and then maintain your range of motion. Start out with 5 (if time allows), and when you get to your desired level of flexibility drop it down to 3 or 4 if you desire.
3-5 Rounds – Depending on time and current flexibility
15 Arm swings
15 Leg Raises to front (each leg) – Note: The pace of the athlete in this video is what you should be aiming for on your LAST set.
15 Leg Raises to rear (each leg) – Note: The pace of the athlete in this video is what you should be aiming for on your FIRST set.