Can any one suggest exercises and drills for gently increasing leg power?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Tom bayley, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    About 15 years ago I had an accident that left me with chronic pain in the area of the groin where the leg muscles of my right leg have their attachment points. About 10 years ago I had surgery for an inguinal hernia including implanting a surgical mesh to keep all the right bits in the right places. Since then the pain has greatly reduced and only flairs up when I do broom handle sweeps (which can really stress the tendons/cartilage in the groin) or when I go all out on a kicking bag which, again, puts ballistic load into the tendons/cartridge in the groin) . Once inflamed it takes around two months to subside.

    I have recently realised that although I am OK at most forms of power generation (rib cage power / c backs / spirals and hip shake, etc) I generate virtually no power with my legs.

    So can anyone suggest drills or exercises for gradually building leg power? I am most interested in use of leg power in bridging, hand techniques, locks or throws rather than for kicks.

    Low impact would be preferable. Any suggestions gratefully Received .
  2. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Hindu squats are your friend!

    You can vary the depth and cadence to accommodate any existing condition


    Think of it as a "wave" rather than up and down...breath out on the way down and in on the way up - this is the base version and when you can do it well there are LOTS of variations too
    Dead_pool, Tom bayley and Simon like this.
  3. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Thanks Hannibal I shall give them a go!

    Can anyone suggest any drills for working on leg power under load? I am wondering if any body does pushing exercises with a pressure/load though the legs. I do plenty of stuff like the tie chi hands below both with yielding and redirecting forces. But I keep all the load in the structures of the upper body. This isolates the legs from load but prevents the legs from adding power to the movement . Does anyone have any exercises where the drive /load is in the legs and the upper body simply connects to the opponent?

    chatter box likes this.
  4. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    If you want power and not endurance you have to do exercises which either increase in load or difficulty, does your injury prevent any sort of loaded movement, for example if you can't do loaded squats can you do weighted step ups, loaded jumps, lunges?

    If not can you do resisted sprints, sled drags? All the above can be great for building power in the legs.

    If you cant do any of the above do you have access to a spin bike, there are ways to build strength and power in the legs using spin bikes as well.

    To build power you need some way to increase resistance to effect chance
  5. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    What Icefield said! If (IF) you have no contraindication regarding weight training, and full range of motion squatting is not a problem, then weighted squatting and pushing motions are probably what you want (there are enough different ones, and enough different ways to do them and still have them be productive, that you might be able to productively work around most your issues, although of course I can't guarantee anything in that regard). MAP's Late for Dinner and Van Zandt are both physical therapists and both lift weights, so both should be able to advise much more specifically on the matter.
  6. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member


    Many thanks for the suggestion of Hindu squats - I gave them a go. they are different from the type of squats I normally do (I tend to be more vertical without the forward lean of the upper body) leaning the upper body introduces a different movement mechanic and loading pattern in the hip joint and groin muscles. I can feel how I could vary the load and the stretch. One of the reasons I posted the question now as that I overdid it and caused a flair up last week. So it will be a while until I can begin a proper programme of excises. but when I do Indian squats will definitely be in it.

    thanks again
  7. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Thanks to icefield and fish for the suggestion of the weight training. I usually follow a programme of weights and stretching.

    From the martial arts perspective - i think that because I have been automatically protecting the area from stress I have developed the habit of not using my groin / upper leg muscles properly in application. I have compensated by developing a level of skill in upper body mechanics. but I have becan to "loose touch" with the muscles in my groin. It is difficult for me to"find" them and to recruit them into movement for applications.

    So I am missing out on a very important mechanic. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on application based drills. For how to build up the conscious use of leg mechanics in application. for both liner movement (side to side and forward) and for hip rotation driven by push/ pulling with the legs rather than from spiralling in the Dan Tien.
  8. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Yeah,there's a method I'm aware of.I think you may have heard of it.It's called push hands.

    Sooo-Does the proper use of legs in push hands aggravate the problem these days? If not you can exercise a much longer range of shifting forward and back than what those guys are doing,including or especially when breaking opponent's balance. And go as deep as is ok for you.

    You can also have a partner be a dummy and repeatedly step into them and push them (up) -altho' this preferably uses some kua action,but you can just drive w/the rear leg and not hinge too much at the kua.

    So I really don't understand---By "I keep all the load in the structures of the upper body" do you simply mean you're not transferring the connection into the legs,hence not operating at all w/the legs ? 'Cause you're not a beginner so you have to be connecting/transferring somewhat even if you don't do so deliberately. Anyhoo,ph on the basic level is about legs and kua. At the moment,for exercise purpose forget the high stance and speed as in the vid. Use proper mechanics for powering the shifts.PH is not just relaxing one's weight into the receiving leg. It's active ,deliberate leg action that's going on,too.

    Unfortunately pretty much all properly executed ph methods require active work into and out of the kua. If you're doing squats ok it should be safe to at least do the dummy target practice as above,opening (at least somewhat) in a vertical plane.As to initiating circles etc on a horizontal plane from the kua as one does in many ph drills/ routines/freehand only you know how much range is ok.

    P.S.-dummy target practice can be fun as well as educational!

    On a technical note Cheng's ph methods/drills do not have the "under" method of that over and under drill. Most of the rest of the Yang TC does,tho'. Probably where those guys or their instructor(s) got it.

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