Alive and Kicking #4 – Core Strength, Inspirational 72 Year Old and Higher Kicks

by on October 31, 2011

in Alive and Kicking


Alive and Kicking – Martial Arts Over 40


Monday 24 October 2011: Issue #4
Alive and Kicking is published once a week for opted-in
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Published by Brett Kraiger. Your comments are always welcome.



Welcome to edition four of Alive and Kicking, the newsletter
for martial artists over 40.

Today I will continue the theme of conditioning, but with a focus
on core strength and I’ll talk briefly about an inspirational 72
year old that is featured on the Martial Arts Over 40 site.


Core Strength. You may have heard of this, but are you really
aware of how much of a difference it can make? Not just to your
martial arts, but to your life in general.

What is core strength? Basically it’s about strengthening all of
the muscles around the middle of your body. There are dozens of
muscles attached to the hips, pelvis, lower back, and abdominals
which all come into play.

Properly developed core muscles help you move faster. Allowing
you to react more quickly, and more gracefully. Because the
entire body is able to engage in the movement, your body can work
out the most efficient way to use all of those muscles to move.

You will also gain better balance, coordination, and posture.

One very simple core exercise I like is the “plank” or the
“bridge”. Essentially you put your forearms and toes on the
ground, and everything else in the air.

Set yourself a goal for how long you want to hold your position.
When you get started this may be 30 seconds or a minute. But that
soon becomes too easy so start setting yourself some tougher

And don’t be afraid to dramatically increase the goals. When I
started out doing this earlier this year I was struggling at one
minute, and not making one and a half minutes. But I set the goal
of doing 2.5 minutes even though I could not do 1.5.

The very next time I tried it I hit 2.5 minutes. Because the goal
was there! It was great, until I realized that I had to make the
goal even bigger again.

Harking back to last week’s newsletter, it’s important to add
movement. What I like to do sometimes is to form the plank or
bridge, hold it for a minute, and then take one leg off the floor
and start moving it around in the air. It makes things a lot
harder, but really begins to engage the different muscles that
make up the core.

Set yourself a goal, and be amazed at how quickly you achieve it!


On I am featuring inspirational
videos I find of older people who are physically fit and/or
active in martial arts.

My favorite so far is the 72 year old Swedish woman who powers
out more than 50 press-ups.

I’ve watched it several times now because she’s just amazing. If
you watch her pressups and see how strong her body is, at 72
years of age, it just goes to show that if you keep training and
keep working hard you can maintain awesome fitness.

(And on the “core” theme… just watch her middle as she does the
press-ups – solid as a rock)


I’d love to feature YOU or someone you know in the Inspiration
section. Take a look at the videos that are there and you will
see that they are not all about 72-yar old super women. There are
interviews with older martial artists just talking about what
they do and what they love about the martial arts.

So… if you are keen on being featured then drop me a line at and we can chat about it.


Just on the core strength message, something I have noticed a lot
this year as I have gotten fitter and stronger is that my kicks
are just naturally getting faster,higher and stronger.

I’m not doing any specific kicking training or anything. Just
losing weight and strengthening my core muscles have made a huge

It’s quite nice for a change to see my kicks getting higher
rather than lower.


That is it for Alive and Kicking this week. As always, I really
love to get your feedback.

Please do this by replying directly to this email, or leave your
comments at:

And don’t forget to get in touch if you would like to be featured
on the site!

Thank you for subscribing (and reading!). Back in a week. In the
meantime, let me know what you would like to see in the next

All the best!

Recommend Alive and Kicking To a Friend!


Don’t keep it to yourself – send them to today!


Quote of the Day


All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the
dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was
vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they
may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
– T.E. Lawrence


Just For Fun


Did you know that a completely blind chameleon will still take on
the colors of its environment.

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