Training legs
by Emmanuel Manolakakis
 
I’ve had a lot of questions from students about how to develop leg movements, working flexibility and creativity. Below I have compiled some drills and training ideas that I hope will help everyone. These are
just a few ideas that have helped me personally and my hope is that they do the same for you.
WARM-UP / STRETCHING
  • Stick Rubbing
    Begin by rubbing your legs with a stick (any kind will do). Rub as hard as you can without causing any pain. ‘Wake up’ your skin.
  • Stick Tapping
    After rubbing your legs start tapping them all over. Tap as hard as you can without causing any pain. ‘Wake up’ your muscles.
  • Joint Rolls
    Roll your ankles, knees, hips and waist, one at a time in a circular fashion. Make the circles as large as possible, without losing balance. Remember to breath.
    Image you have a pen stuck to the joint and you want to draw a circle in the air.
  • Movement Stretching
  • Start to stretch legs out from standing position. As you reach the end of your flexibility for a given movement, switch into another direction and continue with your movement/stretch. Just never hold anyone
    position.
  • B. Same as number ‘a’ but use a wall to help you stretch. Remember don’t hold anyone position or your breath.
  • C. Same as ‘a’ & ‘b’ but now go the ground and use the ground to help you stretch.
STRENGTH
  • Wall Work.
    Squat up against a wall. Make sure that your back, heals and shoulders stay in constant contact as you go up and down with breathing. Same from the front.
  • Vertical Jumps.
    With your feet in a comfortable position - jump straight up as high as you can and land as softly as you can. Think of how a cat lands - very softly, almost catching itself upon landing.
  • Tension
  • Contract your entire lower body during inhaling then relax on exhaling.
  • Repeat 1 & 2 with the left and right legs.
  • Repeat 1 & 2 with the front, back and inside of the legs.
  • Hold the tension or relaxation as long as you can inhale and exhale.
  • Piggy Back Walking
    Put someone on your back and start walking. Focus on breathing and posture.
DRILLS
  • Broken leg
    Make one leg straight and declare it broken. Go to the ground and get up without disturbing or bending the injured leg.
  • Move a Chair (standing)
    Put a chair in the middle of a room and start moving it with your feet first. Then progress to using your knees.
  • Move a Chair (from ground)
    Put a chair in the middle of a room and start moving it with your feet first. Then progress to using your knees.
  • Shoe toss
    Get a pair of old shoes – one’s that don’t lace up. Practice taking then half off and throwing them from your foot with a whip like fashion. Once proficient in the move, focus in on targets on a wall and try to hit
    them with your shoes. Start to see your legs and tools as well as weapons.
Hope this helps,
emmanuel
Training Tips