Well lets answer the question in the title right now… in Taekwondo competition, Strength & Conditioning (S&C) programmes at an elite level are an absolute must to be successful. Even if you have as little as an hour and a half a week to spare and do Taekwondo recreationally, you can get in some good S&C work by knowing the right areas of the body to target and using your time intelligently.
When a lot of people talk to me in the Taekwondo community about S&C many have a very jaded and outdated view of this crucial and key element of training. Many coaches still believe that S&C is just lifting heavy weights and putting on muscle bulk.
Others have told me that Strength and Conditioning hinders flexibility so shouldn’t be included in training and others believe it is the major cause of all injuries. I have also seen many Taekwondo coaches who claim to be “experts” in his field getting their athletes to do a multitude of inefficient exercises (mostly on resistance machines!), overtraining athletes with hundreds of plyometric efforts and miles and miles of running to get conditioned and “fit” for competition.
Strength and Conditioning training is an essential element of fitness for virtually every sports man and woman. The benefits of S&C training to athletic performance are enormous and many.
Not only is it an integral conditioning component for power athletes, performance in the pure endurance events can be improved with a well-structured strength routine. It is also a great way to avoid injuries or even rehabilitate after an injury has occurred.
Aside from perhaps bodybuilders, Taekwondo Strength and Conditioning training requires a more refined approach than simply lifting heavy weights to complete exhaustion. A physiological analysis of any game or event will confirm that most athletes require explosive power, muscular endurance, maximal strength and the combination of all three in order to excel.
Rarely is pure muscle bulk the primary concern for Taekwondo athletes and when it is, other elements of strength are equally as important. Little known to many coaches in Taekwondo, is that S&C training is one of the most important components in training to improve flexibility.
Right now we know Strength and Conditioning is a must for the Taekwondo athlete we can delve a lot deeper… look out for the next S&C article covering the all the basics you need to know.
Please let me know what you thought of the article in the comments box and if there’s anything in particular you want to know, feel free to include that too. 🙂