Known as the quads, the quadriceps muscle group on the front of the thighs is responsible for knee extension and hip flexion. The four muscles are the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius.
With such an emphaisis placed on kicking in taekwondo-do, it is important to condition the muscles of the legs so they can endure the tens of thousands of kicks they will perform on your journey to black belt. Personally, since increasing the conditioning side of my training, I no longer suffer from sore knees.
Note - As with any workout, seek a doctor or physios opinion before engaging in new exercises. Take your time and focus on quality over quantity. During lunges and squats, think 'knees over toes',' and remember to pivot correctly during kicks to protect the knee joint.
Adaptations - It's too hard! These exercises aren't suitable for everyone and you may need to skip rounds or swap to exercises you know you can do comfortably and safely. Start with a smaller range of motion and lower kicks, progressing at a pace suitable for your own ability.
Adaptations - It's too easy! Like with everything we do at taekwon-do, it's only as hard as you make it. Feel free to add weights to the conditioning rounds, kick slower and hold the kicks for a moment to feel the burn in the hip flexors.
Warm-up, then set your timer for 20 sets of 1 min work, 30 s rest.
For adults who like to use weights - I've added which weights I would use during the exercises as a guide
Squats (shoulder width) - 2 x 8kg
Front snap kicks (alternating legs) - 0kg
Squat to alternating front snap kicks - 2 x 4kg
Static lunge (right leg forward) - 2 x 8kg
Static lunge (right leg forward) to left front snap kick - 0kg
Static lunge (left leg forward) - 2 x 8kg
Static lunge (left leg forward) to right front snap kick - 0kg
Narrow squat - 2 x 8kg
Side kicks (alternating legs)
Narrow squat to alternating side kicks - 2 x 4kg
Balance kicks. Front snap kick to side kick (left leg only) - 0kg
Balance kicks. Front snap kick to side kick (right leg only) - 0kg
Burpee to alternating front snap kicks - 2 x 4kg
Burpee to alternating side kicks - 2 x 4 kg
Static side lunge (to right) - 2 x 8kg
Static side lunge (to left) - 2 x 8kg
Pyramid front snap kicks (left leg only) - Single kick, double kick, triple kick etc. - 2 x 4kg
Pyramid front snap kicks (right leg only) - Single kick, double kick, triple kick etc. - 2 x 4kg
Kneeling to deep squat (alternate which leg moves first) - 0kg
Kneeling to deep squat to side kick (alternate legs) - 0kg
Well done. Now take ten minutes to stretch out. Focus on lunge stretches, standing quads and hamstring stretches