(by Arnaud van der Veere, Netherlands)

Looking at the physic of a female the following things will be striking. First of all in general is het physical power less than of men. In weight based training the lifted kilograms per time is less than of men. But this can be compensated by more repetitions or series.

In general the woman has a good developed hips, lesser shoulders and back, good legs which, pitty enough, are in contact with often not very strong ankles. Weak ankles are often more due to the wrong footwear than of natural cause.

Nature desided to bring some extra topweight onto the female frame. The breast weight makes a womans balance during exercise completely different from that of men. Breast are mainly fattissue. But important fattisue with milkglands ready for breastfeeding. Training the breast will ften decrease the size but will not create a firmer breat. To get firmer breast a set of specific exercises is used. Good training for woman is shoulders and uppr belly. Using those will firm the area.

In Martial Arts we have many floor exercises such as push up, “vacuum cleaner”, oil pump and others. Due to the different balance a woman must start on her knees as supporters and not, like men, on the feet. When doing push ups the wrists are considered a weaker spot. When doing the exercise the wrist are not allowed to hurt. It is important to try different ways of hand setting. On the fist or in open position in different angles or even on the fingers. Pain for woman is STOP. The slogan ; no pain , no gain does not count for women !

In general static streching exercises are no longer promoted. It is proven that these static strachings do not promote flexibility, but again this accounts for men more than in case of female. The so called Menschendieck is a hysiotherapeutic form with treatment based on traditional ballet. Here we use static stretching exercises to heal and prevent injuries. Mensendieck was developed by woman and also is based on the female physics. Men applying static streching will hardly benefit of it but for women I only can promote it.

In fitness classes we slowly see Martial Arts movements coming in. In Martial Arts kicking is a major defense and attack weapon. Training a good technical way of kicking for a woman is in general easier than for the man.

Due to the bone structure in the hips a woman has more moving space. The hips are wider for pregnacy and delivery purpose. A wider movement range in the bonestructure makes the possibility for more angles in kicking and a more static movement possible. When practising women must bare in mind the flexibility of the joints. In some tribes (special in Asia) the flexibility of the joints promote injury when techniques are not applied the right way.

A very important part in female training is the differenciation of left and right. As instructor it is important to make students aware of this important fact. The right application of left and right is as important in fitness as in Martial Arts. In training of Martial Arts the risk of wrong doing are a little higher. Imagine what happens when we train the left kick and you block on the right side.