The following day after a recent Shorinji Kan class, I woke up with sore muscles all over my body. This surprised me because I’m in pretty good shape and I hadn’t thought the class overly intense. And yet my muscles seemed to disagree with that conclusion.
After some thought I realized that the class had done more throwing than I had done in a while. I had led classes that had throwing in them, but I hadn’t actually taken part in such a class in some time.
Throwing, and particularly being thrown, is a great all-over workout. It uses all the muscles in your body from your neck down to your legs. And if you enjoy the training of throwing and being thrown, you don’t even notice how much work you’re doing at the time. If you do a lot of it, you can build up good endurance for martial arts training.
That’s why I like to do power throwing as an exercise on occasion in my classes. Students basically do their throws with a partner repeatedly with speed and power for a set amount of time, usually around 2-3 minutes. One partner throws the other and immediately after being thrown the uke bounces up and throws his or her partner in return. Lather, rinse, repeat, until the time period is up. I usually give my students a 1-minute break after which the students do a second round.
I highly recommend this as an intensity exercise for students with enough throwing experience. Throwing and being thrown repeatedly over longer periods of time is also a good way to develop the endurance that is required for higher level belt tests that are longer in duration.