Canne de Combat/Strength
Strenght and stretching exercises
It is important to have some strength and stamina for work. It can be developed with free sparring, but without a partner you have to do different exercises. In order to be able to do the lunges, you have to do some stretching exercises. There are people who are lucky, but the rest have problems with the lunges, who have stiff legs and so. The good news is that there are exercises for loosening the legs.
There is a really great problem with the stretching: the first, you cannot be sure that you have any kind of muscle problems, the second, that everybody has different "problems", so as sportsmen, we have to first identify what OUR problem is, and try to work on it. This is the case; that stretching should be really personal. It is primarily the teacher's (or the doctor's) responsibility to identify the problems (what should be worked on) and to show the exercises. The sportman's main responsibility is to understand her/his own problem, and to do the exercises regularly. There is lots of informations on the internet about stretching, however there is one book that I really recommend: it is the book from Pavel Tsatsoline: Relax Into Stretching.
In Canne de Combat we do lots of leg attacks, so, it is a good idea to work on the legs.
Step into avant. Hold yourself in a position that is comfortable. Try to increase the space between your legs with steps. Do it until you feel uncomfortable. This is the point, what you should have to hold. It must not hurt, you should just feel a little bit uncomfortable.
Contast breathing exercise:
Sit down, put your legs in as a large V form that you feel comfortable in. Take a deep breath, hold the air in for a few seconds, and tighten your body, especially your legs. Pay attention not to decrease your stretched legs. Suddenly let the air out. The breathing out will cause the decrease of the tension. (It is so in every case, this is the reason you should take care of your breath during the matches, too.) Try to mentally release the tension from your leg. It can help if you touch your leg with your hand, so you will get a much better feedback about your muscle tension. Hold this relaxed position a few seconds, then increase your stretch. Repeat the sequence.