Karate: much more than a sport; a discipline!

Karate is a Japanese martial art. Depending on the style of karate practiced, the karateka (karate practitioner) will learn different techniques for warming up, physical training, strikes, self-defense, fighting and Katas (execution of techniques/movements against a fictitious opponent).

In karate, which muscle groups are most used and how can we train them?

All the muscles in our body are used, but more specifically the muscles of the legs (calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes) and abdominal and dorsal regions. Indeed, the motions and techniques are initiated in the legs and the strength exerted from the ground is transmitted to the whole body. Good core stability will also help the karateka improve his/her stability and balance during different techniques.

Since karate requires power, speed, endurance and balance, muscle/physical training will be geared toward these components to enable the karateka to increase his/her efficiency. Acquiring these elements will also enable the karateka to improve his/her posture and facilitate all the physical tasks performed daily (e.g., transporting/lifting loads, static endurance)

What are the most common injuries when practicing karate and how are they treated?

Depending on the style of karate practiced (with or without limited contact during fighting), injuries may vary. The most common injuries occur in the wrist/hand/fingers as a result of multiple strikes (sprain and fracture), the ankle (sprain) and the knee (sprain, pulled muscle). Because of the blows that are dealt, bruised muscles and even a concussion may also be seen.

SPRAIN : pulled ligament. The severity of the injury depends on the grade of the lesion and proportionally influences the prognosis for recovery.

Signs and symptoms:


CONCUSSION : traumatic brain injury caused by an external force, resulting in injuries such as an impaired state of consciousness and cognitive, behavioral and physical disabilities.

Signs and symptoms:

When an injury occurs, it becomes a good idea to talk to your physical therapist quickly in order to have a detailed assessment of the problem, to determine a treatment plan and to seek appropriate advice for the situation to facilitate your recovery and your return to the sport.


Did you know that one of our physical therapists, Jayson René, is a karateka himself? If you have further questions about this sport or about karate-specific physical training or to make an appointment with him, feel free to contact us directly at the clinic.