To maximize their performance and build overall endurance and stamina, serious martial artists know that they need to add conditioning exercises to their training regime. Experience shows that there are five basic martial arts exercises that are best for targeting the specific muscle groups martial artists use most.
Here Are Our Top 5 Martial Arts Exercises:
Martial artists rely heavily on their legs for stable stances and powerful kicks. Squats target the quadriceps and hamstrings which are used for common martial arts techniques such as evasions from punches, body and leg kicks, takedowns, and ground control. It is well understood that a powerful punch starts with a push-off from the ground by a leg. Want to have stronger punches? Develop stronger legs.
Sit-ups are a fantastic martial arts exercise. The abdominal muscles are critical for stability and balance. Stable stances and good balance are critical for maintaining body control during a fight. In fact, much of the force in your kicks, punches, and submission are powered through the obliques. While it is true that a powerful punch starts with a push-off from the ground by a leg, the force generated from that push then travels through the legs to the abdominals, shoulder, arm, and finally fist. Training the abdominal muscles with sit-up variations (such as bicycle sit-ups or butterfly sit-ups) will ensure that the force generated from the push-off from the ground is fortified as it travels through the body.
Designed to target the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps, push-ups are the go-to exercise martial artists use to strengthen their upper body. While it’s true that punches are generated from the ground up, developing strong arms and shoulders is critical to maximizing power. Additionally, a strong upper body is required for the push-pull movement used in grappling and clinching in MMA training.
Developing a strong cardiovascular system is key for maximizing endurance. When it comes to sparring during a training session or having to protect yourself in everyday life, cardio is key. A typical street fight or sparring match lasts about two minutes while a professional fight can last five minutes. The best martial artists understand that during a fight, someone will get tired first, giving the other person the clear advantage. The ultimate goal is to be able to sustain a high-level of performance for a prolonged period of time.
Incorporating running into your training is a great place to start. In addition to improving cardiovascular health, running has also been linked to lowering rates of stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Even better, a 2014 study conducted by Iowa State University, determined that running is actually linked to a 45% drop in risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. Incorporating running into your martial arts training regime can actually make you harder to kill.
This full-body workout mixes cardio with strength training and agility. This exercise targets it all…quads, hip flexors, glutes, delts, and shoulders just to name a few muscle groups. Incorporating burpees into some high intensity interval training is a great way to maximize your cardio and build stronger muscles.
Ready to take your training to the next level? Discover how Invictus Conditioning: Garage Gym Athlete can help you feel more powerful and confident.
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