Are you ready to take your martial arts training to the next level?
Whether you have already achieved a black belt, or are just beginning your journey for self-improvement and fitness, developing an effective exercise routine is key to elevating your performance.
If you're looking for ways to improve your martial arts practice, check out our list of the best exercises for martial arts that will help get you fighting fit.
Learn how each of these five exercises can help develop the strength, power, and agility necessary for peak physical performance in combat sports.
Best Martial Arts Training Exercises
Let’s have a look at the best martial arts workouts that can do wonder for you:
1. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings can be a great exercise for improving martial arts performance, as they help to develop explosive power, core strength, and conditioning.
How To Do Kettlebell Swings?
- Start with a light weight: It's important to start with a light kettlebell weight and focus on proper form before moving onto heavier weights. A good starting weight for most people is between 10-20 pounds.
- Begin with a proper stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointing outwards, and the kettlebell between your feet.
- Hinge at the hips: Begin the swing by hinging at the hips and bending forward, keeping your back straight and your weight in your heels.
- Use your hips and glutes: Use your hips and glutes to power the swing, thrusting your hips forward to propel the kettlebell upward.
- Control the swing: Keep your arms straight throughout the swing and use your core to control the movement. Avoid using your arms to lift the kettlebell, as this can lead to injury.
- Keep your gaze forward: Maintain a neutral spine and keep your gaze forward throughout the swing.
- Practice proper breathing: Inhale as you hinge forward and exhale forcefully as you thrust your hips forward.
- Gradually increase weight and reps: As you become more comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase the weight and reps to continue challenging yourself and building strength and power.
2. Box Jump
If you are looking for the best strength exercises for martial arts, the box jump could be a great choice. It can help in developing explosive power and improving lower body strength.
How To Do Box Jump?
- Begin with a low box: Start with a low box, such as a sturdy step or low bench. You can gradually increase the height of the box as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
- Stand in front of the box: Stand in front of the box with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Perform a quarter squat: Perform a quarter squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, keeping your chest up and your weight in your heels.
- Explode upward: Explode upward by jumping straight up as high as you can, swinging your arms forward for momentum.
- Land softly: Land softly on top of the box with your feet flat and your knees slightly bent, absorbing the impact with your leg muscles.
- Stand up on the box: Stand up fully on the box, extending your hips and knees.
- Step down carefully: Step down carefully from the box, one foot at a time, or jump down if you are comfortable doing so.
- Increase height gradually: As you become more comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase the height of the box to continue challenging yourself and building power.
Advanced Exercises For Martial Arts
Listed below are some advanced exercises for martial arts that are sure to work in your favor:
3. Bear Crawls
One of the advanced martial arts exercises is bear crawls. It’s an ingenious workout that can help develop upper body and core strength, coordination, and mobility.
How To Do Bear Crawls?
- Begin on all fours: Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Engage your core: Tighten your core muscles and keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
- Lift your knees: Begin the crawl by lifting your knees slightly off the ground while keeping your hips low and your shoulders stable.
- Move opposite limbs: Move forward by taking a step with your right hand and left foot simultaneously, followed by a step with your left hand and right foot.
- Keep your gaze forward: Maintain a neutral spine and keep your gaze forward throughout the crawl.
- Control your movements: Keep your movements slow and controlled, avoiding any jerky or sudden movements.
- Increase speed and distance gradually: As you become more comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase your speed and distance to challenge yourself and build endurance.
- Incorporate variations: To further challenge yourself, you can try different variations of the bear crawl, such as crawling backward, sideways, or in a circle.
Burpees are a full-body martial arts exercise for mobility that can be a great addition to any martial arts training program, as they help to develop strength, endurance, and explosive power.
How To Do Burpees?
- Begin in a standing position: Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Drop into a squat: Lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and placing your hands on the ground in front of you.
- Kick your feet back: From the squat position, kick your feet back into a plank position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Perform a push-up: Perform a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your chest towards the ground, keeping your core tight and your body in a straight line.
- Jump your feet forward: Jump your feet back to the squat position by bringing them forward between your hands.
- Stand up and jump: Stand up quickly and jump straight up, extending your arms above your head.
- Control your breathing: Inhale as you drop into the squat position and exhale forcefully as you jump up.
- Increase speed and reps gradually: As you become more comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase your speed and reps to challenge yourself and build endurance.
Thrusters are a compound martial arts exercise that can be a fantastic addition to any martial arts training program, as they help to develop full-body strength, power, and endurance.
How To Do Thrusters?
- Begin with a barbell: Start with a barbell loaded with a weight that you can handle comfortably. Alternatively, you can use dumbbells or kettlebells if you don't have access to a barbell.
- Stand with the barbell at your shoulders: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell resting on the front of your shoulders, with your elbows pointing forward.
- Perform a squat: Perform a full squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, keeping your chest up and your weight in your heels.
- Drive upward: Drive out of the squat position by extending your hips and knees explosively and pressing the barbell overhead. This is a full-body movement that requires coordination and balance.
- Control your movements: Lower the barbell back to the front of your shoulders, and repeat the movement for your desired number of reps. Keep your movements controlled, and avoid jerking or swinging the weight.
- Breathe properly: Inhale as you lower into the squat position, exhale forcefully as you drive upward, and press the weight overhead.
- Increase weight gradually: As you become more comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase the weight of the barbell to continue challenging yourself and building strength and power.
Martial arts training is a great way to improve overall fitness and develop self-defense skills in the process. With the right martial arts training exercises and commitment, you can reach your goals quicker and more efficiently.
Whether it’s hardstyle techniques, interval cardio, bodyweight drills, or conditioning drills, each exercise holds beneficial elements for martial artists of any level that can help make their practice more enjoyable and rewarding.
Ultimately, whatever exercises you decide to do, be sure to focus on form and technique above all else.
Safety should also be taken into consideration when involving intense exercise routines in order to prevent potential injuries from occurring.
Don’t forget – always keep your eye on the prize.
With perseverance and dedication, you can get fighting fit faster than ever before and achieve amazing results.