Five Exercises to Build Strength for Martial Arts Training

martial arts adults push ups

Martial arts are an incredible form of physical fitness for children and adults. Strength conditioning is the preferred way that people stay in tip-top shape between training, and they claim the results are substantial in their movement and skills. When choosing to incorporate weights with any exercise, it strongly depends on whether you are conditioning, strengthening for power, or building endurance. If you want to get stronger, using heavier weights and fewer repetitions is common. The opposite is true for endurance and conditioning: lower weight and lots of reps! However, when it comes to building strength for martial arts training, they can, and should, be done regularly to up your martial arts game!

Push-ups for Strength Building

For many of us, this may cause flashbacks to gym class, but good ole push-ups are a core part of strengthening and conditioning. Although a humble exercise, the “pushing up” builds strength for delivering more powerful strikes in training.

Proper push-ups require tucked arms, with hands beneath shoulders and elbows along your rib cage. One of the most remarkable facts about push-ups is that the available variations still offer people many benefits as they build their strength.

Squats for Building Leg Strength

Here we go – legs! Squats activate all your leg muscles but also your core. The form is essential, so do squats in front of a mirror, when possible, to start. Lower yourself slowly and ensure your knees do not go past your toes – when possible, explode upwards, intensifying the workout.

It is recommended not to use weights with squats if you have a history of back pain. Others may choose to add a barbell to this exercise.

Kettlebell and Dumbbell Presses

When using a kettlebell or dumbbell, you can lift them over your head from your shoulders. This exercise targets the deltoid, which strengthens shoulders and helps when using defensive stances in martial arts. When starting out, this can cause fatigue, so only plan to do ten or so reps. You know you have the correct weight when completing the last couple is challenging.

Pull-ups Build Upper Body Strength

This is another gym memory, and maybe even the long rope hanging down in the school gym. Pull-ups are arguably the most challenging exercise, and that is why many people avoid them. However, this is an incredible way to strengthen the upper body and develop muscles in the upper back. In the martial art style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there are pulling motions used to control an opponent, and a strong upper back also comes in handy in styles like Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts.

There are several variations of pull-ups to get started, too, like negative pull-ups, where you stand on a platform. Variations typically help you learn controlled downward motions, which helps build strength, and eventually, you will be able to perform a proper pull-up. Whatever variation you start with, focus on squeezing should blades together and not using your biceps.

Burpees Strengthen the Whole Body

Burpees are a thrusting squat that goes into a stand between reps. This is a genuine, full-body exercise and is used in strength training around the world. If you take a class at the gym, and the instructor shouts the order to do burpees, it typically isn’t met with applause and cheers. Very few people would admit to enjoying burpees, but this is hands-down the best bodyweight exercise that can be done for martial arts training—sprawling and jumping train martial arts students well for grappling and sparring. The quickness and aerobic exercise of repeated burpees serve those training in martial arts well on the mat.

The pace of burpees will build cardiovascular fitness levels and endurance. There are variations of the burpee as well. Remember: the goal with any variation is to slowly build up the muscles you need to progress to the proper technique.

Martial arts training is an incredible opportunity to get fit and build strength. As with anything, what you put in determines what you get out of your efforts. If you want to elevate your martial arts experience by strengthening your body between training, do some (or all) of the top five exercises, and results are guaranteed! If you want to find a respected and well-established locally-owned martial arts studio in San Diego County, contact SwiftKick Martial Arts today for a free class. SwiftKick is a family-friendly studio with classes for students ranging from 3 years old to seniors. The team of instructors is skilled, encouraging, and understands the work required to achieve milestones in martial arts. When it comes to connecting with a local martial arts studio, SwiftKick is hands-down the best in the area.

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