A Martial Arts workout plan can push the body to its limits.
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Martial Arts requires muscles that can produce explosive power.
Muscle endurance and stamina is also critical.
Such muscles cannot be forged with isolated exercises in a weight room.
Instead, several muscle groups have to be trained simultaneously.
No muscle groups can function individually; larger muscle groups are supported by smaller ones.
It is important to work out both these types of muscle groups to stimulate the growth of all muscle groups.
Training two or more large muscle groups can drain your energy and overload the nervous system.
Therefore, an optimum Martial Arts workout plan involves working out a large muscle group along with other small muscle groups.
The muscles groups that work together can be classed as:
1. Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
2. Hamstrings, Calves, and Glutes
3. Back and Biceps
Muscle groups that work together can be worked out in a 3-day split schedule.
This provides a week for each set of muscle groups to recover and also provides ample time for martial arts training.
Meanwhile, core exercises such as sit ups, crunches, and planks can be performed on each of the 3 days.
Most martial artists use bodyweight exercises to supplement their training.
Bodyweight exercises have the benefit of working the strength, mobility, muscle tone, flexibility and balance at the same time.
Discussed below are several bodyweight exercises to train each muscle group and model workout plans for both beginners and more experienced martial artists.
Day 1- Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
Compound push-type exercises such as pushups and dips are effective ways to build the upper body.
The ‘push’ muscles are vital in executing hand-offense and defensive movements.
The large muscle groups include the chest, shoulder and pectoral muscles.
The small muscle group involves the triceps.
Push Ups are an excellent exercise to work out the upper body muscle groups.
Different variations of pushups can work out different muscle groups while providing varying levels of difficulty.
Standard Push Ups
Though it sounds easy to execute, proper form plays a key role in how effective the exercise is.
Wide Push Ups
The arms are placed wider than the standard pushup form.
Narrow Push Ups
placing the hands closer than the standard push up provides greater tension on the triceps
The standard push up formation except with the legs placed on an object such as a bench or a stool.
Dips requires two parallel bars that are shoulder width apart.
The initial movement includes raising the body with arms extended, supporting the entire weight of the body.
Next, the body is lowered until the elbows are bent and the shoulders are slightly relaxed.
This exercise is not recommended for anyone with prior shoulder ailments.
This dip variation involves slightly leaning the body forward while dipping; this results in the emphasis of the exercise on the chest muscle.
Chest Tricep Dips
This dip variation involves keeping the elbows close to the body and the hips straight while dipping.
Day 2- Hamstrings, Calves and Glutes
Lower body muscles I feel for an athlete can be more critical then the upper body muscles.
The muscles of the lower body lay the foundation for the stance and provide the ability to generate power.
The leg muscles are also important in moving quickly to approach or avoid an opponent.
Other than squats, there are several other exercises to develop the lower body muscles.
Split squats helps improve balance and strength.
This exercise is performed by stepping out with a lunge with the arms at a side.
The hips are lowered by squatting backward and down.
The weight is moved back up with the front leg without letting the back knee touch the floor.
Also known as the triple flexion response, the movement of the ankles, knees, and hip produces power for jumping.
This movement can be incorporated into a squat:
Squat jump is performed with placing the feet just outside the shoulder, with the hands behind the head.
A squat is performed and the squat position is held for a few seconds.
Jump explosively, and when landing, the body is lowered back to the squatting position.
Muscles Involved– Quads, hamstrings, and glutes Also known as the triple flexion response, the movement of the ankles, knees, and hip produces power for jumping.
Lateral lunges are performed by; stepping to the right while keeping the feet flat and the toes pointed straight ahead.
Squat down to the right leg, while keeping the left leg straight. The position is held for a few seconds before returning to the starting position and executing the same movements to the left side.
Muscles Involved– Quads, hamstrings, and glutes Lateral lunges work out the quads, hamstrings, and glutes from a different angle than squats or traditional lunges.
Running is a standard in any Martial Arts workout plan.
Running helps in both developing lower body muscles but also helps in boosting stamina and endurance.
It also improves aerobic capacities; thus, increasing resistance to fatigue.
Calf raises are an easy exercise that can be performed anywhere.
The calf raise involves standing up straight, then pushing through the balls of the feet and raising the heel until the whole body is supported by the toes.
Then, slowly lower back to the starting position.
I want to thank Z the Machine for demonstrating the techniques for us once again!
Zharien helped out previously on our article about preventing and reliving back pain which you can read here.
If you haven’t followed Zharien yet on Instagram make sure you click the link and start.
A great guy and very knowledgeable, make sure to hit him up If you are looking for help as he offers online training as well.