Three Exercises You Must Do To Improve As A Martial Artist

Three Exercises You Must Do To Improve As A Martial Artist

Every Martial Artist should supplement their training with an exercise program. For a Martial Artist these are three exercises you must do to improve your abilities and performance. Everybody in fitness has a method, equipment, or program they prefer over others. Some like to train circuits, some have powerlifting programs, and others participate in countless trends or fads.

However, some exercises have withstood the test of time, no matter what your approach.

These moves have become a staple in any serious fitness program. If you’re honest with yourself about wanting to perform at your best or just want to stay active to help prevent chronic pain, you can’t leave these three exercises out of your workout plans.


Arguably the king of all exercises, the deadlift hits every major muscle group. The deadlift is perhaps the greatest test of strength there is.

Because of all the muscles involved, it releases a huge amount of testosterone which is a muscle building hormone. For this reason alone, the deadlift is a great foundation for any fitness plan.

three exercises you must do

Kettlebell swing

Often confused as an alternative to a squat, this move is actually an explosive hip hinge, great for the glutes and conditioning. When done properly the hip movement, combined with the explosive motion provides a cardio aspect that will help create a strong and dynamic workout. You can read our article here for some kettlebell variations.

three exercises you must do
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Pull Up

A long time standard in fitness tests is the ability to do a minimum number of required pullups. The Marine Corps fitness standard for example measure men between 25-35 need to complete 23 pull ups to max the test. Pull ups are a great exercise for developing  powerful lats, stronger, core, and grip strength. It’s a big multifaceted exercise that will boost testosterone and help overall muscle development.


three exercises you must do

If you are not doing these exercises already I highly suggest you incorporate all three into your exercise routine immediately. After a few weeks you will start noticing the enhancement they’ll provide in your workouts and Martial Arts performance.


What exercise do you consider a must do?



  1. Carol5162

    I would really love to do the pull-up exercise. Every time I try I cant go past 3 lifts without almost collapsing. I think my body is quite heavy to lift itself up. The kettle bell swing also looks like something I would love to try. I see myself having a really good cardio included there with the two handed and the one handed swings. Thank you for these suggestions. 

  2. Ramos

    For a martial artist, the major keys are staying within the routine, learn the new skills and trainings and practice till you get it right. However, to achieve the best with it and to keep the body always active, there is need to have an exercise routine too because that would ensure that the body is always in good condition to take up any trainings or whatever that is coming across it. To me, this is really great to see. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    1. lgoupil

      Thank you for commenting Ramos. 

      Perseverance and consistent practice I think define a Martial Artist. 

      Supplementing your traditional workouts is becoming much more commonplace as it should. 

      I think previously,  the lack of  understanding how you can marry strength training and other aspects with your traditional Martial Arts training  hindered a lot of Martial Artist from reaching their potential.

      “One must try, every day, to expand one’s limits” 
      -Mas Oyama 

  3. Rodarrick

    Truly, exercises re needed to ensure that we have a very stable and balanced body as athletes. We must stick to the routines and though, I am not a martial artist, I engage in boxing and running. Though not yet professional but then, this is really great to see. The dumbell swing is one of the best one I like and I do try to engage in it immediately I’m in the gym.

  4. Scott Hinkle

    Thank you for this post.

    Yes, there are all sorts of exercise programs and techniques out there.  That said, there are the common, or standard, exercises that have stood the test from time.  Heck, even the basics you learned in grade school PE apply.

    Pull Ups, Push Ups, Sit Ups (wow there are a lot of ups in exercising), etc.

    I have to say I try the push and sit ups the most.  I don’t really have a setup for pull ups.

    I’ve considered the deal lift but don’t really have a dedicated area, nor the proper equipment so I do my cardio and my ups sets and call it a day.

    Sadly, none of the three you’ve listed here are in my regiment.  Maybe I can make some room somewhere in the house and add one in gradually then the next and so on.

    Thanks again,


    1. lgoupil

      Thanks Scott, I couldn’t agree more. 

      Pull ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, push ups, and all the other standard calisthenics that have been around are still just as good as ever.  

      With research we’ve become better and more efficient but it does not take a lot for someone to stay in shape. 

      For the deadlift you might need a little more spacing then you suggest you have. 

      In regards to getting yourself a kettlebell they don’t require too much space. 

      The pull up is the easiest solution for  you. 

      You can invest in an Iron Gym which are cheap, they work, and have been around forever. 

      You just hang it in a doorway. 

      I have one myself, I’ve had it for about 15 years and it still works fine, here’s a link:

      You can purchase it right through Amazon 

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